Aliquis definiverit vinciet – the act of apprehension whereby a term is commonly understood

The first of the 5 Common Topics –   Aliquis definit vincit.

Associated with the first act of reason, or simple apprehension.   A perception proceeds to form a thought, which in turn is abstracted into an idea, and finally denoted by a term.  Terms are the subjects of definition — De-finitio – a ‘bounded’ idea.

  • Who or What is X?
  • What kind of thing is X?
    • Formal or logical cause  (Comprehension, Connotation)
    • Genus and Species
  • What is X not?
  • What are the parts of X?
  • To What group does X belong?
  • What examples of the thing exist?  (Extension, Denotation)
  • Etymological definitions, the history of the word

Grammar includes vocabulary and the practical and theoretical sciences.

Material Logic sets forth the art of definition, division, categories, predication and causes.



The Methods of the orator.


  • pitch
  • cadence
  • pace
  • contact


  • relating ideas to posture
  • managing the expectation of the audience
  • presence


In the act of persuasion, choices come to the front.   We persuade toward a choice and away from another.  A common device that concludes stasis, we end the narratio by illustrating a ‘some say’ while ‘others say’ – clearly presenting the choice.  This component is necessary in political or deliberative speech, of interest in forensic or judicial speeches, and may be used in epidiectic or celebratory speeches.

We follow this with the proposition – the position we will champion.