Bernard Lamy's view of rhetoric in L'Art de Parler may be explained as an attempt to address religious exigencies. Lamy advises about two religious roles: theologian and preacher. Theologians' attempts to overcome ignorance and preachers' attempts to overcome willful blindness and inattentiveness in congregations help to account for why Lamy views truth as a matter of certainty rather than probability, and argument as syllogistic rather than connected to style and audience beliefs. Since Lamy conceives of a traditional sense of rhetoric—copious eloquence—as a source of religious problems, he advocates a modernized view of rhetoric to address them.
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