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The Rhetorical Sense of Philosophy$
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Donald Phillip Verene

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501756344

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501756344.001.0001

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Philosophical Style

Philosophical Style

(p.45) Chapter 4 Philosophical Style
The Rhetorical Sense of Philosophy

Donald Phillip Verene

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows the importance of style in works of speculative philosophy. The philosopher shares with the poet the importance of style in the sense of how meaning is put into language. Style is the third principle of composition, well known since Quintilian and Cicero: inventio (the amassing of materials), dispositio (their arrangement), and elocutio (their formulation in language). For the poet, nothing can be wasted. Each and every syllable is given a necessary role; every level of a metaphor is present; every connection of words is precise and simple. The poem, when good, is always something beyond itself. It is never what it seems.

Keywords:   philosophical style, speculative philosophy, poetry, philosophical speech, speculative speech

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