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totle, and since in these works reference is repeatedly made to his exoteric, or, as they are also called, encyclical writings, we must suppose, that all the exoteric productions of this philosopher are lost, and only the esoteri cremain, while exactly the reverse has happened to Plato."
Of the animadversions of modern critics on the style of Aristotle, the following from Enfield's History of Philosophy may serve as a specimen : 66 No writer ever afforded more frequent examples of the poet's maxim,
Brevis esse laboro,
He affects close periods and a concise diction. He often supposes things to be known, which have either not been before explained, or may easily have escaped the reader's memory. Sometimes he inakes use of different terms to express the same idea, and at other times, annexes different ideas to the same term. It is not an uncommon practice with him to use new words in an artificial and technical sense, which nevertheless he does not clearly define. His transitions are frequently so abrupt, or his progress from his premises to his conclusion so rapid, that it is extremely difficult for the reader to perceive the train of his reasoning. Through artifice, negligence, or a change of opinion, many contradictions occur, which the ingenuity of criticism has never yet been able to reconcile. His general propositions are frequently obscure for want of examples; and even his examples themselves, when he condescends to use them, are often as incomprehensible as the doctrines they are intended to elucidate. Mathematical ideas, with which he was exceedingly conversant, he sometimes applies to subjects to which they have no natural relation, and thus encumbers with artificial difficulties disquisitions which in themselves are sufficiently obscure. Lastly, in quoting the opinions of former philosophers, whether to examine, confirm, or confute them, he takes so little care to mark the transition from their words to his
own, that the reader is frequently at a loss to determine whether Aristotle is giving his own opinion or reporting that of some other philosopher.”
We have nothing to add, except that this witness is true. The criticism of Lord Monboddo upon some portions of Tacitus would apply with more justice to no small part of Aristotle's writings. They scarcely deserve the name of composition at all, but seem rather like a rapid outline of topics and arguments, sketched as a guide to spoken discourse. But we have already said enough on this subject in our introductory article. We now proceed to give some more particular account of some of Aristotle's works, not in the form of an abstract or synopsis of his philosophical opinions, which of course would be very much colored by our own, but, in accordance with the method heretofore pursued, allowing the author to utter his own sentiments in his own order and manner, though of course much abridged and condensed, and then leave the reader to judge for himself. Some of the smaller and more practical treatises will be the most convenient for this purpose. A further reason for selecting these is also found in the fact that, while they are among the most satisfactory and valuable of Aristotle's works, they have sel dom been duly appreciated. We begin with the
Rhetoric is defined to be an art which, on every subject, considers the capability of persuasion. It is not confined to any particular province, like medicine, geometry and arithmetic; but, like logic, it extends to every department of life, and aims at conviction and persuasion on every variety of subject. Genuine rhetoric has little to do with those modes of instruction which are frittered away in the manufacture of exordiums, perorations, and other artificial divisions of a discourse. Its main efficacy, nay, in the language of the author, its whole art, lies in the skilful use of proof. Proof is of two kinds—the one independent of the orator's art, such
as testimony, torture, contracts, laws and other written documents; the other such as the orator can draw from his own character and history, or that of his client, from the dispositions, feelings, and circumstances of his audience, and from a skilful presentation in his discourse of collateral principles and facts. The orator, then, should apply biniself to the study of three things : skill in the art of reasoning, acquaintance with the manners and characters of men, and the science of conducting the passions.
The reasoning employed by the orator differs from that of the logician, only in being less rigid and formal, so as to be adapted to popular discourse. The logician reasons by syllogism and induction ; the orator's proofs consist of enthymemes and examples. The enthymeme is essentially a syllogism, abridged by suppressing one of the terms, which, being readily supplied by the hearer, need not be expressed. In like manner, examples are abridged processes of induction, in which the inferences or applications, instead of being formally stated, are left to be understood from the connection in which they are introduced. The essential principles of logic are, therefore, of indispensable use to the orator; and Aristotle's rhetoric, while itself wears to us, in considerable extent, the aspect of a modern treatise on logic, abounds in references to his logic for a fuller discussion of the same subjects.
