You are on page 1of 15

Enthymemes: Body and Soul

Author(s): Arthur B. Miller and John D. Bee


Source: Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Fall, 1972), pp. 201-214
Published by: Penn State University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40236814 .
Accessed: 04/11/2014 11:53
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Penn State University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Philosophy
&Rhetoric.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Enthymemes:
BodyandSoul
Arthur
. Miller
andJohnD.Bee
To Aristotle, the enthymeme holds a position of unquestioned
prominence; it is the "substance of rhetorical persuasion,"1
"the very body of proof,"2 and "the orator's proper modes of
persuasion/*3 Although studies of the enthymeme clarify some
important points, they do not fully account for the centrality
of the enthymeme in Aristotle's treatise. Specifically, no one has
set forth Aristotle's rationale for viewing the enthymeme as the
primary engine of rhetorical proof and practical reasoning,4
that is, the means by which the orator influences the judgments
and actions of the audience. Thus, this essay develops the thesis
that the affective comportent inhrent in the enthymeme is the
essence of Aristotle's concept of the enthmeme as practical reasoning. Within the context of this thesis, "affective component"
denotes the area of feelings and motions. One may discover
support for this thesis in the etymology of "enthymeme" and
terms related to practical reasoning; from Aristotle's discussion
of human action; and, from the Rhetoric.
The first source of support for the prsence of an affective
component in the enthymeme is the etymology of the term. To
be sure, one must be careful not to make too much out of the
history of a word. But such information can be informative;
and in the case of "enthymeme," the etymology is a considrable aid in understanding what Aristotle thought its composition
and function to be. "Enthymeme" is Englished from
= en -\- thymos), the more important part of which
( iv +
is the stem, thymos.5 The basic meaning of thymos is "sol,
spirit, as th principle of life, feeling and thought, esp. of strong
feeling and passion."6 More spcifie uses of thymos by itself include "in physical sens, breath, life," and "spirit, strength."
Another major meaning is "sol, as shown by the feelings and
passions; and so, 1. desire or inclination, esp. desire for mat
2. mind, temper, will, ...
3. spirit,
and drink, appetite, ...
...
4.
of
5.
...
the
seat
the
as
the seat
heart,
anger,
courage,
of the motions, esp. joy or grief, ... 6. mind, sol, as the seat
of thought. . . ."
ArthurB. Milleris AssociateProfessorandJohnD. Bee is AssistantProfessor
on the Rhetoricand PublicAddressFacultyof the Departmentof Speech
and ThtreArts,Universityof Akron.
Philosophyand Rhetoric,Vol. 5, No. 4. Publishedby The Pennsylvania
StateUniversityPress,UniversityPark,Pa. and London.
201

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

202

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

By noting compound words involving thymos, one discovers


additional information confirming the notion that thymos involves the feelings and motions. For instance, (thymo(thymo-bares) means "heavy at heart"; boreo) means "gnaw, vex the heart"; (thymo-boros)
means "eating the heart"; -8
(thymo-dakes) means "bitthe
heart"; -^
ing
(thymo-eides) indicates "high-spirited."
In addition, (thymo-katocheo) signifies "nurse
anger"; (thymo-katochos) means "restraining anger";
( thymo-mantis ) refers to "prophesying from one's
own sol"; ( thymo-macheo ) means "to be angry";
... ( tnymo-plethes ) signifies "wrathful."
Still other examples indicate th basic affective nature of
thymos. ( thymo-sophikos ) indicates "clever," and
( thymo-sophos ) means "wise from one's own sol, i.e.
(thymo-phthoreo) means "to be
naturally clever"; tormented in sol," and (thymo-phoneo) means "to
be in the death-agony." In addition,
(thymoo) means
"make angry, provoke," and (thym-oma) dsigntes
"wrath, passion."7
Granting the foregoing, then, it is easy enough to understand that the verb involved in making enthymemes,
(enthymeomai), meant variously "lay to heart, ponder, . . .
take to heart, be concerned or angry at, . . . form a plan, . . .
infer, conclude. . . ." Thus, Aristotle's concept of enthymeme
may equate "en + thymos" with "in mind."
In retrospect, then, what does thymos reveal about the functioning of enthymemes? It reveals that enthymemes inherently
involve an affective component that oprtes from a base of
feelings and motions. It is in the light of the enthymeme's affective component that one should understand Aristotle's concept of the enthymeme as "thought, piece of reasoning, argument, . . ." that is, of the enthymeme as "in mind."8
But, for th individuai accustomed to thinking of the enthymeme primarily as rhetorical logic, the affective nature of
thymos requires further explanation. The rationale for interpreting the enthymeme as having an affective component may
be more fully understood in light of Aristotle's analysis of human
action and practical wisdom.
The main point of Aristotle's discussion of human action in the
Ethica and De Anima is that an affective component is a necessary condition for human action. In Aristotle's discussion of the

