Aristotle, Rhetoric II: A Commentary

Aristotle, Rhetoric II: A Commentary

Aristotle, Rhetoric II: A Commentary

Aristotle, Rhetoric II: A Commentary

Synopsis

Aristotle, Rhetoric II: A Commentary completes the acclaimed work undertaken by the author in his first (1980) volume on Aristotle¿s Rhetoric. The first Commentary on the Rhetoric in more than a century, it is not likely to be superseded for at least another hundred years.

Excerpt

Under ordinary circumstances this volume would have appeared a number of years back. the ordinary did not prevail. the approach to the text is the same as that in Volume I: all observations are directed to the reading of the codices accepted by the editors of the five critical editions and by Spengel, Cope, unless there is a reason not to do so; the lineation is that of Roemer's Teubner text; when understanding appears to call for it, grammar notes, or a translation, or a completion of elliptical Greek is given. On the other hand there is less effort to restrict supporting references to the literature in English.

The structure of Book 2 is relatively simple. the opening chapter is transitional with a reference back to the discussion of the entechnic pistis, λóγος, of Book 1 and then a brief statement on the remaining two pisteis, η+π+̃Θος, πα+́Θος, by way of introduction to chapters 2-17 of which they form the subject. It is worth noting that both unfortunately receive relatively passing attention in the commentaries and critical literature. This reflects, it would appear, an established attitude that both were non-logical in character, constituting what has been called "indirect proof," and so were clearly extrinsic to the proper purpose of discourse for Aristotle (e.g., 54a 15-31) which was assumed to be exclusively logical proof by way of enthymeme. With 2.17 the analysis begun at 1.4 of the entechnic pisteis (λóγος, πα+́Θος η+π+̃Θος) by way of the particular topics is concluded. Before moving on to the common topics, Aristotle in chapters 18-22 reviews and enlarges upon a number of key concepts mentioned in 1.1-3, e.g., the koina (possible-impossible, etc.), the two common ways of demonstrating (enthymeme, example) the enthymeme as syllogism. in 2.23 he presents the common topics for inference by enthymeme followed by a chapter (24) on common topics for apparent (fallacious) enthymemes, and one (25) on ways to refute inference by enthymeme. the concluding chapter (26) mentions some further observations on the nature of the enthymeme.

For support of the work on this volume I am grateful to my own University for a Faculty Fellowship, to the Classics Departments of Princeton and Stanford for Visiting Fellowships and to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a Senior Fellowship and a Summer Stipend. I would like to thank the Princeton University Library and its staff where a substantial part of the work on both volumes was done and also the Fordham University Library and its staff for their many courtesies. in the course of the work on both . . .

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