Under the head of Enthymemes belong signs, which are of two kinds—the one arguing from particular to universal, the other from universal to particular. For instance, a sign that all men of ability are virtuous is, that Socrates, who was a man of ability, was also virtuous. This is a sign of the first class—from particular to universal. This, however, is not a necessary or convincing sign. The following, which belongs to the same class, is demonstrative proof: A sign that such a man is sick is, that he has a sever. Or a sign that such a woman is a mother is, that she has a breast of milk. Signs of the other class, from universal to particular, are never demonstrative, inasmuch as the universal may be the sign of any one of a number of particulars, instead of the one specified. The following is an instance of such a sign: A sign that such a man has a fever is, that he is sick, or that he does not breathe freely.
Examples are arguments neither from particular to universal, nor from universal to particular, but from one particular to another, which is like it. For instance: if I wished to prove that, when Dionysius of Syracuse demanded bodyguards, he intended to become a tyrant, I might say, that Pisistratus in like manner first demanded body-guards, and then seized upon the government; or I might adduce other instances in which men had become tyrants in the same way.
Those familiar with Whateley's Rhetoric will perceive, at once, its striking resemblance in this part to Aristotle's; and they need not be further taught, what no one indeed can fail to see, the importance to the popular orator of a practical acquaintance with this subject of signs and examples.
As to the materials or means of proof, the orator should be well furnished with what Aristotle, in common with other ancient rhetoricians, calls Places or Topics. These are of two kinds, common places and places proper. Common places are such as will serve for proof on any subject, whether of jurisprudence, or physics, or politics, or whatever it may be -such, for instance, as the argument a fortiori, which may be employed in any one department as well as any other. Places proper are such as apply only to one subject or department—to physics, for instance, to the exclusion of ethics, or to ethics in distinction from physics. These latter being more definite and appropriate to the case in hand, are the more satisfactory and useful. And since they vary with the subject or the circumstances of the case, it is obvious they will be different in the different kinds of eloquence. It becomes necessary, therefore, at this point to inquire how many and what these kinds are, that the way may thus be prepared to furnish the orator in each kind with appropriate topics of argument.
Aristotle makes the threefold division of eloquence, which has been adopted by most subsequent rhetoricians, into the
deliberative, the judicial, and the demonstrative. The deliberative respects the future, and is appropriately addressed to a legislative assembly. The judicial respects the past, and appeals to a bench of judges. The demonstrative has reference chiefly to the present, and its hearers are simple hearers for the sake of instruction or gratification. The deliberative has to do chiefly with the useful and the hurtsul, and its office is to persuade to the former and to dissuade from the latter. The judicial has to do with the just and the unjust in the way of accusation and defence. The demonstrative has more to do with the honorable and the dishonorable in the way of praise and censure. Such is the peculiar and appropriate province of each kind of eloquence, though neither is absolutely confined within its own sphere.
Now, to each of these three kinds of eloquence there are topics or places, which are appropriate, and as the orator's success will depend entirely on his mastery and use of them, the remainder of the first Book is devoted to the purpose of furnishing him with a store of propositions, which he may use, as occasion requires, whether he speaks at the bar, at a funeral solemnity, or before the popular assembly. These propositions pertain to a great variety of subjects, which the author takes up successively, and discusses with the particularity almost of an ethical and political philosopher.
Those appropriate to the deliberative orator relate to such subjects as these : Finance, Peace and War, Garrisons, Exports and Imports, the Enaction of Laws, the Summum Bonum or Chief Felicity, with all those circumstances that contribute to it, such as health, strength, beauty, offspring, rank, reputation, friendship, riches, honors, the gifts of fortune, and the virtues of the soul, the different forms of Government, such as Democracy, Oligarchy, Aristocracy and Monarchy, with the manners and dispositions characteristic of each. By a knowledge and a skilful use of these propositions on these numerous topics, the orator will be able to prove that the measures which he recommends are good, and that in a high degree, and those of his adversary highly evil