Topoi and Tēkmeria: Rhetorical fluidity among aristotle, isocrates, and alcidamas

Adam W. Cody, Rosa A. Eberly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Topological criticism gains dynamism when it attends to texts’ chronologies. The topos in Aristotle’s Rhetoric gains clarity when read within the context of Aristotle’s spatial metaphor of reasoning as cognitive motion. Further, the dynamics of probabilistic topoi over time can be more clearly understood when conjoined with a focus on tekmeria, signs held to be necessary in the negative spaces of self-evidence and impossibility. The quasi-dialogue between Isocrates’ Against the Sophists and Alcidamas’ About the Writers of Written Speeches, a debate about the relative temporal characteristics of written and oral discourse, offers warrants for the claims that topological criticism can be dynamic. Read together, these texts reveal the workings of time-in-texts and texts-in-time at the fulcrum between orality and literacy in ancient Greek thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTopologies as Techniques for a Post-Critical Rhetoric
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319512686
ISBN (Print)9783319512679
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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