Cover image for The Enthymeme: Syllogism, Reasoning, and Narrative in Ancient Greek Rhetoric By James Fredal

The Enthymeme

Syllogism, Reasoning, and Narrative in Ancient Greek Rhetoric

James Fredal

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$89.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08613-2

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226 pages
6" × 9"
2020

The Enthymeme

Syllogism, Reasoning, and Narrative in Ancient Greek Rhetoric

James Fredal

“James Fredal challenges traditional Aristotelian interpretations of the enthymeme as an abstract theoretical concept by examining ‘enthymizing’ as a situational activity occurring within rhetorical narratives of Greek oratory. A provocative and insightful study that compels readers to reconsider long-accepted notions of Hellenic rhetorical theory.”

 

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  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Subjects
Central to rhetorical theory, the enthymeme is most often defined as a truncated syllogism. Suppressing a premise that the audience already knows, this rhetorical device relies on the audience to fill in the missing information, thereby making the argument more persuasive. James Fredal argues that this view of the enthymeme is wrong. Presenting a new exegesis of Aristotle and classic texts of Attic oratory, Fredal shows that the standard reading of Aristotle’s enthymeme is inaccurate—and that Aristotle himself distorts what enthymemes are and how they work.

From close analysis of the Rhetoric, Topics, and Analytics, Fredal finds that Aristotle’s enthymeme is, in fact, not syllogistic and is different from the enthymeme as it was used by Attic orators such as Lysias and Isaeus. Fredal argues that the enthymeme, as it was originally understood and used, is a technique of storytelling, primarily forensic storytelling, aimed at eliciting from the audience an inference about a narrative. According to Fredal, narrative rather than formal logic is the seedbed of the enthymeme and of rhetoric more broadly.

The Enthymeme reassesses a fundamental doctrine of rhetorical instruction, clarifies the viewpoints of the tradition, and presents a new form of rhetoric for further study and use. This groundbreaking book will be welcomed by scholars and students of classical rhetoric, the history of rhetoric, and rhetorical theory as well as communications studies, classical studies, and classical philosophy.

“James Fredal challenges traditional Aristotelian interpretations of the enthymeme as an abstract theoretical concept by examining ‘enthymizing’ as a situational activity occurring within rhetorical narratives of Greek oratory. A provocative and insightful study that compels readers to reconsider long-accepted notions of Hellenic rhetorical theory.”
“Fredal’s interdisciplinary approach is impressive, demonstrating currency in fields such as classical rhetoric, formal logic, and legal theory; his treatment of Aristotle—his argument that terms such as syllogism have a general sense rather than the technical sense they acquired later—resonates with contemporary philology.”

James Fredal is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He is the author of Rhetorical Action in Ancient Athens: Persuasive Artistry from Solon to Demosthenes.

Introduction

Part One 3.0

1. Enthymeme 3.0: The Truncated Syllogism

2. 3.0 and Its Problems

Part Two 2.0

3. Aristotle, Sullogismos, and 2.0

4. 2.0 and Its Problems

Part Three 1.0

5. Enthymizing in the Orators

6. Oratorical Enthymizing in Context

7. Enthymizing and Adversarial Narratives

Part Four Lysias and the Enthymeme

8. Enthymizing in Lysias 1, On the Death of Eratosthenes

9. A Many-Layered Tale

Conclusion

Notes

References

Index