Apodixis (a-po-dix’-is): Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge or general experience.
A: I am a space alien. I constantly wear this fish bowl on my head. Without it, my head would melt into some kind of Earth-goo. I would die. Have you ever seen a space alien not wearing a fishbowl? Of course not, but you still don’t believe me. Notice how I am able to prance around the room. My prancing capacities are due to the lighter pull of Earth’s gravity. On my planet, we must be lifted by cranes from our chairs and we can only walk two or three feet before resting. You do understand gravity, don’t you? But, you still don’t believe me. Ok ok. Let’s have a look at my spaceship in the driveway. We all know that space aliens can’t get here unless they fly here in a spaceship!
B: It’s your mother’s Ford Fiesta.
A: She’s not my mother, I just live here. Now, let’s have a look at this so-called ‘Ford Fiesta.’ Notice, it has windows and seatbelts—absolutely necessary for blasting off, space cruising, and landing. The wheels are handy too. Let’s take a look under the hood—I’ll show you the power plant.
B: Oh, okay, gotta see the power plant. Is it 4 cylinder? Ha ha!
A: Behold, the power plant!
B: You’re insane—it’s a walnut!
A: Yes. Notice it’s got a subtle red glow, and it’s putting out a little heat right now. We all know, where there’s heat there’s energy and where there’s energy there’s power. If I shift it into drive, and press the actuator with my foot, I’m flyin’ home. Surely you believe me now. Want to do some Space Truckin’? Maybe we’ll run into Deep Purple up there! Or Leonard Nimoy. Or HAL. You never know! Ha ha!
B: I’m calling 911 mister space loon. Hello 911? I’ve got a raging lunatic here. Yes, he’s in the driveway by his mother’s Ford Fiesta. Wait! He’s gone, and the car too and it smells like walnuts where the car was parked. Do you believe in space aliens?
911: No sir. We’ll send somebody over to give you a ride to the clinic. Routine observation.
B: A crowd was gathering in the driveway. I noticed two of them were wearing fishbowls on their heads. I hid inside the house and waited for my ride to the clinic.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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