ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī was an outstanding representative of the Nestorian theology in the Christian-Moslem disputes of the ninth century. As a Christian writer who knew both Greek and Syriac, he continued the traditions of the Eastern (Greek) church in every respect, including the way of presentation and argumentation. Relying on his example the author tries to point out that the Christian writers of the early Islamic centuries represented the traditional Greek rhetoric culture in Islamic surroundings.
The Aristotelian tradition knows the dichotomy of his works into exoteric and esoteric groups. The interpretation of the two terms, however, changed in the course of time. According to the later, perhaps Hellenistic interpretation of the terms, the group of “exoteric” works included all the works which have been written in schools of rhetoric, and later ascribed to Aristotle. The well-known treatise De mundo should not be considered as a genuin work of school-philosophy, because it belongs to Pseudo-Aristotle’s works written in a school of rhetoric and ranged amond his “exoteric” works.
The paper examines a fragment of Xenocrates on definition preserved by Alfarabi. Proving that the exposition of Plato’s and Aristotle’s definitions in the same fragment reflect the views of the philosophers referred to in late antique wording the author accepts Alfarabi’s report as reliable and authentic. Further comparison of Alfarabi’s passage with late antique logical views results in the statement that Xenocrates’ definition was connected with the emerging doctrine of relational syllogisms. Alfarabi's fragment exposition of Xenocrates’ hitherto unknown teaching is, consequently, exposed as part of the late antique philosophical tradition.
Until now thee Nestorian theology has been known in Greek, only from indirect hostile, sources. In the Arabic literature, however, there are known works that deal the Nestonian theology in its entirety and, in addition, in Nestorian spirit. The examination of the often occurring term maˁanā in Arabic Nestorian texts indicates that these Arabic texts are based on a thorough knowledge of Aristotle’s philosophy, so this term must be taken in various passages in various meanings, but its most important equivalent is ousia.
Aristotle refers to enthymemes both in his Organon and Rhetoric. The comparison of the various passages leaves open some questions about the exact meaning of enthymemes. The problem becomes more complicated if one compares enthymemes with syllogisms described in the
. Some enthymemes seem to be identical with the
syllogisms of the
, while some others seem to be identical with the
described in the
. Our confusion is increased by Anaximenes. He tries to define the exact meaning of various kinds of rhetoric proofs, nut his text is far from being unambiguous. At any rate he creates a new system of rhetoric proofs as compared with Aristotle.
The paper examines the meaning of “sign inferences”. First the reader will be reminded that sign inferences were used in all philosophical schools, but the meaning of “sign inference” is different in the various schools. After examining Quintilianus’ text one can come to the conclusion that he spoke of sign inferences in terms of the Aristotelian logic. In Aristotelian logic sign inferences were used to the effect of conviction, but, from point of view of logic, they were not valid. Thus in rhetoric Aristotle intentionally admitted invalid proofs as “rhetoric arguments”.
Maxims played an important role in the Greek tradition of
rhetoric, and collections of maxims arranged alphabetically or according to
subject-matter represent a well-established literary genre both in the field of
belles-lettres and sciences. Collections of maxims served well-defined
purposes: they were used in schools, or they were read by people who were
interested in wisdom, but did not have the necessary p_r