The History of Rhetoric. Kristen K. Tiscione June 2014. Rhetoric is the art of “discovering in the particular case what are the available means of persuasion.” — Aristotle, Rhetoric (c. 333 BCE). Logic. Rhetoric. the invention and arrangement of ideas that lead to t ruth
Kristen K. Tiscione
Rhetoric is the art of “discovering in the particular case what are the available means of persuasion.”
—Aristotle, Rhetoric (c. 333 BCE)
Logic what are the available means of persuasion.”
the invention and arrangement of ideas that
lead to truth
the invention, arrangement, and expression of ideas that lead to probable truth
(the politician, lawyer)
The art of inventing The art of The art of
and combining symbols thinking communication
Logic – invention
Rhetoric – invention
(how to read)
(how to write)
(how to evaluate speech)
(how to speak)
Doctrinal – invention
true principles of law
scientific case method
Q: What is negligence?
A: It depends . . . on the jurisdiction, the case law, the lawyer who interprets it, and the judge who applies it.
If law is a function of rhetoric, rhetorical theory helps us understand
the lawmaking process
how to persuade and participate in the process
how to teach the process, and
how to teach it better
KIRSTEN k. Davis
Or Is It?
Symbol (of Law) Communication
[Legal] Context and Constraints
A speaker uses symbols of the law to persuade an audience to take action. The action of the audience is constrained. All of this takes place in a context.
Responding to Need
NeedRhetorical theory is a lens for looking at legal communication as a rhetorical situation.
Reception (Instructive, Critical)
Construct messages more consciously.
Receive messages more consciously.
As a lawyer: read/listen better.
As a scholar/ “special citizen”: critically assess legal messages.
What will be the focus of study? The speaker, audience, patterns, strategies?
What is the perspective (method) the scholar will take?
What is the judgment the scholar wishes to make (descriptive, interpretive, evaluative)?
What kind of insight will be gained from the study?
Action is motivated. Language is symbolic action. Symbol choices reveal motivation.
Looking for how symbols “hang together”
“What goes with what”
Symbolic structures have five interacting elements.
Meaning changes depending on the relationship between those elements.
Pentad allows systematic exam of the “strategic moments” in symbol use.
Scene Determines Act
Act Defines Agent
At a little after the restaurant’s closing time, Ms. Jones found herself alone in an unlit alley. That was when Mr. Smith rushed toward Ms. Jones from an area obscured by empty liquor crates.
While walking home after a late dinner at a local restaurant, Mr. Smith saw Ms. Jones, a tenant in his apartment building, and he attempted to escort her home.
The way in which we know our reality through language.
An argument for a particular view of the world.
The “vehicle” frames the “tenor.”
Julie A. Oseid
University of St. Thomas School of Law
Michael Smith and Linda Berger
James Boyd White
I (and maybe you, too?) was a rhetoric scholar and teacher
and didn’t really realize it . . .