Different from some of his other works on practical philosophy Aristotle's Rhetoric has a rather strong orientation towards the everyday life world of the poleis of his time. That applies to many of his reflections on the conditions of communication in the poleis as well as to his utterances about social values which are based on common sense. In Aristotle's view the orator's ethos and thus his consequent reference to intersubjectively valid values is the most important instrument for a rhetor to claim credibility. In comparison with the ethopoiia of fourth-century rhetorical practice at Athens there are several structural similarities which, however, are neither due to interdependencies nor manifest themselves in intertextual references, but are due to the fact that Aristotle refers to the orators' conditions of action in a democratic system. Besides, there are also strong differences which seem to have two main reasons: Aristotle's inclination to differentiate and to systematize his topics as well as his tendency to ‘elitism’ which might have philosophical and socio-political components, whereby in the Rhetoric the socio-political ones predominate.

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