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ARTHUR MILLER AND JOHN BEE

203

soul, he points out that the two faculties related to motion are
appetite and mind:
Both of thse then are capable of originating local
movement, mind and appetite: (1) mind, that is, which
calcultes means to an end, i.e. mind practical (it differs from mind speculative in th character of its end);
while (2) appetite is in every form of it relative to an
end: for that which is the object of appetite is the
stimulant of mind practical; and that which is last in the
process of thinking is the beginning of the action. It follows that there is a justification for regarding thse two
as the sources of movement, i.e. appetite and practical
thought. . . .9
But Aristotle adds an important qualification to this point. That
is, mind may be involved in originating motion; but mind, by
itself, is never sufficient to originate action or movement. For
action to occur there must be appetite. The passage following
the one cited above makes this point quite forcefully.
That which moves therefore is a single faculty and the
faculty of appetite; for if there had been two sources of
movement- mind and appetite- they would hve produced movement in virtue of some common character.
As it is, mind is never found producing movement without appetite . . . but appetite can originate movement contrary to calculation, for desire is a form of appetite.10
There are two important points in thse passages. The first
is that Aristotle specifically excludes mind speculative from any
rle in the process of originating action, ". . . for mind as speculative never thinks what is practicable, it never says anything
about an object to be avoided or pursued, while this movement is always in something which is avoiding or pursuing an
object."11 It is mind speculative that fonctions as pure intellect;
it is mind speculative that grasps forms and universals; it is
mind speculative that is oprant in scientific dmonstration; and
it is mind speculative that perceives relationships and functions
in purely logicai activities. But it is this same faculty that is
inoprant in determining human conduct, because it never says
anything about what is to be avoided or pursued; and thus, it
is not practical.
The exclusion of mind speculative from the origination of
action indicates Aristotle's de-emphasis on what may be termed
th "logicai" basis of human conduct. Mind affects action only

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

204

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

insofar as it functions in terms of those things that are pursued


or avoided, e.g., goals, wishes or desires. More important,however, Aristotle dnies that mind alone, whether speculative or
practical,has th power to originateaction.
The second majorpoint of the preceding passages is that appetite is always necessary to originate action. Action requires
an affective state, and mind practical does not provide this
necessarycomponent.As Aristotleobserves,". . . the mind often
thinks of something terrifying or pleasant without enjoining
the motion of fear [authors*emphasis]. It is the heart [authors'
emphasis] that is moved (or in th case of a pleasant object
some other part)."12 Even when mind practical dlibrtes
there must be some object or goal that provides the object of
pursuitor avoidanceand raisesthe impulseto act.
Aristotle'sdiscussion of action in the Ethica provides further
vidence for the necessity of an affective component in human
action. The virtuous state of the practical intellect is ". . . truth
in agreement with right desire. The origin of action- its efficient, not its final cause- is choice, and that of choice is desire
and reasoningwith a view to an end."13The choices a person
makes may not always be up to the ideal. Indeed, Aristotle
is quite reserved about attributing any intellectual virtues to
the audiences. But the choices will always emanate from desire: "Hence choice is either desiderativereason or ratiocinative
desire, and such an origin of action is a man."14It is in this
context that Aristotlestressesthe affective componentin discussing mind practical as it functions in originatingaction and as
it is contrastedwith mind speculative.
Even the term Aristotle uses to denote the virtue or skill of
practical reasoning, phronesis, reflects the affective nature of
the mental oprationsinvolved in originatingaction. The word
cornesfrom the Greek stem,
(phren).The first basic meanfor
term
the
is
is "heart,as seat of the
the
second
midriff;
ing
and
"fear,"
passions,"including
"joy
grief," "anger,""courage,"
and bodily appetite in generai; the third meaning is "mind, as
seat of the mental faculties, perception, thought. . . ." From
thse usages, it is not surprisingthat Aristotlediscussesphronesis
not only as a virtue of right thinking,but as a virtue of having
the right desire as well.
What affirmationand ngation are in thinking, pursuit
and avoidance are in desire; so that since moral virtue
is a state of characterconcerned with choice, and choice

