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Rhetoric and Poetics (With Active Table of Contents)

Rhetoric and Poetics (With Active Table of Contents) [Kindle Edition]

Aristotle , W. Rhys Roberts , S. H. Butcher
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Aristotle's Poetics is the earliest-surviving work of dramatic theory and the first extant philosophical treatise to focus on literary theory. In it, Aristotle offers an account of what he calls "poetry" (a term which in Greek literally means "making" and in this context includes drama—comedy, tragedy, and the satyr play—as well as lyric poetry, epic poetry, and the dithyramb). He examines its "first principles" and identifies its genres and basic elements. His analysis of tragedy constitutes the core of the discussion. "Although Aristotle's Poetics is universally acknowledged in the Western critical tradition," Marvin Carlson explains, "almost every detail about his seminal work has aroused divergent opinions."
The work was lost to the Western world and often misrepresented for a long time. It was available through the Middle Ages and early Renaissance only through a Latin translation of an Arabic version written by Averroes.

The study of rhetoric was contested in classical Greece: on the one side were the Sophists, and on the other side were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The trio saw rhetoric and poetry as tools that were too often used to manipulate others by manipulating emotion and omitting facts. They particularly accused the sophists, including Gorgias and Isocrates, of this manipulation. Plato, particularly, laid the blame for the arrest and the death of Socrates at the feet of sophistical rhetoric. In stark contrast to the emotional rhetoric and poetry of the sophists was a rhetoric grounded in philosophy and the pursuit of enlightenment. One of the most important contributions of Aristotle's approach was that he identified rhetoric as one of the three key elements--along with logic and dialectic--of philosophy. Indeed, the first line of the Rhetoric is "Rhetoric is the counterpoint of dialectic." According to Aristotle, logic is concerned with reasoning to reach scientific certainty while dialectic and rhetoric are concerned with probability and, thus, are the branches of philosophy that are best suited to human affairs. Dialectic is a tool for philosophical debate; it is a means for skilled audiences to test probable knowledge in order to learn. Conversely, rhetoric is a tool for practical debate; it is a means for persuading a general audience using probable knowledge to resolve practical issues. Dialectic and rhetoric create a partnership for a system of persuasion based on knowledge instead of upon manipulation and omission.

Most English readers in the 20th century relied on four translations of the Rhetoric. The first, by Richard C. Jebb, was published in 1909. The next two translations were published in 1924. John H. Freese's translation was published as a part of the Loeb Classical Library while W. Rhys Roberts' was published as a part of the Oxford University series of works in the Classics. Roberts' translation was edited and republished in 1954. The 1954 edition is widely considered the most readable of these translations and is widely available online. The fourth standard translation, by Lane Cooper, came out in 1932.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 371 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GR12G8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #408,298 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the truly great books? 3 Nov 2011
By opus
What a pity the second book of The Poetics has not survived. In reading the first, however I remember learning some of its basics - for example, that plots have beginnings, middles and ends, at school - I just did not know where the ideas came from.

The three books of The Rhetoric are even better especially (from my point of view as a court lawyer) with Aristotle's advice as to representation in court.

This Barnes and Noble edition is very helpful in that it has a useful introduction and copious notes. Nice to handle too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Edition and a Fine Translation 5 Jun 2012
By A. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First, this edition is helpful for those who like to see the "big picture" toward the beginning of study. There is a well written and insightful introduction as well as a one paragraph summary of each chapter. Very nice.

I picked this translation after thumbing through three or four alternatives at a used bookstore. This seemed readable, yet not dumbed down. A great find.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better understanding of emotions 12 April 2013
By Fred Smith - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading the articles on how to game plan to deliver a speech or debate by taking account of audience and their emotions. I have used it at work for speaking in front of colleagues. It makes me a better person- conversing with family and neighbors.
5.0 out of 5 stars reasonably readable 6 Mar 2014
By Bradley W. Bleck - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Aristotle, depending upon the translation, can be quite the slog. This isn't something most would read for pleasure. I chose it over the Lawson-Tancred translation because it's a bit more of an accessible translation and it has plenty of introductory materials and over views to help students make sense of the prose.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 2 Oct 2013
By Sarah - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my class on rhetorical criticism. I really love Aristotle...great book!! Aristotle was a smart man!
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic. 10 Aug 2013
By Mary L. Herring - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're into the English language, debate, or just being persuasive, you really should start with this book. It's a little thick for reading material - definitely not a beach book. But it's filled with tried and true aphorisms and directions to becoming a better speaker and writer. Go, Aristotle!
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