By Sara Rubinelli
Ars Topica is the 1st full-length learn of the character and improvement of topoi, the conceptual ancestors of contemporary argument schemes, among Aristotle and Cicero.
Aristotle and Cicero configured topoi in a manner that stimulated the next culture. Their paintings at the topos-system grew out of an curiosity in making a conception of argumentation that can stand among the rigour of formal common sense and the emotive power of rhetoric. the program went via a chain of advancements and differences because of the interaction among the separate goals of gaining rhetorical effectiveness and of protecting dialectical standards.
Ars Topica offers a accomplished remedy of Aristotle’s and Cicero’s tools of topoi and, by means of exploring their dating, it illuminates a space of historical rhetoric and good judgment which has been obscured for greater than thousand years.
Through an interpretation that's philologically rooted within the historic context of topoi, the booklet lays the floor for comparing the relevance of the classical methods to fashionable examine on arguments, and while presents an creation to Greek and Roman concept of argumentation focussed on its most crucial theoretical achievements.
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Additional resources for Ars Topica: The Classical Technique of Constructing Arguments from Aristotle to Cicero (Argumentation Library, Volume 15) (English and Greek Edition) by David S. Levene
Both these functions deserve further consideration. As we have seen, a topos helps speakers construct certain types of argument: it gives different sorts of information needed for this purpose. In this sense, it can rightly be linked to the discovery of arguments. Yet, there is something important that the method of topoi does not do. The topoi suggest certain types of argument. They do not tell, however, what scheme is best to use in a specific situation, and with a specific interlocutor. In other words, if I can support a certain standpoint by using the topos from the more and the less, or the topos from the contrary or that from definition, what is more appropriate in a specific context is still a matter of my creativity and understanding of the interlocutor.
2 The Nature and Function of a Topos 1. Applicability requirements 2. Name 3. Instruction and purpose 4. Law 5. 40 I now shall analyse the topoi from the point of view of their validity. This is an essential point that will lead us to clarify the nature of the principles on which topoi rest. 2 The Validity of the Topoi In Topics B 4, 111b 17–23, one of the topoi reads: «You must examine as regards the subject in hand (το προκειμένου) what it is on the existence of which (τίνος ὄντος) the existence of the subject depends (τὸ προκείμενόν ἐστι), or what necessarily exists (τί ἐστιν ἐξ ἀνάγκης) if the subject exists (εἰ τὸ προκείμενόν ἐστι).
As we have seen, the laws on which topoi rest establish a certain substantial connection between statements. 44 The other principles result from elementary but insightful considerations about the relationship between the terms of propositions from an ontological, logical, semantic and linguistic point of view. They are presented at a rather high level of abstraction that preserves their subject-independent nature. 46 Clearly, the applicability of these principles is limited to contexts where the issue of ethical choice is relevant and, as such, the topoi generated on the basis of them do not meet the ideal picture of a common topic.