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On Aristotle’s Rhetoric

Rhetoric, which is also known in varying titles, namely, The Art of Rhetoric, On Rhetoric, and a Treatise on Rhetoric, is a book written by Aristotle dating from the 4th century BCE. The book is about the art of persuasion. In order to persuade people, a person should be a good speaker, and a good speaker, according to Aristotle, should have these three things under control. These three things are the argument (logos), the presentation (ethos), and the audience (pathos).

Aristotle’s Rhetoric is still as valid today as in the ancient times. The tools that he gave his readers still hold true today.

Aristotle considered rhetoric to be not a tool to convince the audience but an art form that could help present a persuasive argument. Because people with good ideas are often poor speakers, he provided them with a toolbox full of rhetorical resources. You might say that Aristotle was the first person to prepare academics for their TED Talks and keynotes.

Check out the various tools that Aristotle laid down for his readers over at Medium.

(Image Credit: Broesis/ Pixabay)


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If you think rhetoric is "good", or that teaching rhetoric is good, you're clearing not living in reality. If you teach rhetoric to people, just as many bad people pick it up as good people. And what are good and bad people? Good people are the ones we agree with their actions. If you do something I don't like, you're bad. Since I believe in determinism over free will, I'd say some people are born naturally good at rhetoric. Everything out of Alex Jones' mouth is vomit inside of a burning dumpster - guess what he's good at rhetoric. He didn't make millions dollars over 30 years being bad at rhetoric. Same thing for Trump. Rhetoric is just as effective as a person sitting in a lab coat alone making scientific discoveries using no rhetoric whatsoever. I dunno, something about The Praise of Rhetoric really bothers me. It's like these people who have children and virtue signal to everyone they know "hey you should also have kids!" You have no idea what your children are going to grow up and become. You don't even believe in human overpopulation. Anyway..
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Excellent article. A short, numbered list that is always relevant. But Aristotle should have included two more points for Americans:7) There is no need to include the word 'like' in every sentence. For example, a hammer is not like a tool. A hammer IS a tool.8) Stop mentioning Anne Dumb at the start of your sentences. I don't know who this Anne Dumb character is, but I keep hearing her name popping up in student speeches and NPR interviews.
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