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The Rhetoric - Aristotle


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Presentation of a communication theory: the Rhetoric of Aristotle, seen as the art of public speaking.

The Rhetoric - Aristotle

  1. 1. R H E T O R I C Camille Bureau – 1472002 Media & Communication
  2. 2. Aristotle and Ancient Greece - Greek philosopher and scientist - Plato's student - The Art of Rhetoric (4th century BC): Greeke treatise on the art of persuasion Aristotle and Plato : deplored the demagoguery of speakers using their skills to move an audience while being indifferent to the truth. Aristotle : saw rhetoric as a neutral means to do the greatest good or the greatest harm.
  3. 3. Dialectic Rhetoric > Search for truth > Answers to general and philosophical questions > Deals with certainty > Tries to demonstrate truth that has already been found > Answers to specific and practical questions > Deals with probability (discovering ways to make the truth seem more probable to an audience that isn’t completely convinced)
  4. 4. Rhetoric : making persuasion probable Discovery of the available means of persuasion – except force of law, torture and war. Aristotle made a threefold classification of speech situations according to the audience. It showed that he had the affairs of state in mind : - Courtroom speaking for judges trying to render a just decision about actions alleged to have taken place in the past. - Ceremonial speaking: heaps praise or blame on another for the benefits of present-day audiences. - Political speaking: to influence legislators or voters who decide future policy. Presidential debates for example. The principles found by Aristotle can still be used today in many situations.
  5. 5. Famous speakers with a positive image
  6. 6. Famous speakers with a negative image
  7. 7. RHETORICAL PROOF The available means of persuasion can be artistic or inartistic : - Inartistic: external proofs (testimonies, witnesses, documents) - Artistic: internal proof, those that the speaker creates. → Logical: comes from the line of argument in the speech → Ethical : way the speaker’s character is revealed through the message → Emotional : feeling the speech draws out of the audience = Logos, Ethos & Pathos
  8. 8. Logos Facts, Reason, Rationality Logical proof which comes from the line of argument in a speech. You cite facts to demonstrae your argument. → Give examples and enthymeme (the audience helps construct the proof)
  9. 9. “Use what language you will, you can never say anything more but what you are” Ralph Waldo Emerson 3 qualities help building high source credibility according to Aristotle: - Perceived Intelligence: competence. The speaker has to establish strong value identification to be perceived as intelligence (fight for Human Rights, condemn crime, want peace in the word = almost universal thoughts). - Virtuous Character: speaker’s image as a good and honest person, trustworthiness. MLK in his speech was being charitable towards his enemies and optimistic about the future, he didn’t call for violence. - Goodwill: care, friendliness of the speaker towards the audience. Ethos Credibility, Trust, Authority
  10. 10. Pathos Emotions, Beliefs, Common experiences « People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care », John C. Maxwell, American writer. → Share a memorable story that makes people care / Use humor to make them feel enthusiastic... Balance is very important here. Aristotle catalogued a series of opposite feelings, explained the conditions under which each mode is experiences and described how the speaker can lead the audience to feel that way. Love or friendship vs. Hatred. If the speaker and the audience have common goals, experiences, attitudes and desires they will feel close. Looking at shared memories that you and your audience can have in common to create strong and persuasive arguments. In the absence of these positive forces, a common enemy can be used to create solidarity.
  11. 11. Rhetorical proof =
  12. 12. In advertising ? Logos - Good functions (new technologies) - Results Ethos - Positive reviews (movies) - Experts opinions (toothpaste, make up) Pathos - Being attractive to the opposite sex (perfume, cars) - Prevention of something negative in your life (insurance)
  13. 13. THE CANONS OF RHETORIC I nvention M emory S tyle A rrangement D elivery
  14. 14. Invention Creative process Coming up with ideas Hunt for arguments Generates effective enthymemes and examples
  15. 15. Memory A 'lost art' ? Rehearsal Comfortable in public
  16. 16. Style Use of analogy, metaphors, choice or words Makes your point stronger Aids for comprehension Aesthetic appreciation
  17. 17. Arrangement Organisation of your argument Avoid complicated schemes of organisation. « There are two parts to a speech, for it is necessary first to state the subject and then to demonstrate it » Aristotle Intro Capture attention, establish credibility→ Conclusion Remind what you said, leave a good feeling to the→ audience
  18. 18. Delivery Audience : eager for naturalness - authenticity : real, coming from the heart, believed by your audience - transparency : once the form has been mastered we no longer see the form, we only see the content
  19. 19. Historical speeches Speeches make History ! ● Martin Luther King – I had a dream ● Général Charles de Gaulle – The Appeal of 18th June - Context : during WW2, German occupation - Impact : French Resistance
  20. 20. THE GOLDEN MEAN => Is it ethical to alter a message to make it more acceptable for a particular audience ? The virtue of moderation, the virtuous person develops habits that avoid extremes. Extreme Golden Mean Extreme Lies Truthful statements Brutal honesty Secrecy Transparency Soul-baring Cowardice Courage Recklessness
  21. 21. Critics & Openning Rhetoric of Aristote : criticized but used a lot + criteria to take into account : context / situation in which the speech is given
  22. 22. Thank you for your attention ~ Any question ?