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By Stephen J McKenna

The 1st book-length remedy of Adam Smith’s rhetorical concept.

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Extra resources for Adam Smith: The Rhetoric of Propriety

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I call habits [hexeis] those moral states which form a man’s character in life; for not all habits do this. 19 It is perhaps tempting to think that this occurs simply by mere knack or instinct, but in fact reason plays a role in the functioning of style with regard to êthos. ”20 The sign of appropriateness is not necessarily propositionalized in hearers’ minds, but then neither are many of the unspoken premises underlying enthymemes. As this does not 40 A DA M S M IT H make the enthymeme less rational in nature, it need not imply that ethical propriety is irrational.

For it is evident that, if virtue of style has been correctly defined, Smith and Propriety in the Classical Tradition 43 what we have said will suffice to make it pleasant. For why, if not to please, need it be clear, not mean, but appropriate [prepousan].

As Prier amply shows, though this holistic phenomenology of sight in archaic Greek may be impossible to translate neatly into any modern language and thus is somewhat difficult for us to grasp, it is not in the least bit subtle in Homer. 45). Although it can be perilous to assert neat analogies between ancient and modern minds, a radical cognitive disjuncture between the two is less likely than differences, even significant ones, of degree. , Edmund Burke’s) were in part an attempt to grasp a phenomenology of experience that 28 A DA M S M IT H would undercut the radically individualized subject demanded by Enlightenment epistemologies (hence was Burke roundly criticized by associationists).

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