An Introduction to Apodixis

Apodixis (derives from Greek apodeizia, literally means “an exposition,” or “a showing forth”), is the confirmation of a statement by reference to common knowledgeOpens in new window, universal practicesOpens in new window, principlesOpens in new window, or experienceOpens in new window.

The idea of common knowledge is a relatively sensitive issue, for it revolves around topical things that is associated with certain calibre of peopleOpens in new window, cultureOpens in new window, environmentOpens in new window etc,. It is imperative to adhere to relative perspectives (as the situation demands) to appropriately put this device into use, being that its application, and effectiveness is subject to certain cultures, environmental practices, personal knowledge or experience.

Notable Examples of Apodixis
  • “Everyone knows that it takes about seven years to digest gum.”
  • —(Gregory T. Howard, Dictionary of Rhetorical Terms)

  • “Was I aware – was I fully aware of the discrepancy between us? That the age of the husband should surpass by a few years – even by fifteen or twenty – the age of the wife, was regarded by the world as admissible, and, indeed, as even proper; but she had always entertained the belief that the years of the wife should never exceed in number those of the husband.”
  • — (“The Spectacles,” 5:194)

  • Salomon: Can a man take fire in his bosome, and his clothes not be burnt; or can a man go upon coles, and his feet not be burn?
  • —(Peacham, Pg. 86)
Further Readings:
Brett Zimmerman | Edgar Allan Poe: Rhetoric and Style | ApodixisOpens in new window
Gregory T. Howard | Dictionary of Rhetorical Terms: ApodixisOpens in new window