Rhetorical patterns used by Westerners may differ from those of other cultures. Still, little is known about Nyāya, India's rhetorical methodology. This essay relates rhetorical patterns in Aristotle's enthymeme and paradeigma to Nyāya's pratijñāa (claim/promise), hetu (reason), and dṛṣṭānta (example). Though superficially similar, the Greek/Western rhetorical patterns invoke interlocking statements based in a general statement, while the Indian approach uses a dominant analogical image to connect claim and reason. Focusing on a historical interaction where a Westerner missed key elements of Indian persuasion because of his Aristotelian presuppositions about argument, the essay illustrates the crucial need to understand differing rhetorical patterns for successful cultural dialogue.
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