There is obviously no unrhetorical “naturalness” of language to which one could appeal; language itself is the result of purely rhetorical arts. The power to discover and to make operative that which works and impresses, with respect to each thing, a power which Aristotle calls rhetoric, is, at the same time, the essence of language…. - NIETZSCHE
FOR EXAMPLE: "ya'll" versus "you guys" or "partner"
RHETORIC & PERSUASION
- Linked together frequently
- Closely linked to gaining compliance
- Others are trying to persuade us all the time (Ex. Telemarketers)
- Makes us wary of rhetoric
- We also are persuading all the time
Hence, humans are rhetorical beings
“the energy inherent in emotion and thought, transmitted through a system of signs, including language, to others to influence their decisions or actions" - GEORGE KENNEDY
Suggests rhetoric develops in the realm of symbols
Language = A shared symbol system
What are some other symbols/symbol systems out there?
What about dancing, paintings/art, acting, architecture/buildings, or sports?
Basically, rhetoric is EVERYWHERE as symbol systems are everywhere
AN EFFECTIVE SYMBOLIC EXPRESSION
...we can define the art of rhetoric as follows: The systematic study and intentional practice of effective symbolic expression. Effective here will mean achieving the purposes of the symbol-user, whether that purpose is persuasion, clarity, beauty, or mutual understanding. (pg. 8)
OTHER RELATED TERMS
- Rhetorical theory is the systematic presentation of rhetoric’s principles, its various social functions, and how the art achieves its goals.
- Messages crafted according to the principles of rhetoric we will call rhetorical discourse, or simply rhetoric.
- An individual practicing the art of rhetoric we will occasionally refer to as a rhetor.
What is the difference between communication and rhetoric? Is it synonymous?
- Quizzes will start next week- Quiz #1 due next Monday 11:59
CHARACTERISTICS OF RHETORICAL DISCOURSE
- adapted to an audience
- shaped by human motives
- responsive to a situation
- persuasion-seeking (achieves through argument, appeals, arrangement, aesthetics)
- concerned with contingent issues
- Which arguments will I advance?
- Which evidence best supports my point?
- How will I order and arrange my arguments and evidence?
- What resources of language are available to me, given my topic and audience?
Adapted to an audience
Shaped by and reveals human motives
Responsive to a situation
Usually in response to a particular event, time, place, audience, problem. Ex. Patriot Act
- Argument: a claim supported by reasons (Ex. Beyonce is the best female artist of today because...)
- Appeals: after an audience's emotions or audience's values (ex. Patriot Act 9/11)
- Arrangements: the order of a message. Ex. IKEA
- Aesthetics: adding form, beauty, or force to your expression/message Ex. Repetition
Concerned w/ contingent issues
“it is the duty of rhetoric to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us” and when “the subjects of our deliberation are such as seem to present us with alternative possibilities.” -Aristotle
- Never about "an inevitable fact" or "virtual impossibility"
- Ex. Should physician assisted suicide be federally legalized?
Answer on a sheet of paper...
- Is it planned?
- What audience was it adapted to?
- Was it shaped by motives? What were these motives?
- Was it responsive to a particular situation? What situation?
- Is it persuasive-seeking? Does it use argument, appeals, arrangement, aesthetics?
- Is it concerned with contingent issues?
Considering the characteristics of rhetorical discourse, how is it different from 'communication'?
SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE ART OF RHETORIC
- ideas are tested
- advocacy is assisted
- power is distributed (talk is action, personal, psychological, political)
- facts are discovered
- knowledge is shaped
- communities are built
**If time permits**
- Each group (9 groups total) will be assigned a social function of the art of rhetoric
- As a group, summarize the section
- Provide a clear example that demonstrates that social function
- Be ready to present to class as group