Aristotle's Rhetoric & Poetics
As Hamilton puts it, "We think and feel differently because of what a little Greek town did during a century or two, twentyfour hundred years ago. What was then produced of art and of thought has never been surpassed and very rarely equalled, and the stamp of it is upon all the art and all the thought of the Western world."1. With these assumptions in mind, one may proceed to discuss in specific ways how Aristotle develops his rhetorical system and how he explains the art of poetic creation, and to show specifically ways in which his approach is applicable to the contemporary culture.

Corbett observes that Aristotle views rhetoric, like ethics, as one of the practical arts,2 which is to say that rhetoric is something that has application to real life beyond the merely theoretical. Its reality is tangible inasmuch as it may affect outcomes and experience, but it is intangible inasmuch as it involves intellectual or "noumenal" activity. Poetics, on the other hand, is a "productive art" (vii), which is to say that its reality involves an otherness, or a palpable transformation from imagination to observable, "phenomenal" element. The two disciplines, however, do intersect in philosophical terms. Rhetoric, to the degree it is concerned with the fate of the human community, involves realworld action as well as discussion about contingent action, whereas poetics involves the workingout of contingent action in a way that provides insight into the nature

 
 
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