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ARTHUR MILLER AND JOHN BEE

205

is deliberate desire, therefore both th reasoning must


be true and th desire right, if the choice is to be good,
and the latter must pursue just what the former asserts.
Now this kind of intellect and of truth is practical. . . ,15
The dfinition of phronesis as practical wisdom reflects at once
reasoning and an affective component. Phronesis "must be a
reasoned and true state of capacity to act with regard to human
goods."16
The important point is that phronesis is a practical capacity,
and it is practical because of the affective component in it.
Phronesis does not aim so much at what is true or false as at
what is good or bad in the eyes of men; it is a capacity not
just to reason wisely but also to act wisely. The substance of
rhetoric concerns those things good or bad for man, specifically
those opinions the audience holds about justice, expediency,
virtue, etc. These are the materials of forensic, deliberative and
epideictic speaking, and thse constitute the substance of enthymemes, as Aristotle affirms at the outset of Book II.
We have now considered the materials to be used in
supporting or opposing a politicai measure, in pronouncing eulogies or censures, and for prosecution and dfense
in the law courts. We have considered the received
opinions on which we may best base our arguments so
as to convince our hearers- those opinions with which
our enthymemes deal, and out of which they are built,
in each of the three kinds of oratory, according to what
may be called th special needs of each.17
To summarize the foregoing discussion on the relationship of
the enthymeme's affective component to action, it is that component that relates phronesis and the enthymeme. There is, indeed, a reasoned component in mind practical, but the impulses
that originate action emanate not from that reasoned component,
but from phren and/ or thymos as the seat of the feelings and
motions. It is this emotive component that explains the essential working of the enthymeme (en -f- thymos), and it further
is this component that gives the enthymeme force as rhetorical
proof, pistis, and thus as the substance of rhetorical persuasion.
Thus far, this essay has corroborated its thesis in terms of the
enthymeme's etymology and in terms of Aristotelian conceptions in sources other than the Rhetoric. The following section
corrobortes the paper's thesis as found in the Rhetoric. Aristotle discusses the enthymeme within the context of rhetoric

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

20

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

and identifies th province of rhetoric thus:


Rhetoric is the counterpart of Dialectic. Both alike are
concerned with such things as come, more or less,
within the generai ken of ali men and belong to no
definite science. Accordingly ali men make use, more or
less, of both; for to a certain extent ali men attempt to
discuss Statements and to maintain them, to dfend
themselves and to attack others. Ordinary people do this
either at random or through practice and from acquired
habit.1 s
This opening pronouncement of Aristotle claims that rhetoric
involves matter that concerns men in generai, that it involves
their activities, and that it involves their thoughts as human beings. Discussing, maintaining, defending, and attacking by "ordinary people," not philosophers; and, particularly, being done
"at random," "through practice and from acquired habit"- all
thse speak of value judgments and practical wisdom, not logicai
dmonstration. Neither does Aristotle refer to logicai dmonstration in his dfinition of rhetoric.
Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing
in any given case the available means of persuasion. This
is not a function of any other art. . . . But rhetoric we
look upon as the power of observing the means of persuasion on almost any subject presented to us; and that
is why we say that, in its technical character, it is not concerned with any special or definite class of subjects.19
What Roberts translates as "faculty" Aristotle knew as SiW/uc
(dynamis), and one may translate it also as "strength," "might,"
"power," or "ability," among others. And, what Roberts translates
"observing" was in Aristotle's time
(theoreo), meaning
among other things, "to look at," "view," "behold," and, related
to the mind, "contemplate" or "consider." Especially, this word
is used to express viewing the public games and festivals as a
spectator. Hence, one may think of "the faculty of observing"
as the power or ability to observe, contemplate, or consider.
Clearly, such observation cannot be construed as abstract intellect, that is, as nous.
Now, as to "persuasion,"th basic Greek word involved,
(pistis), also may mean "faith" or "belief," among others, as opposed to 9
(apodeiksis), which relates to logicai dmonstration and therefore to nous. "The available means of persua-

