Week Three

Reflect on ‘rhetoric’

In W Rhys Roberts translation, Aristotle identifies Rhetoric as the ability to observe what is persuasive in every given case. He defines the rhetorician as someone who is always able to see what is persuasive. He points out that people manage to be persuasive at random or by habit. It is rhetoric that provides the technique to determine all types of persuasion in any area of subject.

There are two divisions in which rhetoric is determined. The speech can generate persuasion either through the character of the speaker, the emotional state of the listener, or the argument (logos) itself. This first division is the distinction among the three means of persuasion. The second, the speech advises the audience to do something or warns against doing something. This concerns the three species of public speech.

There are three types of persuasion, the speech the speaker and the proof.

  1. The first type of Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s character. The speaker conduct’s the speech in such a way to convince the audience of their credibility. The audience will believe someone as credible in result become more accepting.
  2.  The second type of Persuasion is better achieved through stirring the emotional aspect of the audience.
  3. The third type of persuasion we persuade through the argument of the speech itself, demonstrating the truth or proving that something is the case.

Aristotle discuses the use of syllogism’s in rhetoric. These are nothing more than a deductive argument. Syllogisms related to one another drawing conclusion from the results of previous statements. It is the enthymeme consists of few statements, fewer than those which make up normal syllogism. An enthymeme is syllogism based on probabilities, signs and examples functioning to use rhetorical persuasion.

It is pointed out that when something is demonstrated that is when we are easily persuaded, the motive why the enthymeme is regarded as essential to the rhetoric process of persuasion. Aristotle implies that everything else is only an addition or accident to the core of the persuasive process, which is why the enthymeme is considered the “body of persuasion”.

Aristotle 350 BCE (translation by  w. Rhys Roberts). Rhetoric, ebook, Classics MIT, Internet Classics Archive, viewed 16 March, 2016 http://classics.mit.edu//Aristotle/rhetoric.html

Considering use of rhetoric: Reflecting an Argument

Review of an argument: Watch In Defense of Rhetoric: No Longer Just for Liars 

‘In defense of Rhetoric, no longer for liars’ explains and demonstrates how rhetoric produces new knowledge and why common ideas of this theory are inaccurate. It is often pointed out the skeptical views people uphold on the idea of rhetoric. Discussing that it is often misunderstood as trickery or wording ornamentation. These ideals are argued and proved within the speakers of the video. Thus it is further discussed, that knowledge of rhetoric can help individuals break down language and argument, applying this to society.In an article by Perelman (1979) he describes Rhetoric as the use of language as an art based on a body of organized knowledge.

As communication methods evolve to fit new media, we are challenged to communicate effectively in a fast paced world. An education in rhetoric enhances communication and presentation skills, especially for the workforce. It is discovered that in some ways rhetoric occurs in every communication aspect of our lives as well as every subject. Everyday this term is used for the simple purpose of getting someone to understand us, which in result they understand, believe or agree.

Research by Harpine (2004) points out that in 1967, Robert L. Scott advocated that “rhetoric is epistemic.” This term refers to the informal decisions made. This concept enriches the work of rhetorical theorists and critics. It is further learned the uses of Epistemic rhetoric and where this can occur. For example a photographer deciding which lighting or cropping to use is a rhetorical decision. The study of this term provides technique on how to use language effectively as well as producing new knowledge for the world.

Harpine , W, D. , 2004. What do you mean Rhetoric is epistemic?. Philosophy and Rhetoric, Volume 37 , 335-3352.

Perelman, C., 1979. The new rhetoric: A theory of practical reasoning. In The new rhetoric and the humanities (pp. 1-42). Springer Netherlands.




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