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2. Rhetoric then may be defined as the faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever. This is the function of no other of the arts, each of which is able to instruct and persuade in its own special subject; thus, medicine deals with health and sickness, geometry with the properties of magnitudes, arithmetic with number, and similarly with all the other arts and sciences. But Rhetoric, so to say, appears to be able to discover the means of persuasion in reference to any given subject. That is why we say that as an art its rules are not applied to any particular definite class of things.

[2] As for proofs, some are artificial, others inartificial. By the latter I understand all those which have not been furnished by ourselves but were already in existence, such as witnesses, tortures, contracts, and the like; by the former, all that can be constructed by system and by our own efforts. Thus we have only to make use of the latter, whereas we must invent the former.

[3] Now the proofs furnished by the speech are of three kinds. The first depends upon the moral character of the speaker, the second upon putting the hearer into a certain frame of mind, the third upon the speech itself, in so far as it proves or seems to prove.

[4] The orator persuades by moral character when his speech is delivered in such a manner as to render him worthy of confidence; for we feel confidence in a greater degree and more readily in persons of worth in regard to everything in general, but where there is no certainty and there is room for doubt, our confidence is absolute. But this confidence must be due to the speech itself, not to any preconceived idea of the speaker's character; for it is not the case, as some writers of rhetorical treatises lay down in their “Art,” that the worth of the orator in no way contributes to his powers of persuasion; on the contrary, moral character, so to say, constitutes the most effective means of proof. [5] The orator persuades by means of his hearers, when they are roused to emotion by his speech; for the judgements we deliver are not the same when we are influenced by joy or sorrow, love or hate; and it is to this alone that, as we have said, the present-day writers of treatises endeavor to devote their attention. (We will discuss these matters in detail when we come to speak of the emotions.) [6] Lastly, persuasion is produced by the speech itself, when we establish the true
or apparently true from the means of persuasion applicable to each individual subject.

[7] Now, since proofs are effected by these means, it is evident that, to be able to grasp them, a man must be capable of logical reasoning, of studying characters and the virtues, and thirdly the emotions—the nature and character of each, its origin, and the manner in which it is produced. Thus it appears that Rhetoric is as it were an offshoot of Dialectic and of the science of Ethics, which may be reasonably called Politics.1 That is why Rhetoric assumes2 the character of Politics, and those who claim to possess it, partly from ignorance, partly from boastfulness, and partly from other human weaknesses, do the same. For, as we said at the outset, Rhetoric is a sort of division or likeness of Dialectic, since neither of them is a science that deals with the nature of any definite subject, but they are merely faculties of furnishing arguments. We have now said nearly enough about the faculties of these arts and their mutual relations.

[8] But for purposes of demonstration, real or apparent, just as Dialectic possesses two modes of argument,
induction and the syllogism, real or apparent, the same is the case in Rhetoric; for the example is induction, and the enthymeme a syllogism, and the apparent enthymeme an apparent syllogism. Accordingly I call an enthymeme a rhetorical syllogism, and an example rhetorical induction. Now all orators produce belief by employing as proofs either examples or enthymemes and nothing else; so that if, generally speaking, it is necessary to prove any fact whatever either by syllogism or by induction—and that this is so is clear from the Analytics3—each of the two former must be identical with each of the two latter.4 [9] The difference between example and enthymeme is evident from the Topics,5 where, in discussing syllogism and induction, it has previously been said that the proof from a number of particular cases that such is the rule, is called in Dialectic induction, in Rhetoric example; but when, certain things being posited, something different results by reason of them, alongside of them, from their being true, either universally or in most cases, such a conclusion in Dialectic is called a syllogism, in Rhetoric an enthymeme.

[10] It is evident that Rhetoric enjoys both these advantages6
for what has been said in the Methodica7 holds good also in this case—for rhetorical speeches are sometimes characterized by examples and sometimes by enthymemes, and orators themselves may be similarly distinguished by their fondness for one or the other. Now arguments that depend on examples are not less calculated to persuade, but those which depend upon enthymemes meet with greater approval. [11] Their origin and the way in which each should be used will be discussed later8; for the moment let us define more clearly these proofs themselves.