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ARTHUR MILLER AND JOHN BEE

207

sion" would thus mean "the available means of leading hearers


to believe, trust,or have faith in th speaker'swords."
Aristotle relates rhetoric to human observation and understanding- to the world of reality; that is, to the world of contingencies and practical wisdom, not of forms. And, Aristotle's
view seems to be at least partiallyillustratedin his discussionof
the propositionthat "Rhetoricis useful."He states that when a
populr audience cannot be instructed then rhetoric spcifies
what is to be done.
Here, then, we must use, as our modes of persuasionand
argument, notions possessed by everybody, as we observed in the Topics when dealing with the way to
handle a populr audience.20
Clearly, then, Aristotle conceives of rhetoric as relating (1) to
men in generai and (2) to notions held by populr audiences
( includingtheir knowledge,feelings, and motions) .
Aristotlerelates rhetoricto modes of persuasionand modes of
persuasion to the enthymeme. Modes here means methods or
techniques.
It is clear, then, that rhetoricalstudy, in its strict sens,
is concerned with the modes of persuasion.Persuasionis
clearly a sort of dmonstration,since we are most fully
persuadedwhen we considera thing to have been demonstrated. The orator'sdmonstrationis an enthymeme,and
this is, in generai, the most effective of the modes of
persuasion.21
Some of th more perceptive comments about persuasion as
"a sort of dmonstration"are those of Edward M. Cope. In
the commentaryaccompanyinghis translationof the Rhetoric,
Cope points out that,
ttiWi[persuasion] therefore, whose prmisses and conclusions are never more than "probable,"cannot properly
be said to be "a kind of dmonstration."It resembles it
however, and may be regarded as a "sort of dmonstration" in this; that probable proof often produces a belief
or conviction as strong and certain as that which follows
from dmonstration.22
Clearly, the implication of Cope's statement is that the enthymeme is the means of using probable proof to produce belief
or convictionwith the force of logicai dmonstration.
If, then, persuasion is a sort of dmonstration,and if the

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

208

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

orator'sdmonstrationis th enthymeme;then, it must also be


trae that th enthymeme relates directly to persuasion, and
thus to the modes of persuasion. In the following passage,
Aristotlenames those modes furnishedby th spoken word.
Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken
word there are three kinds. The first kind dpends on the
personal characterof the speaker;the second on putting
the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on
the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of
the speech itself. Persuasionis achieved by the speaker's
personal character when the speech is so spoken as to
make us think him crdible. We believe good men more
fully and more readily than others: this is trae generally
whateverthe question is, and absolutelytrue where exact
certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. . . .
Secondly,persuasionmay cornethroughthe hearers,when
the speech stirs their motions.Our judgementswhen we
are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we
are pained and hostile. . . . Thirdly,persuasionis effected
throughthe speech itself when we hve proved a truth or
an apparenttruth by means of the persuasive arguments
suitable to the case in question.23
The following section explicates the nature of the relationship between the enthymeme and the modes of persuasion.
First of ail, regarding persuasion achieved by the speaker's
characteras revealed in the words of his speech(ethos)it seems clear enough that value judgments ("We believe good
men . . .") are linked inextricablyto motions or feelings. Since
ethos does involve motions and feelings, and since thymos, the
root of enthymeme, also involves feelings and motions, ethos
and the enthymeme are broadly related. The following segment
of the Rhetoric provides a basis for specifying the relationship
between ethos and the enthymeme.
There are three things which inspire confidencein the
orator'sown character- the three, namely, that induce us
to believe a thing apart from any proof of it: good sens,
good moral character, and goodwill. False Statements
and bad advice are due to one or more of the following
three causes. Men either form a false opinion through
want of good sens; or they form a true opinion, but because of their moral badness do not say what they really
think; or finally, they are both sensible and upright, but
not well disposed to their hearers, and may fail in consquence to recommendwhat they know to be the best

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ARTHUR MILLER AND JOHN BEE

209

course. . . . The way to make ourselves thought to be


sensible and morally good must be gathered from th
analysis of goodness already given: the way to establish
your own goodness is the same as the way to establish
that of others. Good will and friendliness of disposition
will form part of our discussionof the motions,to which
we must now turn.24
At this point, etymology helps clarify the meaning of the
"threethings"that, apart from any proof (apodeiksis)- that is,
- inspire confidence of hearers in the
any logicai dmonstration
character of the speaker. Those three things are: good sens,
(phronesis); virtue,

(arte); and goodwill, evvoia

(eunoia).

