chapter  1
25 Pages

Aristotle and rhetorical invention: A legacy of interdisciplinary inquiry

Aristotle offers one of the most systematic studies of rhetorical invention, but his view emerged-and studies of his views have continued to develop-out of dynamic interactions with other perspectives on it. This chapter provides a brief historical and interdisciplinary review of rhetorical invention, focusing on the dynamic relation between discoursing and thinking, in different periods of the Western world up to the present. This effort to survey the history of rhetorical invention in relation to Aristotle’s teaching is important to the current comparative study because it helps to show that the West in general and Aristotle in particular have wrestled with issues of language-use in relation to thinking, as have the East and Confucius, despite the fact that rhetoric is analyzed as a discipline of study by Aristotle but is integrated into studies in general by Confucius. Some issues introduced here will be discussed further in other chapters, especially Chapter Three, but the purpose of this historical survey and of the studies of the Analects in the next chapter is to prepare for a discussion that is less on whether but more on how the two teachings on rhetorical invention are both similar and different.