Title

Aristotle's Definition of Rhetoric in the "Rhetoric": The Metaphors and their Message

Publication Title

Written Communication

Publication Date

1-2001

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1177/0741088301018001001

Keywords

Aristotle, rhetoric, metaphors, message

Disciplines

Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Ancient Philosophy | Classical Literature and Philology

Abstract

In spite of the continuing influence of Aristotle's "Rhetoric" on the discipline of rhetoric, no widespread agreement exists about whether the text is a systematic treatise about the tekhne (art) of rhetoric or a disconnected set of lecture notes. A significant piece of the puzzle belongs to Aristotle's metaphorical definitions of rhetoric in Book I of that text. Although scholarly efforts to interpret these definitions have informed our understanding of the text, they have done so without fully addressing how these definitions function within the text. This article offers a new approach to investigating these statements, one that considers them from Aristotle's own perspective on such linguistic matters: the author uses Aristotle's theory of metaphor as a measure of his practice in these definitions. The outcome indicates that Aristotle's practice in this situation does not match his theory, a circumstance that has certain consequences for our reading of the "Rhetoric."

Publisher

Sage Publications


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