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Kairos was one of two Greek terms often used to mean "time"; the
other, chronos, had a distinctly quantitative meaning. Kairos was
a more qualitative term, as per culturally-based analogies to archery
and/or weaving--however, it maintained an element of ethical balance.
As Carl Glover points out, Kinneavy's "conclusions and classroom
applications of kairos ignore . . . the chronos/kairos distinction"
(91). Nonetheless, for definitional purposes it is easy to see how
Kinneavy arrived at "situational context." In some scholarly
translations of both Plato and Aristotle, karoi is roughly equivalent
to entautha + pote irois which has been translated as "circumstances."
Kinneavy and Eskin note that "kairos" mediates the theoria/praxis
distinction outlined in Plato's Phaedrus.|
Aristotle more commonly used the term poia , meaning "occasions" or (sometimes) "reasons," which is less forceful than the meaning implied in "kairos." However, Aristotle did see great value in the concept of kairos - particularly in the Athenian courtroom, where the great rhetoricians of the day battled over epieikeia , the legal concept of equity which best translates to "kairic law."