As has been pointed out, phronesis refers not to intellect


(nous) but to practical wisdom, hence: good sens, common
sens, or prudence. Since phronesis lies outside the realm of
abstract intellect, it must concern itself with the non-abstract
world- the world of empiricalknowledge gained and/or understood either directly or indirectly. Thus, since phronesis refers
to "practicalwisdom,"and enthymemarefers to "a thought"or
"piece of reasoning,"one can hardly escape the conclusion that
the two concepts are related. But, perhaps a more significant
proof is that thymos, with its relationto the heart and passions,
is often joined with
(phren).25
Granted, then, that thymos and phren are kindred spirits;
that the enthymeme is the substance of rhetorical persuasion;
that rhetoric concerns matter within the range of interest and
understandingof ail men and the notions held by everybody;
then, it would seem to follow that the enthymeme concerns
"goodsens,"commonsens or prudence.
In addition, the speaker may establish his character with
hearers by speaking so as to reveal his virtue: good moral
character (arte). As might be expected, Aristotle discusses
virtue within the context of speeches of praise or blme, that
is, epideictic oratory. Such speaking inherently involves judgment as opposed to logicai dmonstration,and the following
segment of the Rhetoricis illustrative.
Virtue is, according to th usuai view, a faculty of providing and preservinggood things; or a faculty of conferring many great benefits, and benefits of ail kinds on ail
occasions. The forms of Virtue are justice, courage, temprance,magnificence,magnanimity,liberality,gentleness,
prudence,wisdom.26

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

210

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

Every one of the forms of virtue mentioned in the foregoing


is judgmental and prsumes knowledge as the antcdent of
judgment. Aristotle maintains that a speaker who reveals himself to possess some or ail of the forms of virtue leads his
hearers- because of their feelings and motions for those virtues
- to believe that the speaker is a virtuous man.
Of particular interest is the relation of prudence (phronesis)
to virtue, since phronesis already has been linked to the enthymeme. Thus, virtue also is related to the enthymeme and that
relationship reinforces the notion that the enthymeme is a
matter of heart and feeling, not intellect and dmonstration.
Now, when Aristotle discusses the third of the "things which
inspire confidence in th orator's own character," goodwill
(eunoia), he places that discussion squarely within the context
of the motions,
(pathos). "Goodwill and friendliness of
disposition will form part of our discussion of the motions, to
which we must now turn/'27
In Book II, Ch. 4 of the Rhetoric, Aristotle's opening remarks
reflect something of the nature of his view of goodwill as related to ethos.
Let us now turn to Friendship and Enmity, and ask
towards whom thse feelings are entertained, and why.
We will begin by defining friendship and friendly feeling.
We may describe friendly feeling towards any one as
wishing for him what you believe to be good things, not
for your own sake but for his, and being inclined, so far
as you can, to bring thse things about. A friend is one
who feels thus and excites thse feelings in return: those
who think they feel thus towards each other think themselves friends. This being assumed, it follows that your
friend is the sort of man who shares your pleasure in what
is good and your pain in what is unpleasant, for your
sake and for no other reason. This pleasure and pain of
his will be the token of his good wishes for you, since
we ail feel glad at getting what we wish for, and pained
at getting what we do not.28
In the foregoing segment th Greek word for friendship,
(philein), is used eight times and may be interpreted variously,29
for example, as "to love." The discussion of feelings of friendship
and enmity, of pleasure and pain, and good wishes, helps to
explicate what friendship is, what is the concept of goodwill
and therefore to provide further explication of the concept of
ethos.

