Download Exhortations to Philosophy: The Protreptics of Plato, by James Henderson Collins II PDF

By James Henderson Collins II

This ebook is a research of the literary concepts which the 1st specialist philosophers used to marketplace their respective disciplines. Philosophers of fourth-century BCE Athens built the rising style of the "protreptic" (literally, "turning" or "converting"). easily positioned, protreptic discourse makes use of a rhetoric of conversion that urges a teenager to undertake a particular philosophy with a view to dwell a superb lifestyles. the writer argues that the fourth-century philosophers used protreptic discourses to marketplace philosophical practices and to outline and legitimize a brand new cultural establishment: the college of upper studying (the first in Western history). particularly, the publication investigates how competing educators within the fourth century produced protreptic discourses via borrowing and reworking conventional and modern "voices" within the cultural industry. They aimed to introduce and advertise their new colleges and outline the hot professionalized self-discipline of "philosophy." whereas students have commonly tested the discourses and practices of Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle in isolation from each other, this examine quite combines philosophy, narratology, style thought, and new historicism to target the discursive interplay among the 3 philosophers: each one comprises the discourse of his opponents into his protreptics. Appropriating and remodeling the discourses in their festival, those intellectuals created literary texts that brought their respective disciplines to capability scholars.

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Extra resources for Exhortations to Philosophy: The Protreptics of Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle

Example text

The misapplication of generic discourse works against the foremost objective of rhetoric—to produce conviction (πίστιν) and to bring about the “right” choice (ἕνεκα κρίσεως, 1377b). Indeed the rhetorical situation already implies the terms of an urgent choice: the subversion of that situation with another “alien” discourse that does not address the concerns of the audience at hand will very likely be ineffectual. We should note one last complicating feature of Aristotle’s theory of rhetorical genre: what I will call an “effective unity” of generic forms.

In summary, we have seen that Aristotle, Cairns, and Bakhtin agree that generic structures arise in recognizable, recurrent, real-life situations. Aristotle and Bakhtin note, however, that particular situations often require many ways of seeing the world at the same time. The rhetorician does not observe an inviolability of “orthodox” genres; he says what he must to achieve his objective under complex and uncertain circumstances. Sometimes, to achieve his overall objective, he uses one rhetorical genre, though accessory genres are also employed.

While Cairns argues for the inviolability of generic forms, Aristotle describes the transposition of phrasing (τῇ λέξει μετατιθέναι καὶ στρέφειν) that is unique to one genre into the phrasing of another, provided that this phrasing serves the rhetorical objective. Cairns describes one genre hosting and subordinating another genre. ” Aristotle, on the other hand, presents us with a model for the effective unity of genres. Different types of utterances can be deployed to attain the same end. Speech types are effectively hosted and subordinated by rhetorical objectives.

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