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Chapter 4 notes

by: Caleb Booker

Chapter 4 notes COMM 3006

Caleb Booker
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Aristotle on Rhetoric
Intro To Rhetorical Theory
M. Sharp
Class Notes
Aristotle, on, rhetoric




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caleb Booker on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 3006 at University of Cincinnati taught by M. Sharp in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views.


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Date Created: 02/07/16
I. Defining Rhetoric 1. Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote a book named Rhetoric, which presents his pragmatic and systematic approach to rhetoric. 2. The book is divided into 3 sections (pg. 70): a) Book 1: defines the domain of rhetoric and describes 3 types of oratory b) Book 2: discusses the rhetorical proofs derived from character and emotion c) Book 3: discusses the matter of style and arrangement A. Rhetoric and Dialectic 1. Aristotle states that “rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic” 2. Dialectic was used for debating issues of general interest a) These issues came from endoxa, or widely accepted ideas 3. The difference between the two is that rhetoric is a public art used to speak to before a large audience. a) Used when attempting to resolve issues of politics and justice b) This audience lacked logic c) usually resolved specific issues 4. Dialectic was directed toward a small group of skilled advocates a) Addresses general questions b) Audience trained in logic A. Rhetoric as a Techne of Discovery 1. Aristotle wrote that “Rhetoric is a faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion a) Here, he put rhetoric with creative considerations rather than oratorical b) He presents rhetoric as the study of finding persuasive arguments and appeals 2. He states that rhetoric’s domain is not a function of any other art a) This means that rhetoric’s goals cannot be met by any other art, including poetry, dialectic, logic, etc. 3. Rhetoric’s subject matter is the means of persuasion 4. Rhetoric and dialectic are arts of investigation and expression B. Why Rhetoric is Useful 1. Aristotle gives us 4 reasons why rhetoric is useful a) The first: It is socially useful because “things that are true just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites” (if all things were equal, true and just ideas would prevail on their own) b) The second: derives from the nature of audiences. It is difficult to persuade an audience with just the facts. In order to win over the audience, the rhetor must make connections between the point being made and the beliefs of the audience. (audience adaptation) c) The third: Rhetor must be able to use persuasion on both sides of an argument to see the clear facts and to “confute” another rhetor (if there is one.) d) The fourth: it helps one defend themselves without the use of violence II. The Enthymeme 1. Enthymeme: type of argument or an approach to reasoning 2. Aristotle calls it a sort of syllogism 3. Syllogism: a deductive argument that moves from a general premise 4. Paradeigma: example 5. The reason an enthymeme is a rhetorical syllogism because a paradeigma is an induction and an enthymeme is a deduction A. An Argument Constructed with the Audience 1. For an argument to be enthymematic, it must not only connect with the audience’s convictions, but also must engage their emotions 2. The agreement between the rhetor and the audience was sometimes so clear that the speaker may not have even stated it in the speech. 3. An enthymemes successful construction is completed through cooperation by the audience and the speaker. III. Three Rhetorical Settings 1. Aristotle divided oratory into 3 catergories: a) Deliberative oratory b) Epideictic oratory c) Forensic oratory B. Deliberative Oratory 1. Aristotle considered oratory in a legislative setting beneficial to a large number of people 2. There is less inducement to talk about nonessentials in political oratory. 3. Sympheron: best or most advantageous course of action 4. Deliberative oratory’s guiding principle was eudiamonia: well-being, happiness, or flourishing 5. The goal was to establish policies and pursue actions that benefitted Athenians 6. D.O. is concerned with actions, is future oriented, and deals with questions of the best uses of resources C. Epideictic Oratory 1. Characterized public ceremonies 2. Dealt with issues of praise (epainos) and issues of blame (psogos) 3. Aristotle thought of epideictic oratory as a way of reinforcing public values. 4. Epideixis: speeches of display 5. The goal was not only to entertain, but encourage audience to form opinions or even revise their existing beliefs 6. The goal was more contemplative than pragmatic D. Forensic Oratory 1. Main concern is deciding questions of justice 2. F.O. reconstructs the past IV. The Artisitc Proofs 1. Aristotle names 3 artistic proofs: a) Logos b) Pathos c) Ethos A. Logos 1. Arguments and logical reasoning 2. Simply means a word, or maybe words in a document/speech 3. Suggests intellect or general rationality 4. Implies both thought and speech 5. Logos was the study of inference making or reasoning. B. Pathos 1. Names and causes of various emotions 2. Aristotle described this as “putting the audience in the right frame of mind to make a good decision” 3. Often used to describe emotional appeals that give persuasive messages their power to influence action 4. The study of pathos is the study of the psychology of emotion. 5. Emotions are not irrational impediments to decision making. They are rational responses to certain circumstances 6. Pathos is a detailed psychology of emotion intended to help the student understand human emotional response toward the goal of adjusting the audience’s emotional state to fit the nature and seriousness of the particular issue being argued. C. Ethos 1. Human character or goodness 2. To establish ethos, the speaker must exhibit intelligence, virtue, and goodwill 3. Speaker must understand what the audience believes makes a person believable 4. Aristotle treated ethos as a study of character 5. It is a careful study of what Athenians thought were traits of a trustworthy individual V. Topoi: Lines of Argument 1. Topos: place; type of argument A. Special Topics 1. Eidei Topoi: special topics 2. These were lines of argument and specific pieces of knowledge especially important to one type of argument 3. Special topics had to do with understanding human virtue and vice, and with being able to place blame or trust in someone B. Common Topics 1. Konoi Topoi: common topics; universal lines of argument 2. 28 common topics 3. Includes lines of argument such as reasoning from general to particular, or by division of possibilities 4. The 28 common topics are a suggestive list or arguments that can be used in any of the three rhetorical settings VI. Aristotle on Style 1. Aristotle said that delivery is not worthy of systematic discussion, but is important to how an audience receives a speech 2. A successful orator must not use so many artistic devices to preserve the naturalness of the speech 3. Also says that skill with metaphors are beyond the scope of an art.


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