See also:proof (editing).
Etymology:From the Latin, "prove"
Examples and Observations:
- "In rhetoric, proof is never absolute, since rhetoric is concerned with probable truth and its communication. . . . The fact is that we live much of our lives in the realm of the probabilities. Our important decisions, both at the national level and at the professional and personal level, are, in fact based on probabilities. Such decisions are within the realm of rhetoric."
(W. B. Horner, Rhetoric in the Classical Tradition. St. Martin's, 1988)
- "If we regard confirmation or proof as the designation of that part where we get down to the main business of our discourse, this term can be extended to cover expository as well as argumentative prose. . . .
"As a general rule, in presenting our own arguments we should not descend from our strongest arguments to our weakest. . . . We want to leave our strongest argument ringing in the memory of our audience; hence we usually place it in the emphatic final position."
(E. Corbett, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. Oxford Univ. Press, 1999)
- Proofs in Aristotle's Rhetoric
"The opening [of Aristotle's Rhetoric] defines rhetoric as the 'counterpart of dialectic,' which seeks not to persuade but to find the appropriate means of persuasion in any given situation (1.1.1-4 and 1.2.1). These means are to be found in various kinds of proof or conviction (pistis). . . . Proofs are of two kinds: inartificial (not involving rhetorical art--e.g., in forensic [judicial] rhetoric: laws, witnesses, contracts, torture, and oaths) and artificial [artistic] (involving the art of rhetoric)."
(P. Rollinson, A Guide to Classical Rhetoric. Summertown, 1998)
- Intrinsic and Extrinsic Proofs
"Aristotle counseled the Greeks in his Treatise on Rhetoric that the means of persuasion must include both intrinsic and extrinsic proofs.
"By extrinsic proof Aristotle meant direct evidence that was not the creation of the speaker's art. Direct evidence could include laws, contracts, and oaths, as well as the testimony of witnesses. In the legal proceedings of Aristotle's time, this kind of evidence was usually obtained in advance, recorded, put in sealed urns, and read in court.
"Intrinsic proof was that created by the art of the orator. Aristotle distinguished three kinds of intrinsic proof: (1) originating in the character of the speaker; (2) resident in the mind of audience; and (3) inherent in the form and phrase of the speech itself. Rhetoric is a form of persuasion that is to be approached from these three directions and in that order."
(Ronald C. White, Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural. Simon & Schuster, 2002)
Also Known As: confirmation, confirmatio, pistis, probatio