Now, that which is persuasive is persuasive in reference to some one, and is persuasive and convincing either at once and in and by itself, or because it appears to be proved by propositions that are convincing9; further, no art has the particular in view, medicine for instance what is good for Socrates or Callias, but what is good for this or that class of persons (for this is a matter that comes within the province of an art, whereas the particular is infinite and cannot be the subject of a true science); similarly, therefore, Rhetoric will not consider what seems probable in each individual case, for instance to Socrates or Hippias, but that which seems probable to this or that class of persons. It is the same with Dialectic, which does not draw conclusions from any random premises—for even madmen have some fancies—but it takes its material from subjects which demand reasoned discussion, as Rhetoric does from those which are common subjects of deliberation.

[12] The function of Rhetoric, then, is to deal with things about which we deliberate, but for which we have no systematic rules; and in the presence of such hearers as are unable to take a general view of many stages, or to follow a lengthy chain of argument. But we only deliberate about things which seem to admit of issuing in two ways; as for those things which cannot in the past, present, or future be otherwise, no one deliberates about them, if he supposes that they are such; for nothing would be gained by it. [13] Now, it is possible to draw conclusions and inferences partly from what has been previously demonstrated syllogistically, partly from what has not, which however needs demonstration, because it is not probable.10 The first of these methods is necessarily difficult to follow owing to its length, for the judge is supposed to be a simple person; the second will obtain little credence, because it does not depend upon what is either admitted or probable. The necessary result then is that the enthymeme and the example are concerned with things which may, generally speaking, be other than they are, the example being a kind of induction and the enthymeme a kind of syllogism, and deduced from few premises, often from fewer than the regular11 syllogism; for if any one of these is well known, there is no need to mention it, for the hearer can add it himself. For instance, to prove that Dorieus12 was the victor in a contest at which the prize was a crown,
it is enough to say that he won a victory at the Olympic games; there is no need to add that the prize at the Olympic games is a crown, for everybody knows it.

[14] But since few of the propositions of the rhetorical syllogism are necessary, for most of the things which we judge and examine can be other than they are, human actions, which are the subject of our deliberation and examination, being all of such a character and, generally speaking, none of them necessary; since, further, facts which only generally happen or are merely possible can only be demonstrated by other facts of the same kind, and necessary facts by necessary propositions (and that this is so is clear from the Analytics13), it is evident that the materials from which enthymemes are derived will be sometimes necessary, but for the most part only generally true; and these materials being probabilities and signs, it follows that these two elements must correspond to these two kinds of propositions, each to each.14 [15] For that which is probable is that which generally happens, not however unreservedly, as some define it, but that which is concerned with things that may be other than they are, being so related to that in regard to which it is probable
as the universal to the particular. [16] As to signs, some are related as the particular to the universal, others as the universal to the particular. Necessary signs are called tekmeria; those which are not necessary have no distinguishing name. [17] I call those necessary signs from which a logical syllogism can be constructed, wherefore such a sign is called tekmērion; for when people think that their arguments are irrefutable, they think that they are bringing forward a tekmērion, something as it were proved and concluded; for in the old language tekmar and peras have the same meaning (limit, conclusion).

[18] Among signs, some are related as the particular to the universal; for instance, if one were to say that all wise men are just, because Socrates was both wise and just. Now this is a sign, but even though the particular statement is true, it can be refuted, because it cannot be reduced to syllogistic form. But if one were to say that it is a sign that a man is ill, because he has a fever, or that a woman has had a child because she has milk, this is a necessary sign. This alone among signs is a tekmērion; for only in this case, if the fact is true, is the argument irrefutable. Other signs are related as the universal to the particular, for instance, if one were to say that it is a sign that this man has a fever, because he breathes hard; but even if the fact be true,
this argument also can be refuted, for it is possible for a man to breathe hard without having a fever. We have now explained the meaning of probable, sign, and necessary sign, and the difference between them; in the Analytics15 we have defined them more clearly and stated why some of them can be converted into logical syllogisms, while others cannot.

[19] We have said that example is a kind of induction and with what kind of material it deals by way of induction. It is neither the relation of part to whole, nor of whole to part, nor of one whole to another whole, but of part to part, of like to like, when both come under the same genus, but one of them is better known than the other. For example, to prove that Dionysius is aiming at a tyranny, because he asks for a bodyguard, one might say that Pisistratus before him and Theagenes of Megara did the same, and when they obtained what they asked for made themselves tyrants. All the other tyrants known may serve as an example of Dionysius, whose reason, however, for asking for a bodyguard we do not yet know. All these examples are contained under the same universal proposition, that one who is aiming at a tyranny asks for a bodyguard.

