By Benedetto Croce

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Sidenote] Rhetoric in the schools. Some, while they admit the aesthetic insufficiency of the rhetorical categories, yet make a reserve as regards their utility and the service they are supposed to render, especially in schools of literature. We confess that we fail to understand how error and confusion can educate the mind to logical clearness, or aid the teaching of a science which they disturb and obscure. Perhaps it may be desired to say that they can aid memory and learning as empirical classes, as was admitted above for literary and artistic styles.

If it be granted that a concept used in a scientific sense by a given writer is expressed with a definite term, it is natural that other words formed by that writer as used to signify the same concept, or incidentally made use of by him, become, in respect to the vocabulary fixed upon by him as true, metaphors, synecdoches, synonyms, elliptic forms, and the like. We, too, in the course of this treatise, have several times made use of, and intend again to make use of such terms, in order to make clear the sense of the words we employ, or may find employed.

Utilitarians do not see this within. This is not the place for a more ample development of such ideas. Ethic and Economic cannot but be gainers, as we have said of Logic and Aesthetic, by a more exact determination of the relations that exist between them. Economic science is now rising to the animating concept of the useful, as it strives to pass beyond the mathematical phase, in which it is still entangled; a phase which, when it superseded historicism, was in its turn a progress, destroying a series of arbitrary distinctions and false theories of Economic, implied in the confusion of the theoretical with the historical.

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Aesthetic As Science Of Expression And General Linguistics by Benedetto Croce


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