The Aristotelian or classical argument is a style of argument developed by the famous Greek philosopher and rhetorician, Aristotle. In this style of argument, your goal as a writer is to convince your audience of something. The goal is to use a series of strategies to persuade your audience to adopt your side of the issue. Although ethos, pathos, and logos play a role in any argument, this style of argument utilizes them in the most persuasive ways possible.
Of course, your professor may require some variations, but here is the basic format for an Aristotelian, or classical, argumentative essay:
- Introduce your issue. At the end of your introduction, most professors will ask you to present your thesis. The idea is to present your readers with your main point and then dig into it.
- Present your case by explaining the issue in detail and why something must be done or a way of thinking is not working. This will take place over several paragraphs.
- Address the opposition. Use a few paragraphs to explain the other side. Refute the opposition one point at a time.
- Provide your proof. After you address the other side, you’ll want to provide clear evidence that your side is the best side.
- Present your conclusion. In your conclusion, you should remind your readers of your main point or thesis and summarize the key points of your argument. If you are arguing for some kind of change, this is a good place to give your audience a call to action. Tell them what they could do to make a change.
For a visual representation of this type of argument, check out the Aristotelian infographic on the next page.
When we hear a mention of the ancient Islamic philosophy or Christian scholasticism, what comes in our mind is the man Aristotle. Even though there have numerous intellectual revolutions, the western thinking is still clouded with Aristotle’s concepts. So, who is this man, Aristotle? Well, this paper explores a brief biography of his life and works.
Born in Chalcidice peninsula of Macedonia, in Northern Greece to a court physician by the name Nichomachus, one can be tempted to think that Aristotle’s life would be considerably influenced by Macedonian court. However, after the death of the father he went to Athens where he became a student of Plato. At that time, Athens was considered as the world’s academic center. He attended Plato’s school for a period of twenty years and later became a tutor of Alexander the Great. He later founded his own school, Lyceum in Athens, where he spent the rest of his life studying writing, and teaching. Less is known about his social life, but it is documented that he was briefly married to Hermeas, who was taken over by Persians. He later died in 322 BCE, at the age of 63.
It is said that Aristotle wrote over 150 philosophical treaties in different subject ranging from physics to biology to politics to morals. He formulated many beliefs concerning the essence of being. He emphasized the importance of nature, and impressed upon his student to study the natural phenomena. He often believed that knowledge could be acquired through interaction with physical objects. However, he affirms that our understanding of the physical objects is based on our personal associations and interpretation. For instance, in teaching science he insisted that every idea must be supported by evidential explanation based on actual and tangible facts. Though a student of Plato, he sharply disagreed with Plato’s thoughts on various matters including nature and the art of science. In politics, he maintained a stand that all humans are naturally political, and this inherent trait is evident when people participate in civic affairs.
I cannot conclude without mentioning of his contributions to philosophy. According to Aristotle’s theory, philosophy is the foundation for understanding the axioms that constitute knowledge. He stated that logic is a universal means of reasoning. He asserts that for one to think logically, he must employ syllogism, which is composed of two premises leading a conclusion. Apart from providing a system of reasoning, Aristotle also touched on ethics. He agrees with his mentor, Plato, on the fact that the goodness of a person is derived from the ability to achieve the highest potential. Most of his theories were drawn from his lecture notes to his students.
The paper might be too short to incorporate all about Aristotle, but it is obvious that his philosophies are still evident in the modern society.