What is Ratiocinatio?

Ratiocinatio is a figure which prevail as a probe to reveal profound self-doubt and uncertainty by which an oratorOpens in new window asks a question of oneself.

This figure is often seen as a ploy by which an orator questions the meaning of his or her own statements, thereby bringing up a case as a result of the answers provided to such questions.

Examples include:
  • “What’s this, What’s this? Is this her fault or mine? The tempter or the tempted who sins most?”
    — (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene II.)
  • Old age is superior to youth. Why? The body has been tamed and the mind ripened with wisdom.
    — (Silver Rhetoricae)
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae, Figures | RatiocinatioOpens in new window