An Introduction to Epicrisis
Epicrisis (etymologically from Greek “epikrisis,” literally means “to cast judgment on”), is a figure which consists when the interlocutor quotes a text from authority and then using the author’s declaration or judgment to comment on the matter in hand.
Epicritical quotation is typically a product of contentious argument; One is prompted to quote either to agree, disagree or in qualifying the argument:
- ‘These particulars being made known to the Royal Geographical Society of London, the conclusion was drawn by that body “that there is a continuous tract of land extending from 470° 30’ E. to 69° 29’ W. longitude, running the parallel of from sixty-six to sixty-seven degrees south latitude.” … My own experience will be found to testify most directly to the falsity of the conclusion arrived at by the society.’ — (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, 3: 170 – 1)
Epicrisis has a strong appeal to Logos, but like other related figures, must be used judiciously and with sensitivity to the warranting occasion. It is a relative of ExergasiaOpens in new window.