Quintillian's Enthymeme: Logic and Emotions in Institutio Oratoria, Book V

McNamara, Charles Joseph

The enthymeme has been a central component of rhetorical proof from early Greek philosophy to modern rhetorical theory. In this conference presentation, I examine how Cicero and Quintilian, two canonical sources of rhetorical thought from Roman antiquity, conceive of this critical term. I show first that Cicero understood this foundational component of ancient rhetorical theory as a component of rational Stoic logic, and second that according to Quintilian, an enthymeme, even if it is defined in strictly rational terms, nevertheless incorporates ethical and emotional components that are unavoidable in the field of rhetorical persuasion. Or in the terms of Aristotelian rhetoric, Cicero's enthymeme incorporates only logos, only the logical component of proof. Quintilian's, however, incorporates all three elements: logos, ethos, and pathos.


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Asociación Argentina de Retórica
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March 14, 2014