Among Aristotle’s arts of argumentation, two are directly linked to archai, or first principles. Analytic deduces from them and dialectic tests their veracity. This article situates rhetoric as likewise useful for philosophical investigation in Aristotle’s own system by demonstrating how the Rhetoric assigns to rhetorical practice attributes that are uniquely related to the archai—without which investigations into and based on them would be impossible. That is, given the primary nature of the first principles as described by Aristotle, the strategic use of metaphor is the only intellectual machinery he has for articulating, disseminating, and gaining acquiescence for them.

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