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ARTHUR MILLER AND JOHN BEE

211

Since goodwill is inherently related to motions (pathos), and


since goodwill also relates inherently to character (ethos), goodwill not only provides a link between pathos and ethos, but it
also further substantiates the claim that ethos is inherently affective. The concept of goodwill is therefore consistent with
th basic etymology of enthymeme (thymos).
To summarize the discussion of the relation between ethos
and the enthymeme: First, the requirement of good sense
(phronesis) relates through tkymos and phren to the enthymeme;
second, the requirement of virtue, or good moral character, relates to the enthymeme through the heart and feelings; and third,
goodwill, through its relationship to pathos (motions), relates
to the enthymeme through its root, thymos, which may be regarded as the seat of the feelings and motions.
Granting that the enthymeme relates directly to persuasion
and, therefore, to the modes of persuasion, it necessarily follows
that the enthymeme relates also to pathos. Saying this, however,
only prsents one dimension of pathos.
As previously observed, Aristotle states that "persuasion may
come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their motions."
Aristotle's emphasis on persuasion in retetion to hearers permeates every sinew of th body of the Rhetoric and helps to explicate the relationship between pathos and persuasion and thus
between pathos and the enthymeme as the "substance of rhetorical persuasion."
One wonders whether Aristotle were punning in designating
soma (body) of persuasion, because
enthymemes as the
it is in one's body, in and around the heart- and separated
from the viscral cavity by the phren- that thymos is found.
The most important corrlation is that thymos is at once the
stem of enthymeme and an instance of pathos. Thus, pathos
correlates directly with enthymemes. A confirming corrlation
is that
(epithymia), desire- with its stem being thymos
- is also in the Aristotelian System of classification an instance
of pathos.30 Clearly, pathos and enthymemes share the same
body.
In retrospect, it seems clear enough that the inhrent involvement of ethos and pathos with enthymemes would be sufficient
to limit enthymematic conclusions to the realms of exprience
(actual or vicarious), to knowledge, and to the feelings and
motions. And, the same reasoning that relates ethos and pathos
'
to enthymemes also relates "the words of the speech itself to

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

212

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

th enthymeme.31 By the third mode of persuasion, Aristotle


means reasoning, both by enthymeme and example. However,
it is only the enthymemethat is of interest hre. Aristotlemakes
the relation between the enthymeme and reasoning clear by
specifying that, "The enthymeme is a sort of syllogism. . . ,"32
And, he dsigntes that "sort of syllogism"as a rhetorical syllogism, distinct from both the demonstrativesyllogism of logic
and science, and the dialecticalsyllogism.
A brief look at the relationship of reasoning to the enthymeme should strengthenfurther the notion that the context of
the functioning of the affective component of the enthymeme
is nonlogical. The contingent nature of the subject matter with
which rhetorical syllogisms deal is clear from the relation of
enthymemesto rhetoric.
Dialectic does not construct its syllogisms out of any
haphazardmaterials,such as the fancies of crazy people,
but out of materialsthat cali for discussion;and rhetoric,
too, draws upon the regulr subjects of debate.33
What is discussed or debated? Certainly,it is not individuai
enthymemesor rhetoricalinductions,but ratherthe broad questions of expediency or harmfulness;of praise or blme; and of
justice or injustice. Thus, since thse broad matters require the
judgment of hearers, thse matters are inherently contingent
upon such judgment.
How, then, does one square the foregoing with Aristotle's
statement that some enthymemes are based on "necessary"
propositions?Aristotle states that the only "necessary"propositions involve argument from infallible sign, and he provides
two examples:
1. "'The fact that he has fever is a sign that he is ili/ or,
2. 'The fact that she is giving milk is a sign that she has lately
borne a child/"34
These paradigms of argument from infallible sign reveal that
such argumentsare argumentsfrom effect-to-causeand are therefore subject to empirical vrification,not to th powers of abstract intellect. The question hre is not over formai validity of
the reasoningprocess,but with the materialtruth of the propositions and with their verifiability.
The first major point hre is that the hearers would hve
knowledge of the facts of the case. The second point, equally
important,is that the context of any argument from infallible
sign is always involved with the judgment of hearers,including

