abstract: This article explores Thomas Aquinas's interrelated views of rhetoric and deliberation, particularly through his commentaries on Aristotle and his Summa theologiae . It argues that while articulating a largely Boethian understanding of rhetoric as consideration of uncertain matters, Aquinas also advances a theory of deliberation indebted to Aristotelian theories of sensation and phantasia . Building from previous work on phantasia in Aristotle's works, I argue that, in Aquinas's view, rhetorical deliberation is dependent on sensory information experienced through phantasia . Gathered through time and experience, sensory information serves as the foundational material for other forms of reasoning, such as deliberation and practical wisdom. In articulating Aquinas's views of rhetoric and deliberation, I suggest that the relationship between rhetoric and logic within Aquinas's system of thought be reconsidered, with rhetoric playing a prominent role in the consideration of variable and human phenomena.
Philosophy and Rhetoric – Penn State University Press
Published: May 2, 2017