In Aristotle's biological treatise, On the Parts of Animals, one finds a rare and unexpected burst of rhetorical eloquence. While justifying the study of “less valued animals,” he erupts into praise for the study of all natural phenomena and condemns the small-mindedness of those who trivialize its worth. Without equal in Aristotle's remaining works for its rhetorical quality, it reveals the otherwise coolheaded researcher as a passionate seeker of truth and an unabashed lover of natural beauty. For Aristotle, rhetoric not only discloses the truth (aletheia) of appearances by refuting counterarguments and defending one's claims within agonistic forums; rhetoric also defends and advances whole fields of study on the promise on wonder (thaumazein). By examining Aristotle's example in practice, this article seeks to elucidate a notion of the rhetoric for inquiry that calls lovers of wisdom to the empirical study of nature.

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