Quintilian turns again to the question of whether oratory is something we gain by art or by nature. The both/and manner in which we possess our abilities is a challenge in every age.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book II Chapter 19
Quintilian continues his discussion of oratory by raising the question of nature or nurture. Are people naturally inclined to it or is it a learned skill? While Quintilian says it is not an either-or question, the nature cannot be changed. “Nature will be able to do much without learning, but learning will be of no avail without the assistance of nature” (II.19.2). “Art can do nothing without material, which has its value even independent of art; but perfection of art is of more consequence than perfection of material” (II.19.3).
All the work of Wittenberg Door Campus Ministry, including this blog, is supported by the generosity of people like you. Please consider joining our team of prayer and financial supporters. Read more here!