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Rhetoric, Aristotle’s: Logos

This entry focuses on Aristotle’s conception of logos, which, as one of three artistic proofs, provides a basis for reasoning and argument. As a critical method, neo-Aristotelianism was the first formal method of rhetorical criticism developed in the early 20th century. This entry addresses the concepts of argument, reasoning, logos, and the rhetorical syllogism or enthymeme.

During the Greek classical era, a division arose between Plato’s more philosophical approach and the more pragmatic approach of the Sophists to the practice of argumentation and rhetoric. Aristotle’s teacher, Plato, believed in a monolithic, universal truth whereas the Sophists, itinerant teachers who would, for a fee, provide instruction in argumentation to help citizens win their respective court cases, believed in relative truth. Plato held a certain contempt for the ...

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