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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although modern scientists have sought to erase emotion and rhetoric from their writings, some eminent scientists of the early modern period intentionally gave ebullient descriptions of their findings. True, the logic of inquiry and proof commonly practiced—dialectic and demonstration—guided the underlying substance of the presentations by astronomers such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. Nevertheless, rhetorical expression entered their discourse as they tried to convey the significance of their discoveries. The methods of discovery (rhetorical invention using the topoi), rhetorical proof—enthymemes and examples—along with rhetorical expression, one might argue, reflect the natural reasoning and sensitive qualities of human beings, which call into question our disdain at finding emotion unveiled in scientific writing. Figuration—particularly analogy, based in the known world but applied to the cosmos beyond natural sight—inspired belief in many readers.

Keywords: rhetoric, early modern period, dialectic, demonstration, rhetorical proof, topoi, enthymeme, examples, analogy

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