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Aristotle. Thinking about Rhetoric. Aristotle: His Life. “The Stagerite” (394-322 BC) Father--Doctor At 17 to Athens to study with Plato (20yrs) After Plato’s Death leaves--marine biology Peripatetic school in Athens’ Lyceum Married at 37 to 18 yr old women A Son (Nichomachean Ethic).

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  1. Aristotle • Thinking about Rhetoric

  2. Aristotle: His Life • “The Stagerite” (394-322 BC) • Father--Doctor • At 17 to Athens to study with Plato (20yrs) • After Plato’s Death leaves--marine biology • Peripatetic school in Athens’ Lyceum • Married at 37 to 18 yr old women • A Son (Nichomachean Ethic)

  3. Aristotle on Rhetoric • Middle Ground between Sophists and Plato • Between Circumstances and Idealism • Sophists’ audience=the possible • Plato’s audience=the certain (the soul or gods) • Aristotle’s audience=the probable

  4. Three views of Rhetorical Reality“The Umpires as Rhetors” • “I calls ‘um as they is.” Who? • “I calls ‘um as I sees ‘um.” Who? • “They ain’t nothing til I calls um.” Who?

  5. In other words . . . • Plato--Reality is there and communication reflects reality. • Aristotle--Reality is probably there and communication is a relationship with reality. • Gorgias--Reality is not there and communication creates reality.

  6. Rhetoric, its own Identity • A counterpart to dialectic not cookery • Not moral but pragmatic and scientific • A study of all the available means of persuasion • Functions to discover in each context the best way to by successful

  7. Rhetoric’s Usefulness • Prevents fraud and injustice • Aids instruction • Makes us argue both sides • Helps in self-defense

  8. The Enthymeme • The center of Aristotle's Theory • Two part definition: • Truncated syllogism • Shared values

  9. The Syllogism--Logic • #1 • All men are mortal • Socrates is a man • Therefore, Socrates is mortal • #2 • ?

  10. Enthymeme-truncated • So . . . • Socrates is a man • Therefore, he is mortal • Missing element?

  11. Another truncation • In a speech on human demographics, I state: • “When deer and elk populations over breed they evidently die from starvation and/or disease.” • Unstated assumption?

  12. Enthymeme--shared values • What the speaker and audience share • “held in the mind” (Herrick, p. 81) • The argument is completed by the rhetor and the audience at the same time. • Clinton’s “State of the Union,” Social Security and the baby boomers.

  13. Two Kinds of Proofs • Artistic • Logos--logical arguments • Pathos--causes of emotion in humans • not irrational or nonrational as in Gorgias’s enchantments • Ethos--character, human goodness, virtue • Inartistic • evidence like testimonies, contracts, knives, tortured slaves

  14. Topos--Places • Locations for arguments • For example: • You want to run for office and you have a sorted past. Read the Clinton story and listen to responses he gives, Hilary gives, others responses. This is a topos for arguments. • Others Places? Where would you go?

  15. Fallacies Arguments • Post hoc--after the fact (Tom and picture) • Ad hominem--attack the person • Ad verecundiam--one source • False associations or metaphors--Doctors in non-medical aids or sports heroes

  16. More on Aristotle and Rhetoric • Book one and two on logic and emotions • Book three on style and delivery • “mere adornment” (metaphors or style) • “unworthy” (delivery) • Demosthenes--”delivery, delivery, delivery”

  17. So, What did Aristotle do for Rhetoric? • A counterpart to dialectics • An area of study--the dunamis (power) • Valuable study • Two areas of proof • THE ENTHYMENE • Topos • So, is rhetoric an art, techne, or a knack?

  18. Some Rhetorical Examplesand /or Problems • The CAR committee: • “I’m asking to have my low undergraduate and graduate grade point average and low MAT score to be waved because I’m almost done with my course work and I need to be accepted into the program to graduate in the Spring.”

  19. More Examples/Problems • Ms. Malloy, a pro-life advocate • “Dr. Foster (of Clinton fame) should not be the head of the upcoming teen-pregnancy prevention task force committee because he is pro-choice and has performed abortions.”

  20. More Examples/Problems • The case of the lost earring. • Solomon and the Baby

  21. More Examples/Problems • Chicago Hope and the fetus/abortion case. - Enthymeme or shared value beginning? • Presidential Appointment Click here. • - What is the enthymeme? Strong? Weak? • The young Islamic “peeping tom” - Enthymeme or shared value beginning? • Dan and Steve’s Grants--Where do we begin? • Your papers? • Key point regarding enthymemes is . . . ?

  22. More Examples/Problems regarding Aristotle's Rhetoric • Movies (tomorrow) • The city • A time to kill • Contact

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