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Anthypophora

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Anthypophora

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Anthypophora is arguing with oneself, for example asking questions and then answering them.

Example

Hmm. I could go to the party or stay in with you. What shall I do? I think I'll stay here.

Is the Republican party the best? I think not. Why else were they beaten? Because they are no longer in touch with the people.

Who are you? You are my friend. Why did you betray me? Because you are not my friend.

Discussion

Anthypophora uses the principle of rhetorical questions to ask questions which the speaker wishes to answer. Sometimes this happens when nobody else is asking the questions and sometimes when nobody is answering questions posed.  Often it is used for deliberate effect.

One use of anthypophora is to neutralize critics by asking questions that the critics may ask and then providing an answer, thus taking the wind out of their sails before they get going.

Another use is to appear neutral by addressing both sides of an argument. However, this is done by using questions from the opposing side, often phrased weakly, and then providing strong arguments for the desired position.

Classification: Reasoning

Anthypophera is also known as Hypophora. Sometimes the meanings are separated, with hypophora as the statement or question and anthypophora as the reply.

See also

Questioning techniques

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