Abstract: Abstract: Nature is a highly tendentious Word and was already so in the time of Quintilian. Since the Stoic ideal was "to live according to Nature," the concept can be invoked persuasively in every phase of education. But Nature had other regular functions in rhetoric: to demarcate innate talent from acquired skill (Natura vs. Ars); to distinguish reality, the outside world, from verbal imitation; and to privilege preferred patterns of argumentation. These competing uses lead to inconsistencies, especially in presenting the relationship between Nature and imitation. The purpose of this paper is to detect these contradictions and illustrate the assumptions that underlie them in Quintilian's tieatment of invention, organization, and expression.
- Copyright 1995, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric