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18. Now1 the employment of persuasive speeches is directed towards a judgement; for when a thing is known and judged, there is no longer any need of argument. And there is judgement, whether a speaker addresses himself to a single individual and makes use of his speech to exhort or dissuade, as those do who give advice or try to persuade, for this single individual is equally a judge, since, speaking generally, he who has to be persuaded is a judge; if the speaker is arguing against an opponent or against some theory, it is just the same, for it is necessary to make use of speech to destroy the opposing arguments, against which he speaks as if they were the actual opponent; and similarly in epideictic speeches, for the speech is put together with reference to the spectator as if he were a judge. Generally speaking, however, only he who decides questions at issue in civil controversies2 is a judge in the proper sense of the word, for in judicial cases the point at issue is the state of the case, in deliberative the subjects of deliberation.3 We have already spoken of the characters of forms of government in treating
of deliberative rhetoric,4 so that it has been determined how and by what means we must make our speeches conform to those characters.

[2] Now, since each kind of Rhetoric, as was said,5 has its own special end, and in regard to all of them we have gathered popular opinions and premises whence men derive their proofs in deliberative, epideictic, and judicial speeches,6 and, further, we have determined7 the special rules according to which it is possible to make our speeches ethical, it only remains to discuss the topics common to the three kinds of rhetoric. [3] For all orators are obliged, in their speeches, also to make use of the topic of the possible and impossible, and to endeavor to show, some of them that a thing will happen, others that it has happened. [4] Further, the topic of magnitude is common to all kinds of Rhetoric, for all men employ extenuation or amplification whether deliberating, praising or blaming, accusing or defending.
[5] When these topics have been determined, we will endeavor to say what we can in general about enthymemes and examples, in order that, when we have added what remains, we may carry out what we proposed at the outset. Now, of the commonplaces amplification is most appropriate to epideictic rhetoric, as has been stated;8 the past to forensic, since things past are the subject of judgement; and the possible and future to deliberative.

1 Having dealt with ethical and pathetic proofs, Aristotle proceeds to the discussion of topics of enthymemes common to all three kinds of Rhetoric. The difficulty in the Greek lies in the absence of a suitable apodosis to the long sentence beginning ἐπεὶ δὲ τῶν πιθανῶν. Grammatically, it might be ὥστε διωρισμένον ἂν εἴη, but it by no means follows that “since the employment of persuasive speeches is directed towards a judgement . . . therefore it has been determined how . . . we must make our speeches ethical.” Spengel, regarding ἐπεὶ δὲ . . . βουλεύονται merely as an enlargement of Book 2.1, 2, brackets the passage. Cope suggests that something has fallen out after βουλεύονται: “Since in all the three kinds of Rhetoric the object is to secure a judgement, [I have shown how to put the judges into a certain frame of mind in the discussion of the characters and emotions]. I have also spoken of the characters of the forms of government; so that this part of the subject need no longer detain us.” It is generally agreed that we have not the chapter as originally arranged, although it is not supposed that any part of it is non-Aristotelian (see Cope and note in Jebb's translation).

2 Both forensic and deliberative.

3 Or, “for in both forensic and deliberative arguments the issue is the state of the case.”

4 Book 1.8.

5 Book 1.3.

6 Book 1.4-8.

7 Book 1.9, 10-15.

8 1.9.40. Amplication is to be understood of the exaggeration of both great and small things. It is most suited to epideictic oratory, in which there is no doubt as to the facts; so that it is only necessary to accentuate their importance or non-importance.

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