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Philosophy - Logic & Philosophy of Language | Ars Topica

Ars Topica

The Classical Technique of Constructing Arguments from Aristotle to Cicero

Series: Argumentation Library, Vol. 15

Rubinelli, Sara

2009, XXII, 160 p.

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  • Provides answers to much discussed issues about Cicero’s and Aristotle’s work on topoi
  • Explores on a philological/conceptual basis the relationship between Aristotle’s and Cicero’s work on topoi
  • Offers a historical perspective on topoi, with attention paid to its utility for modern argumentation theory
  • The first monograph to comprehensively focus on the treatment of topoi by both Aristotle and Cicero and to make a detailed comparison between the two authors
  • A must-read for anyone working on ancient logic and ancient argumentation theory

Ars Topica is the first full-length study of the nature and development of topoi, the conceptual ancestors of modern argument schemes, between Aristotle and Cicero.

Aristotle and Cicero configured topoi in a way that influenced the subsequent tradition. Their work on the topos-system grew out of an interest in creating a theory of argumentation which could stand between the rigour of formal logic and the emotive potential of rhetoric. This system went through a series of developments and transformations resulting from the interplay between the separate aims of gaining rhetorical effectiveness and of maintaining dialectical standards.

Ars Topica presents a comprehensive treatment of Aristotle’s and Cicero’s methods of topoi and, by exploring their relationship, it illuminates an area of ancient rhetoric and logic which has been obscured for more than two thousand years.

Through an interpretation which is philologically rooted in the historical context of topoi, the book lays the ground for evaluating the relevance of the classical approaches to modern research on arguments, and at the same time provides an introduction to Greek and Roman theory of argumentation focussed on its most important theoretical achievements.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Argument - Argumentation - Aristotle - Cicero - Ovid - formal logic - logic - nature - time

Related subjects » Linguistics - Logic & Philosophy of Language - Philosophical Traditions - Philosophy

Table of contents 

The Creation of the Method of Topoi and Its Characteristics.- Aristotle’s Topics.- Dialectical and Rhetorical Uses of Topoi.- Topoi and Loci.- Cicero’s Use of Locus in De Inventione.- Cicero’s List of Aristotelian Loci.

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