Aristotle: Politics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
While in the later tradition the use of metaphors has been seen as a matter of mere decoration, which has to delight the hearer, Aristotlestresses the cognitive function of metaphors. Metaphors, he says, bring about learning (Rhet. III.10, 1410b14f.). In order to understand a metaphor, the hearer has to find something common between the metaphor and the thing the metaphor refers to. For example, if someone calls the old age “stubble”, we have to find a common genus to which old age and stubble belong; we do notgrasp the very sense of the metaphor until we find that both, old ageand stubble, have lost their bloom. Thus, a metaphor not only refers to a thing, but simultaneously describes the thing in a certain respect. This is why Aristotle says that the metaphor brings about learning: as soon as we understand why someone uses the metaphor “stubble” to refer to old age, we have learned at least one characteristic of old age.
Aristotle (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
How is it possible for the orator to bring the audience to a certain emotion? Aristotle's technique essentially rests on the knowledge of the definition of every significant emotion. Let, for example, anger be defined as “desire, accompanied with pain, for conspicuous revenge for a conspicuous slight that was directed against oneself orthose near to one, when such a slight is undeserved.” (Rhet. II.2 1378a31–33). According to such a definition, someone who believes that he has suffered a slight from a person who is not entitled to do so, etc., will become angry. If we take such a definition for granted, it is possible to deduce circumstances in which a person will most probably be angry; for example, we can deduce (i) in what state of mind people are angry and (ii) against whom they are angry and (iii) for what sorts of reason. Aristotle deduces these three factors for several emotions in the chapters II.2–11. With this equipment, the orator will be able, for example, to highlight such characteristics of a case as are likely toprovoke anger in the audience. In comparison with the tricks of former rhetoricians, this method of arousing emotions has a striking advantage: The orator who wants to arouse emotions must not even speak outside the subject; it is sufficient to detect aspects of a given subject that are causally connected with the intended emotion.
In 343, upon the request of Philip, the king of Macedon, Aristotleleft Lesbos for Pella, the Macedonian capital, in order to tutor theking’s thirteen-year-old son, Alexander—the boy who waseventually to become Alexander the Great. Although speculationconcerning Aristotle’s influence upon the developing Alexander hasproven irresistible to historians, in fact little concrete is knownabout their interaction. On the balance, it seems reasonable toconclude that some tuition took place, but that it lasted only two orthree years, when Alexander was aged from thirteen to fifteen. Byfifteen, Alexander was apparently already serving as a deputy militarycommander for his father, a circumstance undermining, ifinconclusively, the judgment of those historians who conjecture alonger period of tuition. Be that as it may, some suppose that theirassociation lasted as long as eight years.
Key Distinctions for Value Theories, and the Importance …
Aristotle’s own preferred alternative, that there are firstprinciples of the sciences graspable by those willing to engage inassiduous study, has caused consternation in many of his readers. In Posterior Analytics ii 19, he describes theprocess by which knowers move from perception to memory, and from memoryto experience (empeiria)—which is a fairly technicalterm in this connection, reflecting the point at which a singleuniversal comes to take root in the mind—and finally fromexperience to a grasp of first principles. This finalintellectual state Aristotle characterizes as a kind of unmediatedintellectual apprehension (nous) of first principles(APo. 100a10–b6).
Plato: The Republic 1-4 - Philosophy Pages
Finally, if the virtue of style is about finding a balance between banal clarity, which is dull, and attractive dignity, which is inappropriate in public speeches, how can the orator manage to control the different degrees of clarity and dignity? For this purpose Aristotle equips the orator with a classification of words (more or less the same classification can also be found in Poetics chapter 21): First of all Aristotle distinguishes between the kuria onamata, the standard expressions, and theglôtta, the borrowed words, idioms or vernacular expressions. Most examples that Aristotle gives of this latter class are taken from the different Greek dialects, and most examples of this type are in turn taken from the language of the Homeric epos. Further classes are defined by metaphors and by several expressions that are somehow altered or modified, e.g., newly coined expressions (pepoiêmena), composite expressions (especially new orunusual compositions (ta dipla)), and lengthened, shortened or otherwise altered expressions. Sometimes Aristotle also uses the term kosmos under which he collects all epithets and otherwise ornamental expressions. These different types of words differ in accordance with their familiarity. Most familiar are the usual or current words, the least familiar words are the glôtta or words that are newly coined. The metaphors are also unknown and unusual, because a usual, well-known word is used to designate something other than its usual designation (see below ). The best established words, the kuria, make their subject clear, but do not excite the audience's curiosity, whereas all other types of words are not established, and hence have the sort of attraction that alien or foreign things used to have. Since remote things are admirable (thaumaston) and the admirable is pleasant, Aristotle says, one should make the speech admirable and pleasant by the use of such unfamiliar words. However one has to be careful not to use inappropriately dignified or poetic words in prosespeech. Thus the virtue of style is accomplished by the selection andbalanced use of these various types of words: Fundamental for prose speech is the use of usual and therefore clear words. In order to make the speech pleasant and dignified and in order to avoid banalitythe orator must make moderate use of non-familiar elements. Metaphor plays an important role for prose style, since metaphors contribute, as Aristotle says, clarity as well as the unfamiliar, surprising effect that avoids banality and tediousness.
Aristotle rejects this approach for several reasons, including mostnotably that he thinks that certain non-essential features satisfy thedefinition. Thus, beyond the categorical and logical features(everyone is such as to be either identical or not identical with thenumber nine), Aristotle recognizes a category of properties which hecalls idia (Cat. 3a21, 4a10; Top. 102a18–30,134a5–135b6), now usually known by their Medieval Latin renderingpropria. Propria are non-essential properties which flowfrom the essence of a kind, such that they are necessary to that kindeven without being essential. For instance, if we suppose thatbeing rational is essential to human beings, then it willfollow that every human being is capable of grammar. Being capable of grammar is not the same property as being rational,though it follows from it. Aristotle assumes his readers willappreciate that being rational asymmetrically explainsbeing capable of grammar, even though, necessarily, somethingis rational if and only if it is also capable of grammar. Thus,because it is explanatorily prior, being rational has a betterclaim to being the essence of human beings than does being capableof grammar. Consequently, Aristotle’sessentialism is more fine-grained than mere modal essentialism. Aristotelian essentialism holds: