Logic and Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics in Medieval Arabic Philosophy

Review of Metaphysics 45 (3):600-602 (1992)
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A critically important development in the tradition of philosophy, as understood by Arabic authors, was the inclusion of both rhetoric and poetics within logic. While these writers' conception of the logical Organon gave appropriate place to the theory of demonstration as found and defined in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, they added to it the syllogism not only of dialectic, but of rhetoric and poetry as well. By attaching the latter two arts to logic, the Arabic philosophers created a contextual claim about rhetoric and poetry which tended both to weaken the status of either one as a mode of nonlogical discourse and yet potentially to enhance their importance as tools of cognitive activity by recognizing in them some form of syllogistic reasoning.



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