Archaic Argument: Aristotle’s Rhetoric and the Problem of First Principles

John J. Jasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Among Aristotle’s arts of argumentation, two are directly linked to archai, or first principles. Analytic deduces from them and dialectic tests their veracity. This article situates rhetoric as likewise useful for philosophical investigation in Aristotle’s own system by demonstrating how the Rhetoric assigns to rhetorical practice attributes that are uniquely related to the archai—without which investigations into and based on them would be impossible. That is, given the primary nature of the first principles as described by Aristotle, the strategic use of metaphor is the only intellectual machinery he has for articulating, disseminating, and gaining acquiescence for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in the History of Rhetoric
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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