The Rhetoric Of Aristotle

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The Rhetoric Of Aristotle

  1. 1. THE RHETORIC OF ARISTOTLE Chapter 21 of Em Griffin’s A First Look at Communication Theory
  2. 2. 3 main components of rhetorical analysis <ul><li>THE SPEAKER </li></ul><ul><li>THE SPEECH </li></ul><ul><li>THE AUDIENCE </li></ul>
  3. 3. Basic Principles <ul><li>Rhetoric is (about): </li></ul><ul><li>PERSUASION, convincing audiences that the speaker is probably right </li></ul><ul><li>ONE-TO-MANY COMMUNICATION </li></ul><ul><li>Superior to FORCE </li></ul><ul><li>Deals with KNOWN TRUTH </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentally PRACTICAL </li></ul><ul><li>Involves considerations of CONTEXT </li></ul>
  4. 4. RHETORIC FOR AFFAIRS OF STATE <ul><li>- JUDICIAL (guilt/innocence) </li></ul><ul><li>- POLITICAL (future policy) </li></ul><ul><li>- CEREMONIAL (praise/blame) </li></ul>
  5. 5. THREE KINDS OF PROOF <ul><ul><li>Logical ( logos ): line of argument </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical ( ethos ) : revealing of speaker’s character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional ( pathos ): the feeling drawn from the listeners </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. (1) LOGICAL PROOF <ul><li>Logical proof entails </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. ENTHYMEME, moves from global principle to specific truth ( deductive ): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* major premise that audience already accepts (may be left as obvious - for audience to intuit): God will reward nonviolence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* minor premise : We are pursuing our dream nonviolently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* conclusion : God will grant us our dream </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. EXAMPLE: examples are used by the speaker to draw a final conclusion from specific cases </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. (2) ETHICAL PROOF <ul><li>Speaker must SEEM plausible as well as the argument BEING plausible </li></ul><ul><li>High source credibility determined by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived intelligence (practical wisdom and shared values) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtuous character (good and honest) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goodwill (has good intentions for the audience) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Emotional Proof <ul><li>Emotional proof involves triggering responsive chords through play on opposing emotions, namely </li></ul><ul><li>Anger (versus mildness) </li></ul><ul><li>Love/friendship (versus hatred) </li></ul><ul><li>Fear (versus confidence) </li></ul><ul><li>Shame (versus shamelessness) </li></ul><ul><li>Indignation (versus pity) </li></ul><ul><li>Admiration (versus envy) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Synthesizing Aristotle’s work: 5 Cannons of Rhetoric <ul><li>1. Invention (construction of argument) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Involves specialized knowledge AND general lines of reasoning common to all argument </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Arrangement (ordering of material) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>State subject, then demonstrate it. First capture attention, then establish credibility, clarify purpose, conclude </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Style (selection of language) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of metaphor; clarity; appropriatness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Delivery (naturalness) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Memory. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Critique <ul><li>Lecture note form leaves many holes, lack of precision in terms </li></ul><ul><li>He promises analysis in terms of logical, ethical and emotional appeals, but actually structures his argument in terms of speaker, speech and audience </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes a passive audience </li></ul><ul><li>Does not say enough about SITUATION </li></ul>
  11. 11. Critique (ctd) <ul><li>Aristotle’s discussion of emotional proof does not really deal with the power of speakers who rely on shock, charisma, dynamism. His discussion may really have been targeted at elites rather than the average people. </li></ul>

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