Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts. Rhetoric. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Book II, chapter 2.
Aristotle defines anger as “an impulse accompanied by pain, to a conspicuous revenge for a conspicuous slight directed without justification towards what concerns oneself or towards what concerns one’s friends” (Aristotle II.2, B 1378b). He defines “slighting “ as treating something of no importance, then divides it into three categories, “contempt, spite, and insolence” (Aristotle II.2, B 1378b). In contempt we consider something worthless. By spite we try to keep someone from obtaining what we think worthless. In insolence we bring shame to a person we consider unimportant (Aristotle II.2, B 1378b). The different motivations discussed in this chapter and earlier can lead to anger. A person who is in a particular frame of mind, who is in contact with certain people, and is in certain circumstances is likely to be moved to anger (Aristotle II.2, B 1379a). Aristotle gives a number of examples of the categories of people who would become angry..
Aristotle’s reason for this detail is revealed at the end of the chapter. “Clearly the orator will have to speak so as to bring his hearers into a frame of mind that will dispose them to anger, and to represent his adversaries as open to such charges and possessed of such qualities as do make people angry” (Aristotle II.2, B 1380a).