A dog walks into the middle of Aristotle’s Rhetoric. It is not a specific dog—this is no Argos, Odysseus’s gentle and loyal pet—but rather a generic dog, an example. In fact there is more than one dog, a pack, hoi kunes, generalized as a type. These dogs are calm, perceptive, responsive. They appear in Aristotle’s discussion of calmness, defined as “a settling down and quieting of anger.” “Even dogs,” Aristotle writes, “show that anger ceases toward those who humble themselves, for they do not bite those sitting down.”...
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