Aristotles Rhetoric, Book I, Chapters 1-2
(Kennedy: pp. 25-47; Roberts: pp.1-8)
Book I: Study Questions 1-10
1. For Socrates rhetoric was something false and dishonorable. He thought of it as
"flattery" and "pandering" (to profit from exploiting the needs and weaknesses of
others). How was Aristotles view of rhetoric different?
2. What place, if any, did Aristotle find for emotional appeals toward the jury in a
trial (pp. 29-31)?
3. What personal motives did Aristotle find "often involved" in the members of a jury
4. One method of persuasion which Aristotle discusses is the "enthymeme," a popular
argument based on probability. The enthymeme usually left a key assumption unstated.
Here are two examples: "Socrates must be virtuous; for he is wise;" and: "Since Socrates
is wise, he must be virtuous." What is the assumption behind both of these arguments?
5. Why did Aristotle think that it is important to be able to argue both sides of a question
6. Aristotle defined rhetoric as "an ability, in each case, to see the available means of
persuasion" (pisteis). How does Aristotle distinguish between atechnic (nonartistic)
and entechnic (artistic) means of persuasion (pp. 36-39)?
7. Which of the artistic factors did Aristotle consider to be "almost, so to speak, the
controlling factor in persuasion" (p. 38)? Do you agree with Aristotle? Why/Why not?
8. Aristotle identified the two forms of logos, or logical argument, as: (1) epagoge
(induction); and (2) enthymeme (syllogism). An induction is simply a conclusion based
upon observation from particular cases. Aristotle also referred to this kind of argument
as "example" or "paradigm." Thus, for Aristotle, induction = example = paradigm.
What definitions does cite from his treatise, the Topics, to further clarify the difference
between "paradigm" and "enthymeme" (p. 40)?
9. What specific example(s) does Aristotle give of an enthymeme and a paradigm
10. Aristotle uses the Greek word topos as a term for a "strategy" or "line of argument"
in rhetoric. He will specify 28 different topoi (plur.), or strategies, in Chap. 23 in Book
2. What does the Greek term topos mean, literally (pp. 45-47)?