dialectic and rhetoric

Aristotle says that rhetoric, i.e., the study of persuasive speech, is a “counterpart” (antistrophos) of dialectic and that the rhetorical art is a kind of “outgrowth” (paraphues ti) of dialectic and the study of character types.

The correspondence with dialectical method is straightforward:

– rhetorical speeches, like dialectical arguments, seek to persuade others to accept certain conclusions on the basis of premises they already accept.

Therefore, the same measures useful in dialectical contexts will, mutatis mutandis, be useful here:

– knowing what premises an audience of a given type is likely to believe, and knowing how to find premises from which the desired conclusion follows.

The Rhetoric does fit this general description:

Aristotle includes both discussions of types of person or audience (with generalizations about what each type tends to believe) and a summary version (in II.23) of the argument patterns discussed in the Topics.

For further discussion of his rhetoric see Aristotle’s rhetoric.

via: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2012/entries/aristotle-logic/

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