Rhetoric and Philosophy in Conflict: An Historical Survey by J.C. IJsseling

By J.C. IJsseling

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The dimension of time is of course extremely important here since there are no permanent criteria to decide whether a word or speech is simply true or false. What is more, in most cases, there is not even an immediate criterion to decide whether a word opens or closes, for ultimately only time can tell. Whether such a solution is entirely satisfactory or not remains an open question. It is clear however that Heidegger has taken a strictly non-Platonic and completely non-metaphysical view. Perhaps even this position is the only real non-metaphysical one, and all the others presuppose in one way or another an implicit metaphysics.

III, 16,61). Cicero considered the distinction absurd on account of the inseparable unity between "res" and "verba", content and form, thinking and speaking. , I, 11,47). According to Cicero this dialogue is ultimately a matter of a dispute in which Plato clearly gains the victory, because through the force of his words he succeeded in forcing upon others his own conception of philosophy and the way to consider the relation between philosophy and rhetoric. This remark is often interpreted as a typical Ciceronian platitude, and yet it is more than that.

Throughout history stylistics remains a prominent part of rhetoric. Aristotle envisages a three-fold objective of speech: docere, instruction; movere, inciting to something;placere, providing pleasure. THE HISTORY AND SYSTEM OF GREEK RHETORIC 31 Docere is the matter about which a proper exposition is given (narratio), supplying the reading or listening public with the necessary information regarding the true state of affairs. It is the informative aspect of speech. P/acere consists in providing the audience with a certain pleasure as they listen or read, thus arresting their attention, as happens in the case of an attractive style or well-constructed speech.

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