An Introduction to Dianoea

Dianoea (etymologically from Greek, literally “a revolving in the mind”; also known as “animated dialogue”), is a kind of deductionOpens in new window by means of using animated questions and answers to develop an argumentOpens in new window.

Dianoia typically use series of questions and answers to argue a point.

Formulae of Question for the device — The following are questions considered effective in developing an argument.

  • “What do you mean by that?” (clarity)
  • “How do you know that’s true?” (viability)
  • “Where did you read/find that?” (proof/ethos)
  • “What if you’re wrong?” (value/prominence)
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae | Figures DianoeaOpens in new window
Gregory T. Howard | Dictionary of Rhetorical Terms: DianoeaOpens in new window