Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character

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In this major contribution to philosophy and rhetoric, Eugene Garver shows how Aristotle integrates logic and virtue in his great treatise, the Rhetoric. He raises and answers a central question: can there be a civic art of rhetoric, an art that forms the character of citizens? By demonstrating the importance of the Rhetoric for understanding current philosophical problems of practical reason, virtue, and character, Garver has written the first work to treat the Rhetoric as philosophy and to connect its themes with parallel problems in Aristotle's Ethics and Politics. Garver's study will help put rhetoric at the center of investigations of practice and practical reason.
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Editorial Reviews

A philosophic treatment of Aristotle's Rhetoric, not only with regard to current discussions of rhetoric, practical reason, and the revived Aristotelian practical philosophy, but also with regard to what the author calls the "history of prudence," i.e., the good practical use of reason. The volume's title is meant to signal the way Aristotle's practical, civic art of rhetoric lies between the activities of practical reason, for which moral character is enough, and instrumental activities that can be bought, sold, and taught. Paper edition (unseen), $18.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226284255
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugene Garver is the Regents Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Saint John’s University and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. Among his earlier books are Aristotle’s Rhetoric: An Art of Character and Confronting Aristotle’s Ethics: Ancient and Modern Morality, both published by the University of Chicago Press. In 2008, he bicycled from Cairo to Cape Town.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Aristotle's Rhetoric and the Professionalization of Virtue 3
I Aristotle's Rhetoric: Between Craft and Practical Wisdom 18
Aristotle's Project: A Civic, Practical Art of Rhetoric 18
Guiding vs. Given Ends 22
From Internal/External Ends to Energeia/Kinesis 34
Rhetoric and Phronesis 41
Civic vs. Professional Arts 45
II The Kinds of Rhetoric 52
The Plurality of Practical Discourse and the Diversity of Goods 53
Plurality, Function, and the Three Kinds of Rhetoric 59
Plurality, Diversity, and Incommensurability 66
From Guiding Ends to Species 73
III Rhetorical Topics and Practical Reason 76
Topics and the Marriage of Politics and Dialectic 77
Deliberative Rhetoric: Rhetoric I.4-8 83
Epideictic Rhetoric: Rhetoric I.9 93
Forensic Rhetoric: Rhetoric I.10-15 96
Topics and Practical Reason 100
IV Deliberative Rationality and the Emotions 104
Corrupting and Enabling Emotions 104
The Place of the Emotions in Rhetorical Argument 109
Love and Anger, Eunoia and Thymos 112
Aristotle's Definition of Emotion: How Emotions Modify Judgment 115
Pleasure, Pain, and Good Practical Decisions 122
The Political Function of Emotion 128
The Emotions, Good Action, and the Good Life 135
V Why Reasoning Persuades 139
Arguing and Persuading 142
Arguing and Persuading: Ethos and Trust 149
Logical Forma and Rhetorical Forms 154
How Examples Persuade 156
How Enthymemes Persuade 162
Rhetorical Persuasion and Practical Reason 169
VI Making Discourse Ethical: Can I Be Too Rational? 172
The Problem and the Evidence 173
Character and Rhetorical Invention 177
Why Rhetoric Needs Ethos 182
Ethos and Trust: Speaker and Audience 188
Artful Ethos and Real Ethos 193
How Maxims Make Discourse Ethical 197
Rhetoric, Cleverness, and Phronesis 202
VII How to Tell the Rhetorician from the Sophist, and Which One to Bet On 206
Energeia and Praxis 206
The Internal Ends of Art and Virtue 209
The Art and Virtue of Truth-telling 213
The Moral Point of View and the Rhetorical Point of View 221
The Moral Ambiguity of Rhetoric, and the Moral Ambiguity of Morality 226
VIII Aristotle's Rhetoric and the History of Prudence 232
Notes 249
Bibliography 297
Index to Passages from Aristotle 313
General Index 320
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