Rhetoric as a skill, an art, a virtue - hard to categorize it.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book II Chapter 20
Having discussed what kind of skill oratory is, Quintilian now discusses whether it is a virtue or not. As oratory is practiced by many, Quintilian sees it either as “no art,” a “bad art,” or a “vain imitation of an art” (II.20.2-3). “But that oratory which I endeavor to teach, of which I conceive the idea in my mind, which is attainable only by a good man and which alone is true oratory, must be regarded as a virtue” (II.20.4). Quintilian states that many philosophers agree on this count. It is necessary that the orator know what is honorable, advantageous, or just so as to carry on the right kind of argument (II.20.8). Quintilian goes on to discuss these virtues to be connected with eloquence, citing various orators.
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