Category Archives: ratiocinatio

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}.]

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

What exactly was Kennedy getting at when he uttered this famous and memorable phrase?

I think he was interested in instilling a desire for national service and a patriotic willingness to put the USA before one’s self.

This is well and good up to a point, but people need a balance of self-interest and patriotism–the individual and the group–autonomy and connectedness. In many respects putting your country before yourself, stultifies the need for individualism and autonomy.

So, I believe the quote should be rephrased: “Ask what your country can do for you and what you can do for your country.” The both/and approach satisfies and balances two conflicted needs and opens a prospect for greater satisfaction.

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

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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.

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

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}.]

In Florida, I have a right to stand my ground. You threaten me, I kill you. Under lex talionis, does that tally up? What would Hammurabi say?

Let’s re-taliate the ‘taliation: What’s the fair price to pay for being perceived as a deadly threat?

I won’t back down vs. I can’t back down. Back to the wall? Fire away! Otherwise, run away. Does that tally up?

I give up.

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

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

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}.]

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.