Two Modes of Invention
This chapter argues, based on a close reading of Plato's Gorgias, that ontology invented rhetoric in order to domesticate time in discourse. Through rhetoric time is modeled as and reduced to space: a discourse is primarily an organism that unfolds, and it is articulated. From a “narrow” perspective, it is woven out of “tropes” and “metaphors.” In short, it is a question of shifting from the thread to-be-followed and the capture of the kairos, the point of time, to the topos and the topoi, the places of crafted speech. Thus, if there is a sophistic particularity of rhetoric, a strictly sophistical inventio of rhetoric and within rhetoric, it would entail identifying something like a “rhetoric of time,” which would be to the rhetorics of space as sophistic discursivity is to Platonico-Aristotelian ontology.
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