On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse - Book I, Chapters 10-15 Summary & Analysis

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Book I, Chapters 10-15 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 10: Since the forensic or legal rhetorician is concerned with either proving or disproving wrongdoing, he needs to be familiar with the law and what wrongdoing is. The law can be divided into two types, the special and general. Special law includes all of the explicit statutes of a political body. The general law refers to the unwritten laws of justice which all humanity must obey. Wrongdoing, then, is to voluntarily cause injury to another person by breaking either of these types of laws. As not all actions are voluntary, the legal speaker must know what does and does not make an action voluntary. There are seven causes of human action: chance or luck, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, and appetite. The first of these three are involuntary and, therefore, anyone who commits a crime...

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