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ARTHUR MILLER AND JOHN BEE

21,5

implicitlythe feelings and motions.In short, an argumentfrom


infallible sign is necessarilyrhetorical,not scientific, and eflFects
pistis not apodetksis.
To conclude, this essay has developed its thesis in three corroboratingdivisions. First, the affective component of the enthymeme as denoting th area of feelings and motions is inhrent in the etymology of the enthymeme.Second, the affective
componentof the enthymemeis implicit in the relationshipbetween practical wisdom, action, and the enthymeme, as evidenced in extra-rhetoricalAristoteliansources. Finally, the affective component of the enthymeme is inhrent in the relationship between rhetoric and the enthymeme as evidenced in
the Rhetoric.
NOTES
1 Aristotle, Rhetonc, trans. W. Rhys Roberts and Poetics, trans.
Ingram
Bywater, with introduction by Friedrich Solmsen (New York: Random
House, Inc., 1954), 1354al5. Unless otherwise noted, the rfrences to the
Rhetoric will be to Roberts.
2 Aristotle, Treatise on Rhetonc with an analysis by John Hobbes, and
The Poetic of Aristotle, trans. Theodore Buckley (London: Henry G. Bohn,
1853), p. 3.
3 Rhetonc, 1354b21-22.
4 James H. McBurney provides a clear exposition of the
enthymeme as
practical reasoning in his essay "The Place of the Enthymeme in Rhetorical
Theory," Speech Monographs,III (Sept., 1936), 49-74. He does not, however, explicate the affective basis of the enthymeme as practical reasoning.
Jesse G. Delia relates the functioning of the enthymeme to contemporary
cognitive theory in his study, "The Logic Fallacy, Cognitive Theory, and
the Enthymeme: A Search for the Foundations of Reasoned Discourse/'
QuarterlyJournal of Speech, LVI (April, 1970), 140-148. But, he does not
provide the Aristotelian argument or explanation that is available in Aristotle's works on the soul and ethics. Lloyd F. Bitzer clarifies the distinctions
between the enthymeme and th dialectical or scientific syllogism in his
study, "Aristotle's Enthymeme Revisited," Quarterly Journal of Speech,
XLV (Dec, 1959), 399-408. However, Bitzer's emphasis on the participatory nature of the enthymeme fails to account for the Substantive,psychological diffrences in the functioning of thse diffrent forms of reasoning.
There is no clear Statementin thse or other essays, of the affective basis
of the enthymeme as practical reasoning.
5 From
(thyo) "rage, seethe." Unless otherwise indicated, all rfrences to Greek are from Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A
Greek'English Lexicon, Ninth Edition, rev. and aug. by Henry Stuart Jones
with Roderick McKenzie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940).
6 In contrast to thymos,
- res (nous)- also translated as "rnind"
fers to "a thought>purpose, rsolve, ... the sense or meaning of a word or
expression."
7 The meaning of the term ihymos is essentially the same from the
Homeric period down to New Testament times. See, Richard John Cunliffe,

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

214

ENTHYMEMES: BODY AND SOUL

A Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect (London: Blaclde and Son Limited,


1924), and Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament Being Grimm's Wlke's Cfats Novi Testamenti, trans., rev. and
enlarged (New York; American Book Company, 1889, Harper & Brothers).
8 For an informative discussion of the contrasting terms for mind in
the Homeric period, see Bruno Snell, The Discovery of the Mind: The
Greek Orgins of European Thought, trans. T. G. Rosenmeyer (New York:
Harper& Row, Publishers,Inc., HarvardUniversity Press, 1953, pp. 1-22.
9 Aristotle, De Anima, trans. J. A. Smith, in The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. with an Introduction by Richard McKeon (New York: Random
House, Inc., 1941), 433al3-19.
io De Anima. 433a22-24.
il De Anima, 432b27-29.
12 De Anima, 432b32-433al.
13 Aristotle, Ethica Nichomachea, trans. W. D. Ross, in The Basic
Works of Aristotle, ed. with an Introduction by Richard McKeon (New
York: Random House, Inc., 1941), 1139a31-33.
14 Ethica Nichomachea, 1139b4.
15 Ethica Nichomachea, 1139a21-27.
16 Ethica Nichomachea, 1140b20-21.
17 Rhetoric, 1377bl5-21.
18 Rhetoric, 1354al-7.
Rhetoric, 1355b26-36.
20 Rhetoric, 1355a27-29.
2i Rhetoric, 1355a3-8.
22 Edward Meredith Cope, The Rhetoric of Aristotlewith a Commentary,
rev. and ed. John Edwin Sandys (Cambridge, England: University Press,
1877), 1, 19.
23 Rhetoric, 1356al-21.
24 Rhetoric, 1378a7-19.
26 See in A Lexicon Abridged from LiddeU and Scott's GreekEnglish Lexicon, the Seventeenth Edition, Prepared by James M. Whiton
(Boston: Ginn & Company, 1890, 1878, Harper & Brothers).
20 Rhetoric, 1366a36-1366b2.
27 Rhetoric, 1378al8-19.
28 Rhetoric, 1380b33-1381a8.
29 See translatons note, Rhetoric, p. 100.
30 See E. M. Cope, An Introduction to Aristotles Rhetoric (London:
Macmillan and Co., 1867), pp. 231-233.
3i "Words of the speech itself should not be confused with logos. See
Friedrich Solmsen, "Aristotle and Cicero on the Orator'sPlaying upon the
Feelings," 33 Classical Philology, 393.
32 Rhetoric, 1355a8.
33 Rhetoric, 1356b35-1357al.
34 Rhetoric, 1357bl4-16.

This content downloaded from 128.173.127.127 on Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions