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Rhetoric in the ancient sense.
when freed from confusing admixture of other forms and divested of fanciful expression, they reduce themselves to three heads, under which they have already been criticized in the first or theoretical part of this work. That is to say, errors may be directed (a) against the characteristic quality of the aesthetic fact ; (b) against the specific ; (c) against the generic : they may involve denial of the character of intuition, of theoretic contemplation, or of spiritual activity, which together constitute the aesthetic fact. Among the errors which fall into these three categories we are now to sketch in outline the history of those which have had, or have to-day, the greatest importance. Rather than a history it will be a historical essay, sufficient to show that, even in the criticism of individual errors, aesthetic science is in its infancy. If among these errors Some appear to be decadent and nearly forgotten, they are not dead ; they have not accomplished a legal demise at the hands of scientific criticism. Oblivion or instinctive rejection is not the same thing as scientific denial.
Proceeding according to rank in importance, we inevitably head the list of theories for examination with the theory of Rhetoric, or Ornate Form.
It will not be superfluous to observe that the meaning given in modern times to the word Rhetoric, namely, the doctrine of ornate form, differs from that which it had for the ancients. Rhetoric in the modern sense is above all a theory of elocution, while elocution (Aéâts, bpdats, éppumveta, elocutio) was but one portion, and not the principal one, of ancient Rhetoric. Taken as a whole, it consisted strictly of a manual or vade-mecum for advocates and politicians; it concerned itself with the two or the three “styles” (judicial, deliberative, demonstrative), and gave advice or furnished models to those striving to produce certain effects by means of speech.
No definition of the art is more accurate than that given by its inventors the earliest Sicilian rhetoricians, scholars of Empedocles (Corax, Tisias, Gorgias): Rhetoric is the creator of persuasion (Trev6ods &mutovpyós). It devoted itself to showing the method of using language so as to create a certain belief, a certain state of mind, in the hearer; hence the phrase “making the weaker case stronger" (to Tov #tto Aéryov «pelt to trouetw); the “increase or diminution according to circumstances" (eloquentia in augendo minuendoque consistit); the advice of Gorgias to “turn a thing to a jest if the adversary takes it seriously, or to a serious matter if he takes it as a jest,” and many similar well-known maxims. He who Criticism from acts in this manner is not only aesthetically accomplished, ...” as saying beautifully that which he wishes to say ; he is also and especially a practical man with a practical end in view. As a practical man, however, he cannot evade moral responsibility for his actions; this point was fastened upon by Plato's polemic against Rhetoric, that is to say against fluent political charlatans and unscrupulous lawyers and journalists. Plato was quite right to condemn Rhetoric (when dissociated from a good purpose) as blameworthy and discreditable, directed to arouse the passions, a diet ruinous to health, a paint disastrous to beauty. Even had Rhetoric allied herself to Ethics, becoming a true guide of the soul (Jouxayoysa tus 8ta Tów Aóyov); had Plato's criticism been directed solely against her abusers (everything being liable to abuse save virtue itself, says Aristotle); had Rhetoric been purified, producing such an orator as Cicero desired, non ex rhetorum officinis sed ex academiae spatiis,” and imposing on him, with Quintilian, the duty of being vir bonus dicendi peritus ; * yet the unalterable fact remains that Rhetoric can never be considered a regular science, being formed of a congeries of widely dissimilar cognitions. It included Accumulation descriptions of passions and affections, comparisons of . political and judicial institutions, theories of the abbrevi
* For Gorgias’ saying see Aristotle, Rhet. iii. ch. 18. * Cicero, Orat. ad Brut., introd. * Quintilian, Inst, orat. xii. ch. 1.
ated syllogism or enthymeme and of proof leading to a probable conclusion, pedagogic and popular exposition, literary elocution, declamation and mimicry, mnemonic, and so forth. The rich and heterogeneous content of this ancient Rhetoric (which reached its highest development in the hands of Hermagoras of Temnos in the second century B.C.) gradually diminished in volume with the decadence of the ancient world and the change in political conditions. This is not the place to dwell on its fortunes in the Middle Ages or its partial replacement by formularies and Artes dictandi (and later by treatises upon the art of preaching), or to quote the reasons given by such writers as Patrizzi and Tassoni for its disappearance from the world of their day; * such history would be well worth writing, but would be out of place here. We will merely state that whilst conditions were at work on every side corroding this complex of cognitions, Louis Vives, Peter Ramus and Patrizzi himself were busy criticizing it from the point of view of systematic science. Vives emphasized the confused methods of the ancient treatise-writers, who embraced omnia, united eloquence with morality, and insisted that the orator must be vir bonus. He rejected four-fifths of ancient Rhetoric as extraneous: namely, memory, which is necessary in all arts; invention, which is the matter of each individual art ; recitation, which is external ; and disposition, which belongs to invention. He retained elocution only, not that which treats of quid dicendum, but of quem ad modum, extending it beyond the three styles or kinds to include history, apologue, epistles, novels and poetry.” Antiquity furnishes us with few and faint attempts at such extension ; now and then a Rhetorician ventures to suggest that the yévos iotopuków and étruatoxuków be included in Rhetoric, and even (in spite of opposition) “infinite ”
* Fran. Patrizzi, Della rhetorica, ten dialogues, Venice, 1582, dial. 7; Tassoni, Pensieri diversi, bk. x. ch. 15.
* De causis corruptarum artium, 1531, bk. iv.; De ratione dicendi,
questions, that is to say merely theoretical questions with no practical application, which amounts to a scientific or philosophical genus;* others agreed with Cicero * that when one had mastered the most difficult of all arts, forensic eloquence, all else seemed child's-play (ludus est homini non hebeti . . .). Ramus and his pupil Omer Talon reproached Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian with having confused Dialectic and Rhetoric; and they assigned invention and disposition to the former, agreeing with Vives that “elocution ” alone should be allowed to Rhetoric.” Patrizzi, on the other hand, refused the name of science to either, recognizing them as simple “faculties,” containing no individual matter (not even the three genera), and differentiating them only by attaching the term Dialectic to the dialogue form and proof of the necessary, and Rhetoric to connected discourse directed to persuasion in matters of opinion. Patrizzi observes that “conjoined speech '' is used by historians, poets and philosophers, no less than by orators; and thus approaches the view of Vives.” In spite of these opinions the body of rhetorical doctrine continued to flourish in the schools. Patrizzi was forgotten ; if Ramus and Vives had some followers (such as Francisco Sanchez and Keckermann), they were generally held up to odium by the traditionalists. In the end, Rhetoric found a supporter in philosophy when Campanella made the following declaration in his Rational Philosophy : “quodammodo Magiae portiumcula, quae affectus animi moderatur et per ipsos voluntatem ciet ad quaecumque vult sequenda vel fugienda.” ” Baumgarten owed to it his tripartition of AEsthetic into heuristic, methodology and semeiotic (invention, disposition and elocution), adopted later by Meier. Among Meier's numerous works is a little book entitled Theoretic Doctrine of Emotional Disturbances in General," considered by him to be a psychological introduction to aesthetic doctrine. On the other hand, Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Judgment observes that eloquence, in the sense of ars oratoria or art of persuasion by means of beautiful appearance and dialectical form, must be distinguished from beautiful speaking (Wohlredenheit); and that the art of oratory, playing upon the weakness of men to gain its own ends, “is worthy of no esteem.” (gar keiner Achtung wirdig).” But in the schools it flourished in many celebrated compilations, including one by the French Jesuit Father Dominique de Colonne, which was in use until some few decades ago. Even to-day, in so-called Literary Institutions, we come across survivals of ancient Rhetoric, notably in chapters devoted to the art of oratory; and fresh manuals on judicial or sacred eloquence (Ortloff, Whately, etc.”) are actually appearing, though rarely, to-day. Still, Rhetoric in the ancient sense may be said to have disappeared from the system of the sciences; to-day no philosopher would dream of following Campanella in dedicating a special section of rational philosophy to Rhetoric. In compensation for this process, the theory of elocution and beautiful speech has been in modern times progressively emphasized and thrown into scientific form. But the idea of such a science is ancient, as we have seen ; and equally ancient is the style of exposition, consisting in the doctrine of a double form and the concept of ornate form. The concept of “ornament " must have occurred spontaneously to the mind as soon as attention was directed to the values of speech by listening to poets reciting * or to oratorical contests in public gatherings. It must very early have been thought that the difference
* Cicero, De orat. i. chs. Io-II ; Quintil. Inst. orat. iii. ch. 5.
* De orat. ii. chs. 16-17.
* P. Ramus, Instit. dialecticae, 1543; Scholae in artes liberales, 1555, etc.; Talaeus, Instit. orator., 1545.
* Della rhetorica, dial. Io, and passim.
* Ration. Philos., part iii. Rhetoricorum liber unus juxta propria dogmata (Paris, 1636), ch. 3.
Survival into modern times.
* Theoretische Lehre von den Gemüthsbewegungen überhaupt, Halle, I744.
* Kritik d. Urtheilskraft, § 53 and n.
* H. F. Ortloff, Die gerichtliche Redekunst, Neuwied, 1887; R. Whately, Rhetoric, 1828 (for Encycl. Brit.); Ital. trans., Pistoia, 1889.
* Aristotle, Rhet. iii. ch. I.