Refuting, as a basic rhetorical mode, has been formalized within the
arrangement of the classical oration (see Arrangement: Refutation).
It is also realized as a general mode of argumentation within certain
topics of invention (The Impossible,
Within rhetorical pedagogy, refutation has itself been a standard preliminary
exercise (see Pedagogy: The Progymnasmata: Refutation),
and is part of more advanced argumentation in which both sides of an issue
are debated (see Progymnasmata: Thesis
or Theme and in utrumque
Of course refuation can happen generally and specifically in a variety
of circumstances, as illustrated by the following figures specific to
refuting, rejecting, or denying:
A feigned refusal of that which is earnestly desired.
One asks and then immediately
answers one's own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections)
A retort in which one turns the very accusation made by one's adversary
back against him.
Rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.
- apodioxis (rejectio)
Rejecting of someone or something (such as the adversary's argument)
as being impertinent, needless, absurd, false, or wicked.
- apophasis / expeditio
The rejection of several reasons why a thing should or should not be
done and affirming a single one, considered most valid.
Rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.
Admitting what's charged against one, but excusing it by necessity.
A logical refutation.
To affirm or deny a point strongly by asking it as a question.
To excite an audience, especially out of a stupor or boredom, using
(among other proposed strategies) a digression that denies or prohibits
Deliberate understatement, often achieved by way of denying the opposite
Denying and turning back on your adversaries arguments used against
Refuting anticipated objections.
Related Topics of Invention