“Natura-Doctrina-Usus” and Definition of Rhetoric in the Middle Ages According to Object, Purpose and Method Cover Image
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„Natura-doctrina-usus“ и дефинирането на реториката през западното Средновековие според обект, цел и метод
“Natura-Doctrina-Usus” and Definition of Rhetoric in the Middle Ages According to Object, Purpose and Method

Author(s): Georgi Petkov
Subject(s): Aesthetics, Ancient Philosphy, Philosophy of Middle Ages
Published by: Издателство »Изток-Запад«
Keywords: medieval rhetoric; object; method; officio; praecepta; natura; doctrina; usus; ars dictaminis; Boethius; Aristotle; Cicero; Bene da Firenze.

Summary/Abstract: Since the object of rhetoric is undefined („Rhetoric may be defined as faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion“), it can be defined, not by object, but according to the purpose and method. This is what Cicero and Aristotle do and they are the major generators of methodological development of medieval rhetoric. However, there is a significant difference between them.On the one hand Aristotle develops the theory of enthymeme as a rhetorical method (used as specific kind of syllogism) while on the other hand Cicero considers the five canons of rhetoric‘‘ (inventio, dispositio, eloqutio, memoria, actio) as a method (used as stylistic and composition technique). These two perspectives of the method (officio) – i.e. the rules of art (praecepta), mark a split of the rhetoric, which is specific for the Medieval Ages. On the one hand they are detectable in ‚divisio philosophiae’ and on the other hand they can be found in new genres like ‚ars dictaminis‘. In this way rhetoric is: 1) Practical faculty (potentia) of the rational soul vs. practical faculty (dynamis) and professional skills; 2) The art of argument and part of logic, which is relevant to ethics vs. the art of ornament, which is stylistic and composition technique for the compilation of sermons and letters.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 20
  • Page Range: 43-72
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: Bulgarian, Latin