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Aristotle's "Rhetoric"
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In this contribution to philosophy and rhetoric, Eugene Garver shows how Aristotle integrates logic and virtue in his treatise, the "Rhetoric". Garver argues that Aristotle raises and answers a central question: can there be a civic art of rhetoric, an art that forms the character of citizens? By demonstrating the importance of the "Rhetoric" for understanding current philosophical problems of practical reason, virtue and character, Garver treats the "Rhetoric" as philosophy and connects its themes with parallel problems in Aristotle's "Ethics" and "Politics". Garver explores how Aristotle, instead of looking at the motives of rhetoricians or the effects of rhetorical practices, addresses the very activity of rhetoric and subjects it to rigorous rational analysis. On Aristotle's view, such rhetorical activities as giving advice, making policy decisions and persuading others in legal matters can be understood as artful, but not deceptive, activities in which the rhetorician brings to bear character, emotion and reason.
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Garver (McNeely Chair in Thinking, St. John's Univ.) aims to show how Aristotle's Rhetoric has pertinence for the contemporary world. According to Garver, rhetoric-conceived of as the attempt to persuade in matters of civic concern-is a highly ethical activity in which the rhetorician gains agreement not through deception but as the result of character, emotion, and practical reason. This is a highly learned study, fully conversant with the Aristotelian corpus. Nevertheless, Garver fails to show that his extrapolation of Artistotle's thinking has contemporary application: his discussion throughout is highly abstract, using the language and concepts of ancient Greece and failing to translate into today's idiom and concerns. This study will be of use only to those with a specialist's knowledge of Aristotle and Greek philosophy; hence, only pertinent academic collections need consider it.-Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Mgt. Lib., Washington, D.C.

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