Metarhetoric of Aristotle

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0Murphy, James J. “The Metarhetoric of Aristotle, with Some Examples from His ‘On Memory and Recollection.'” Rhetoric Review 21.3 (2002): 213-28. Web. March 10, 2012.

“the Rhetoric can only be understoodin light of Aristotle’s general theory of human action-that is, the set of prior knowledges necessary to comprehend an analysis of a particular human action” (Murphy 213)

“Metarhetoric investigates what a rhetorician needs to know in order to begin to be a rhetoric. … metarhetoric is not a rhetoric itself but rather a congeries of knowledges and skills prior to that rhetoric” (Murphy 214).

“It is the humanity of speaker and audience,not any principles of argument,that Aristotle perceives inherent in the rhetorical situation” (Murphy 215).

“Aristotle sees rhetoric as a necessary form of human knowledge-sharing” (Murphy 215).

Greek writing ancient pottery by Tkoletsis“His treatment of the role of memory in the audience reception of enthymemes-for example, the reasoning must not be too long (1395b24)-could well encourage the reader to look into On Memory and Recollection; in fact, since metaphor is based on comparison of the new to the known, it too depends on a principle of memory of the known” (Murphy 217).

“Habit, or the tendency to act in a certain manner, derives from memory in that unrecollected choices create a potential motion of the soul in advance of recollection” (Murphy 218).

“recollection succeeds as a chain-seeking exercise; therefore, finding any point on the chain can lead to the desired point. That is why mnemonic topoi (452a14) are useful as startin gpoints; since the human intellect is capable of identifying classes of perceptions retained in the memory, the identification of a single topos can unlock a whole category of retained perceptions” (Murphy 219).

“Aristotle sees the rhetorical enthymeme as a cooperative syllogism requiring activity by both speaker and hearer” (219).

“The speaker offers, through language, a set of symbols designed to initiate-not to complete-a line of argument. At some point, ideally of the speaker’s choosing, the audience member self-identifies the point of the argument based on his own synaptic rush of memory that enables him to grasp the entire argument” (Murphy 219).
Can this be used to discuss cosplay? Except not in language but performance/action/image?

“the recollection chain must be as short as possible” (Murphy 220)

“Aristotle sets out two conditions for success: First, the speaker must know what is accepted by his audience, and he “must know some, if not all, the facts about the subject.”The first is a matter of observation.The second, however,is subject to recollection” (220).

“By a period I mean a portion of speech that has in itself a beginning and an end, being at the same time not too big to be taken in at a glance” (Aristotle, chapter nine of Book Three of the Rhetoric, qtd in Murphy 221).

steampunk_word_processor_icon_microsoft_word_typewriter by_yereverluvinuncleber“memory depends on sharp,clear presentations; a thing perceived fuzzily can only be remembered the same way” (Murphy 222)
Says they need to be lively and unfamiliar… I wonder if steampunk cosplay meets this. I know it is not language per se, but it is rhetorical.

“the indispensable criterion for the successful rhetorical enthymeme is that the hearer must supply part of the “reasoning” process. From whence can that come except from unrecollected memory? (If it is consciously recollected, the Discovery fails.)” (Murphy 222).

“The unrecollected memory of past appetites, in this case the habit of being angry, becomes a tool for the speaker to manipulate” (Murphy 223).

“Later the Romans were to make the synthetic judgment about the role of habit in rhetoric, making it the keystone of their educational program” (Murphy 223).

“underlying language is his understanding of “movement”-the change from potentiality to actuality-in human souls” (224)

“I would reply that no one can understand how rhetorical it [the Rhetoric] really is until it is understood completely as part of a complex effort by Aristotle to describe the whole universe and the human beings in it” (Murphy 224).


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