Daily Archives: June 14, 2008


Ratiocinatio (ra’-ti-o-cin-a’-ti-o): Reasoning (typically with oneself) by asking questions. Sometimes equivalent to anthypophora. More specifically, ratiocinatio can mean making statements, then asking the reason (ratio) for such an affirmation, then answering oneself. In this latter sense ratiocinatio is closely related to aetiologia. [As a questioning strategy, it is also related to erotima {the general term for a rhetorical question}.]

We must buy a more fuel efficient car–maybe a hybrid. Why? Gasoline prices are are rising every week. I’m paying nearly $500 per month just to drive to and from work. Even if fuel prices go down, we’ll still be ahead of the game. No matter what, saving fuel is a good thing.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.