Aristotle, On Rhetoric: A Theory of Public Discourse

Trans. & ed. by George A. Kennedy (Oxford U. Press, 1991)

Book 1: The Means of Persuasion in Public Address (pisteis)

               Chaps. 1-3: Introduction
Chap. 1- Introduction to rhetoric for students
   A. Relation of rhetoric to dialectic
   B. Usefulness of rhetoric
Chap. 2- Definition of rhetoric
   A. Definition: "an ability, in each case, to see the available means of persuasion"
   B. Means of persuasion: "character;" "arguments;" "emotion."
   C. "Topics" of Argument
Chap. 3- Three Types of Rhetoric:
   A. Deliberative ("political"): directed toward the FUTURE: i.e. regarding possible
           courses of action as advantageous or harmful
   B. Judicial ("forensic" or "legal"): directed toward the PAST: i.e. regarding the
            justice or injustice of a certain charge or accusation
   C. Demonstrative ("ceremonial"): directed toward the PRESENT: i.e. regarding
            the blame or praise due to the actions of other citizens
   D. Common propositions
Chaps. 4—15: Deliberative Rhetoric
Chap. 4- Political topics
Chap. 5- Ethical topics
Chap. 6- Ethical topics (cont’d)
Chap. 7- The argument of magnitude, or importance, in deliberative rhetoric
Chap. 8- Topics about constitutions
Chap. 9- The demonstrative rhetoric of praise and blame (epideictic)
Chaps. 10-15: Judicial Rhetoric
Chap. 10- Topics about wrongdoing
Chap. 11- Topics about pleasure
Chap. 12- Topics about wrongdoers & those wronged
   A. characteristics of those who are wronged
   B. some remarks on the nature of wrongs
Chap. 13- Topics about justice & injustice
Chap. 14- The argument of magnitude, or importance, in judicial rhetoric
Chap. 15- Non-skilled means of persuasion
   A. The difference between skilled and non-skilled means
        1. Artistic (entechnic)
        2. Non-artistic (atechnic)
   B. The non-artistic means of persuasion
       1. Laws
       2. Witnesses
       3. Contracts
       4. Evidence of slaves taken under torture
       5. Oaths

Book 2: The Means of Persuasion in Public Address (cont’d)

Chap. 1- Intro.: the role of character and emotion in persuasion
              Chaps. 2-11: Emotions which may be aroused by a speaker or an opponent
Chap. 2- Anger
   A. Definition & causes
   B. State of mind of those who are angry
   C. Those at whom people become angry
Chap. 3- Calmness
   A. Definition
   B. State of mind
Chap. 4- Friendliness & enmity
   A. Definition
   B. Causes
Chap. 5- Fear & confidence
   A. Definition
   B. State of mind
Chap. 6- Shame & shamelessness
   A. Definition & causes
   B. Those before whom people feel shame
   C. State of mind
Chap. 7- Kindliness & unkindliness
   A. Definition
   B. Creation of the impression
Chap. 8- Pity
   A. Definition & causes
   B. State of mind
Chap. 9- Being indignant
   A. Definition & causes
   B. State of mind
Chap. 10- Pity
   A. Definition & causes
   B. State of mind
Chap. 11- Emulation
   A. Definition & causes
   B. State of mind
Chaps. 12-17- The character of the audience
Chap. 12- Character of the young
Chap. 13- Character of the old
Chap. 14- Character of those in the prime of life
Chap. 15- The effect of "good birth" on character
Chap. 16- The effect of wealth on character
Chap. 17- The effect of power on character

Book 2: The Means of Persuasion in Public Address (cont’d)

                 Chaps. 18-26: Common Features of Rhetoric
Chap. 18- Introduction
Chap. 19- Common subjects for argument (resumed)
   A. The possible & impossible
   B. Past and future fact (probability)
   C. Degree of magnitude
Chaps. 20-22: Common logical means of persuasion
Chap. 20- Paradigm/Example (from history or fiction)
Chap. 21- Maxim
Chap. 22- Enthymeme (arguments from probability)
Chap. 23- Common Topics (lines or strategies of argument)
   A. Taking an opposite point of view
   B. Examining different grammatical forms
   C. Arguing from correlatives
   D. Arguing from lesser to greater (and vice versa)
   E. Considering the time (when something occurred)
   F. Rhetorical judo (turning an attack against one’s opponent)
   G. Drawing conclusions out of definitions
   H. Examining varied meanings
   I. Process of elimination
   J. Process of induction (arguing from specific examples)
   K. Citing previous judgments of a (wise) majority
   L. Examining "the parts" of an issue
   M. Focusing upon "the consequences" of an action
   N. Arguing that in some cases "you must take the bad with the good"
   O. Demonstrating fallacies by analogy
   P. Arguing from common results to common causes
   Q. Reversing an expected outcome
   R. Arguing from the cause or intention of an action
   S. Pushing people’s ‘hot & cold buttons’ to "impel action"
   T. Arguing that facts often seem implausible or improbable
   U. Looking at contradictions from different points of view
   V. Arguing from cause to effect
  W. Looking for a new way to improve what has been done before
   X. Considering if contraries might both possess a measure of truth
   Y. Focusing upon "mistakes that have been made"
   Z. Arguing from the significance of the name of something
Chap. 24- Logical arguments from probability (enthymemes)
   A. Real/true arguments
   B. Apparent arguments
   C. Fallacious arguments
Chap. 25- Undoing an opponent’s enthymemes
Chap. 26- Use of amplification, refutation, and objection

Book 3: Delivery, Style, and Arrangement

               Chaps. 1-12: Delivery and Style (Lexis)
Chap. 1- Importance of delivery "because of the corruption of the audience"
Chap. 2- Importance of clarity in choice of appropriate words
Chap. 3- Faults arising from lack of clarity ("frigidities")
Chap. 4- Use of similes, like metaphors, "occasionally"
Chap. 5- Grammatical correctness and use of idioms
Chap. 6- Achieving both elevation and conciseness
Chap. 7- Propriety in the use of emotion
Chap. 8- Proper use of rhythm without poetic distraction
Chap. 9- The "turned-down" style which allows the listener "to foresee the end"
(versus the "strung-on" style which seems to lack a beginning and end)
Chap. 10- Elegance in "creating quick learning" through the use of metaphor,
antithesis, and actualization (representing inanimate things as animate)
Chap. 11- Importance of visualization ("bringing-before-the-eyes" of the hearer)
Chap. 12- Matching the appropriate elements of style with the different types of
rhetoric (deliberative, judicial, demonstrative)

                 Chaps. 13-19: Ordering or Arrangement (Taxis)
Chap. 13- The necessary parts of a speech:
   A. Introduction: identifies the subject or question to be judged
   B. Prothesis: statement of the problem/proposition
   C. Pistis: proof or demonstration
   D. Epilogue: reminds the audience what has been demonstrated
Chap. 14- The Prooimion, or Introduction: introduces the theme
Chap. 15- Countering prejudicial attacks; determining the question at issue
Chap. 16- Use of narration, "a leading through" the relevant facts
Chap. 17- Methods of persuasive, convincing proof and demonstration
Chap. 18- Use of interrogation and rhetorical questions to reveal contradictions,
absurdities, and obvious truths; use of humor to spoil the opponent’s seriousness,
and seriousness to spoil his humor
Chap. 19- The Epilogos, or Conclusion of the speech: reminds the audience of
what has been said earlier; a recapitulation of the argument