We have now stated the materials of proofs which are thought to be demonstrative. [20] But a very great difference between enthymemes has escaped the notice of nearly every one, although it also exists in the dialectical method of syllogisms. For some of them belong to Rhetoric, some syllogisms only to Dialectic, and others to other arts and faculties, some already existing and others not yet established. Hence it is that this escapes the notice of the speakers, and the more they specialize in a subject, the more they transgress the limits of Rhetoric and Dialectic. But this will be clearer if stated at greater length.

[21] I mean by dialectical and rhetorical syllogisms those which are concerned with what we call “topics,” which may be applied alike to Law, Physics, Politics, and many other sciences that differ in kind, such as the topic of the more or less, which will furnish syllogisms and enthymemes equally well for Law, Physics, or any other science whatever, although these subjects differ in kind. Specific topics on the other hand are derived from propositions which are peculiar to each species or genus of things; there are, for example, propositions about Physics which can furnish neither enthymemes nor syllogisms about Ethics,
and there are propositions concerned with Ethics which will be useless for furnishing conclusions about Physics; and the same holds good in all cases. The first kind of topics will not make a man practically wise about any particular class of things, because they do not deal with any particular subject matter; but as to the specific topics, the happier a man is in his choice of propositions, the more he will unconsciously produce a science quite different from Dialectic and Rhetoric. For if once he hits upon first principles, it will no longer be Dialectic or Rhetoric, but that science whose principles he has arrived at.16 [22] Most enthymemes are constructed from these specific topics, which are called particular and special, fewer from those that are common or universal. As then we have done in the Topics17, so here we must distinguish the specific and universal topics, from which enthymemes may be constructed. By specific topics I mean the propositions peculiar to each class of things, by universal those common to all alike. Let us then first speak of the specific topics, but before doing so let us ascertain the different kinds of Rhetoric, so that, having determined their number, we may separately ascertain their elements and propositions.18

1 Rhetoric, as dealing with human actions, characters, virtues, and emotions, is closely connected with Politics, which includes Ethics. The two latter treat of the same subject from a different point of view. Both deal with happiness and virtue, but the object of Politics is, by comparison of the different forms of States to find the one in which man will be most virtuous. Lastly, Rhetoric, as an important factor in the training and education of the individual citizen and of the members of the State as a whole, may be described as an offshoot of Politics, with which the sophistical rhetoricians identified it.

2 Or, “slips into the garb of” (Jebb). Probably a stage metaphor.

3 Aristot. Pr. Anal. 2.23; Aristot. Post. Anal. 1.1.

4 That is, enthymeme and example must be the same as syllogism and induction.

5 From the definitions of syllogism (1.1) and induction (1.12). No particular passage, however, explains the difference here mentioned.

6 The employment of syllogism and induction, τὸ εἶδος τῆς ῥητορικῆς being taken as simply = ῥητορική. Another rendering is: “that each kind of Rhetoric (that which depends upon example or upon enthymeme) enjoys some special advantage.”

7 A lost treatise, mentioned by Diogenes Laertius in his Life of Aristotle, 24, and by Dionysius of Halicarnassus in the first letter to Ammaeus, 6. It is supposed to have dealt with some branch of Logic.

8 2.20-24.

9 Or, “by persons which are so” (Jebb).

10 Certain propositions, which seem paradoxical and improbable to a popular audience, must be proved before it is able to understand them.

11 πρῶτος: the primary, typical syllogism of the first figure.

12 Son of Diagoras of Rhodes, and like his father celebrated for his victories in the Greek athletic contests. He played a considerable part in political and naval affairs in support of the Spartans (412-407 B.C.) whom he afterwards offended, and by whom he is said to have been put to death.

13 Aristot. APr. 1.8.13.

14 That is, probabilities and signs correspond to general and necessary propositions. This is not strictly correct; only the τεκμήρια correspond to the necessary propositions, the other signs and the other probabilities to the general or contingent propositions.

15 Aristot. Pr. Anal. 2.27.

16 The common topics do not deal with particular subject matter, as the specific topics do. In making use of the latter, the “better” (that is, in regard to a special science) the propositions chosen by a man, the more he will without knowing it quit the domain of Rhetoric and Dialectic, and become a professor of that special science whose first principles he has hit upon.

17 Aristot. Sophist. Elenchi (Fallacies) 9. This treatise is really the ninth and concluding part of the Topics.

18 Propositions (or premises), the name given to the two first statements in a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawn: All men are mortal (major premise); Socrates is a man (minor premise); therefore Socrates is mortal.

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