The Rhetoric of Science

Gareth Williams

in The Cosmic Viewpoint

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199731589
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933112 | DOI:
The Rhetoric of Science

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This chapter turns to Seneca's study of hail and snow in what survives of Book 4b. Seneca reviews various theories of hail: in analysing each of those theories, this chapter explores the different modes of scientific argumentation that Seneca deploys to explain the ‘true’ nature of the given phenomenon. Perhaps more important than the plausibility of any given argument here is his testing of the nature of argument itself, as if Seneca here engages in a stocktaking exercise by which the rhetoric of argument is put under the microscope. After this testing exercise, by which Seneca burnishes his own credentials as a careful, highly self-critical researcher, this chapter argues that, late in the book, he offers a model demonstration of the rhetoric of argument in exemplary, persuasive action.

Keywords: snow and hail; rhetoric of science; analogy; argument by inference

Chapter.  16345 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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