Tag Archives: philosophy

Epicrisis

Epicrisis (e-pi-cri’-sis): When a speaker quotes a certain passage and makes comment upon it.

Related figuresanamenesis–calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author from memory–and chreia (from the Greek chreiodes, “useful”) . . . “a brief reminiscence referring to some person in a pithy form for the purpose of edification.” It takes the form of an anecdote that reports either a saying, an edifying action, or both.

The political philosopher Eric Vogelin tells us that “the role of human existence must be played in uncertainty of its meaning as an adventure in decision along the edge of freedom and necessity.”

Uncertainty motivates decision. Decision entails risk.  Risk is the estimated consequence of action, and action is the herald of sorrow and joy, regret and satisfaction, and all the other dialectically-poised and unknowable outcomes of human being–of being always, all the time, a prisoner of choice on an island of freedom.

Yet, the island may be as large as the future is unknowable. So, as we set off on our next adventure in decision, somehow we must transform our uncertainty as to where we will end up into the belief that we’re going in the right direction.

Our hope is history’s backward-looking map and rhetoric is the star that sets our course.

We are Janus’ children born into the present.  Looking back and seeing forward, we are able to move ahead.

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Antistasis

Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

If you believe you’re covered by the cope of heavan, you will cope more readily with everything under the sun.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

I can’t imagine what the world would be like without the internet–if John Lennon were still alive I bet he could write a song about it–

“Imagine there’s no email, push notifications, tweets, or chats:

No emoticons or Facebooks, no stupid threaded gmail spats.

Imagine all the people living face-to-face:

Smelling and touching each other, dancing, and hugging and actually being some place.

I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one:

If we shut down the internet the world would be more fun.”

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