ERIC Number: ED279049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986
Aristotle, Motion, and Rhetoric.
Aristotle rejects a world vision of changing reality as neither useful nor beneficial to human life, and instead he reaffirms both change and eternal reality, fuses motion and rest, and ends up with "well-behaved" changes. This concept of motion is foundational to his world view, and from it emerges his theory of knowledge, philosophy of nature, ethics and social philosophy. This theoretical underpinning also led to the production of Aristotle's "Rhetoric," and in fact gives meaning and significance to the art of rhetoric, otherwise delegated to deceitfulness and trickery. Just as motion has been shown to exist in the universe, so too must this principle be operative in rhetoric. Because of the complex relations between the perception, opinion, and thought Aristotle uses to confirm the existence of change, rhetoric is an instance of motion. Rhetoric, then, becomes a latent threat to the maintenance or justification of the "status quo." That is, thought and speech is forever on the move. In Book II of "Rhetoric," Aristotle discusses the audience as a psychologically knowable and finite quantity, whose beliefs--mere opinions in themselves--are nevertheless available as objects of certain knowledge. Discourse would comprise a body of statements that are logically mimetic of reality. For a statement to achieve its purpose of communicating the substance of a thing, the units of meaning in language must exist in a stable and univocal relationship to their objects. Aristotle's theory of rhetoric contains on its fringes another dimension, a world view of changing reality that has yet to take hold in postmodern Aristotelian rhetoric. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A