ARGUING IN AN IMPERFECTWORLD: ARISTOTLE, THE ENTHYMEME, AND EPIDEICTIC RHETORIC
Throughout the course of the article, I will measure my thesis against the Sophistic and Stoic objections to the enthymeme as a valid rhetorical tool. These objections represent, respectively, the philosophic extremes of subjective and objective truth, whereas Aristotle’s enthymeme falls somewhere in between on the spectrum. For the purposes of this article, Zeno is a representative of the Stoic tradition and Gorgias is emblematic of Sophistry. To demonstrate the shortcomings of their rhetorical frameworks in a practical setting—which, incidentally, is the end to which Aristotle directs the enthymeme—I point to the curious results of their application in the forensic setting of the criminal trial.