Ratiocinatio


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}.]

“To be, or not to be?”

Ironically (sardonically, cynically, pitifully, wistfully, blissfully, bashfully, shit in my pants fully) I (and we) already know the answer: we are all going to not be. We are all going to die.

So, if we are all going to “not be” and we know it, and we really want to show it, should we all just clap our hands, take out a life insurance policy, rest easy, and wait not to be?

Is it better to suffer the slings and crutches and bedpans of our withering biceps and sagging boobies, or turn on the gas?

I don’t know.

  • Post your own ratiocinatio on the “Comments” page!

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

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