Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric

LCL 193: 472-473

Go To Section
Go To Section


  • αὐτοκαβδάλως: (3.7.2) “offhand,” “lightly,” “at random”; αὐτοκάβδαλος (3.14.12) is the adjective applied to the introduction of Gorgias’ encomium of the Eleans, which Aristotle considers abrupt.
  • ἀφελής: (3.9.5) “simple,” the equivalent of ἁπλοῦς or μονόκωλος as applied to the period; that is, consisting of only one κῶλον (member, clause) as opposed to the complex, which allowed more than one, but was not supposed to exceed four κῶλα.
  • βλαίσωσις: (2.23.15) retortion of a dilemma upon the proposer of it: a form of enthymeme in which, from each of two contraries, some good or evil follows, each contrary to the other.
  • γλῶττα: (3.3.2) an obsolete, foreign, or dialectal word, in any way out of the common.
  • γνώμη: (2.21.2) a moral maxim or sentiment; a general (not particular) statement relating to the conduct of life.
  • γραφικὴ λέξις: (3.12.1) “suited for writing,” “literary,” opposed to ἀγωνιστικὴ λέξις.
  • δεῖγμα: (3.14.6) “sample,” “pattern”; the prologue or proem in an epic poem or drama, so called from its giving a sample of what is to follow, thus making the hearer acquainted with the nature of the subject to be treated.
  • δεικτικὰ ἐνθυμήματα: (2.22.14) direct arguments (as opposed, e.g., to the reductio ad absurdum), the object of which is to demonstrate: they are opposed to ἐλεγκτικὰ ἐνθυμήματα, the object of which is refutation; δεῖξις (3.7.6), “method of proof.”
  • δείνωσις: (2.21.10) “exaggeration,” “intensification,” defined by Longinus as a form of αὔξησις; also “indignation,” or the arousing of this feeling. Cicero (De inv. 1.53.100) describes it as a form of speech whereby intense hatred of a person or disgust at anything is aroused.
  • διαίρεσις: (2.23.10) distribution or division into parts or heads, dealing with the different bearings of the case; in Poetics (1461a23) it is more or less equivalent to punctuation, although it includes every kind of break. διαιρεῖν τῷ λόγῳ (3.18.5) is used of


  • giving a detailed explanation, as opposed to συντόμως, one that is concise.
  • διαλεκτική: (1.1.1) dialectic is “a method that enables one to find a syllogism from plausible premises about any proposed problem, and not to contradict oneself when defending a thesis” (Top. 1.1, 100a18–24). In the Topics, Aristotle describes this as a debating technique between two speakers that was obviously practiced as an exercise in the Academy. One of the two, the answerer, chooses a thesis, the other, the questioner, then tries to refute him by offering further premises that the answerer must either accept or reject, with the aim to get the answerer to accept propositions from which the questioner can then derive the contradictory of the thesis. But of course the technique is meant to be of more general application, for example, in everyday encounters and also in philosophy (Top. 1.2, 101a25–102b4). Rhetoric is similar but not identical with dialectic in that it includes the skill of arguing for and against any given claim, but aims not just at establishing or refuting a thesis, but also at persuading an audience, for which one will need the further ability of appearing trustworthy (character) and of influencing the emotions of the hearers.
  • διάνοια: (1.13.17; 3.10.4, 5) “meaning,” “intention”; (2.26.5; 3.1.7) “thought,” contrasted with style and arrangement.
  • διαστίζειν: (3.5.6) “to punctuate.” See διαίρεσις.
  • διατριβή: (3.17.10) opportunity for dwelling on a subject (commoratio); (3.16.9) occasion for digression.
  • διῃρημένη: (3.9.7) “disjointed” (of style), in which the members or clauses of a period are marked off by a connecting particle.
  • δύναμις: (1) power, strength, of body or authority; (2) faculty, natural capacity, cleverness; (3) potentiality, as opposed to ἐνέργεια, actuality or activity.
  • ἔθος: (1.10.15, 1.11.3) “habit,” may become almost natural, making habitual states and actions feel pleasant. See also ἕξις.
  • εἶδος: (1) form, appearance; (2) particular kind, sort; (3) species, as contrasted with genus; (4) special topics.
  • εἰκός: (1.2.15) “probability,” a proposition which is true in the greater number of cases.