Aristotle, Rhetoric Book Two Outline

Ethical and Pathetic Proofs [2.1.1-11 (1377b-1388b)]

General Discussion of Ethos [2.1.1-9 (1377b-1378a)]

The Object of Rhetoric is Judgment. The Speaker's character is more important for deliberative oratory, whereas the Judge's frame of mind is more important fro forensic oratory.

Three qualities necessary to produce conviction [2.1.5-7]

  • good sense
  • virtue
  • good will

Definition of emotions [2.1.8-9] The emotions are all those affections which cause people to change their opinion in regard to their judgments, and are accompanied by pleasure and pain.

Catalogue of Emotions [2.2-11 (1378a-1388b)

Anger and Mildness [2.2-3 (1378a-1380b)]

Analysis of Anger [2.2]

Definition : an impulse (accompanied by pain) to enact revenge for a conspicuous slight enacted without justification toward what concerns oneself of one's friends. [2.2 (1378a)]

  • Slights
  • Dispositions of those roused to anger
  • Objects of anger

Analysis of Mildness [2.3]

  • Definition (Opposite of Anger)
  • Opposite of slights

Other Emotions

Love and Hate [2.4 (1381a-1382a)]

Fear and Confidence [2.5 (1382a-1383b)]

Shame and Shamelessnes [2.6 (1383b-1385a)]

Gratitude and Its Lack [2.7 (1385a-b)]

Pity and Indignation 2.8-9 (1385b-1388a)

Envy [2.10 (1388a)]

Emulation [2.11 (1388b)]

Catalogue of Characters [2.12-17 (1389a-1391b)]

Ages [2.12-14 (1389a-1390b)]

  • Youth
  • Old Age
  • Prime of Life

Fortunes [2.15-17 (1390b-1391b)]

  • Noble Birth
  • Wealth
  • Power

Logical Proofs

Catalogue of Common or General Topics [2.18-19 (1391b-1393a)

Possible/Impossible (Deliberative)



Degree (of difficulty; of excellence)


That which we desire

The subjects of science or art

Things whose means of production is within our power

Parts and wholes

Genus and species

Natural correspondences (quantities)

Artless vs. artful

Inferior vs. superior

Past fact/Future fact (Forensic)

Less to more likely


Ability and motive


Antecedence and Consequence

And likewise for the future

Magnitude (Epideictic)

…since in each branch of rhetoric the end set before it is a good, such as the expedient, the noble, or the just, it is evident that all must take the materials of amplification from these. (2.19.27)

Inductive and Deductive Proofs [2.20-22 (1393a-1397a)]


  • Historical Examples
  • Fables


Enthymemes [2.23-26 (1397a-1403b)

Catalogue of Enthymemes

Topics of Enthymemes

Apparent Enthymemes



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