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According to Aristotle, an enthymeme is a rhetorical syllogism. What is rhetoric? What is a syllogism?

(You may ask) According to scholar Thomas Gage, students may naturally use enthymemes to develop written arguments. He states, The structures of whole arguments can be seen to derive from a single enthymeme, one which produces both the essential logic of an argument as well as its essential structure
Figure 1: Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle

Enthymemes have two properties: 1. They have clearly general logic 2. They need not to say anything more than that which is needed to persuade Therefore, true enthymemes require easily persuasive evidence and topical clarity. If we anticipate the role of an active audience, enthymemes must also be aware of probable arguments for and against these two properties. A B A C Syllogism: A: All men are mortal. [major premise] B: Socrates is a man. [minor premise] C: Socrates is mortal. [conclusion]

A All men are mortal

B Socrates is a man

A All men are mortal

C Socrates is mortal

C B A Thesis: Socrates is mortal [C] because he is a man [B] and all men are mortal [A]. Question: Do we agree with this? Why or why not?

My Papas Waltz
Enthymeme: A: All fathers who drink whiskey physically abuse their children. B: The father in Roethkes poem drank whiskey. C: The father in Roethkes poem physically abused his child. A All fathers who drink whiskey physically abuse their children. A All fathers who drink whiskey physically abuse their children. B The father in Roethkes poem drank whiskey.

C The father in Roethkes poem physically abused his child.

C B A 2

Conclusion [C]

Verb

Minor Premise [B]

Conjunction

Major Premise [A]

The father in My Papas Waltz physically abused his child

because

the father in Roethkes poem drank whiskey

and

all fathers who drink whiskey physically abuse their children.

Thesis: The father in My Papas Waltz physically abused his child [C] because the father in Roethkes poem drank whiskey [B] and all fathers who drink whiskey physically abuse their children [A]. Q: Do we agree with this? Why or why not? Now lets try to do it backwards. This time, think of a thesis statement for The Road Not Taken and break it down into an enthymeme.

The Road Not Taken


Thesis:

A [Major Premise]

B [Minor Premise]

because A [Major Premise] C [Conclusion]

Enthymeme: A: B: C: 3

Do we agree? Why or why not?

Colorless Rules (pg. 31 Choice Voice)


Thesis:

Enthymeme: A B

Dwight Schrute Interlude


Thesis:

Figure 2: Dwight is awesome.

Enthymeme: A B

Works Cited Aristotle. On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Trans. George A. Kennedy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. 25-51, 172-214 "Dwight - Why Are You Going to Give Me This Raise? BECAUSE I'M AWESOME!"YouTube. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7W4duuCb2c>. Gage, John T. "Teaching the Enthymeme: Invention and Arrangement." Rhetoric Review1.2 (1983): 38-50. JSTOR. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/465636>. "Selected Poems of T. Roethke | My Papa's Waltz." Ga Moon, Ga Stars, Ga WOW!Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://gawow.com/roethke/poems/43.html>. Zellar, Jonathan. Aristotle: Book II. English 852 Precis. Dr. Jacobi, Oct. 2009. Print. 22 Aug. 2011.