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An Overview of Rhetoric. Robert Herrick. Rhetoric. “Systematic study and intentional practice of effective symbolic expression.” Symbolic? . Rhetor * . anyone who composes discourse that is intended to affect an audience’s or broader community’s thinking or actions. Goals of Rhetoric.

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rhetoric
Rhetoric
  • “Systematic study and intentional practice of effective symbolic expression.”
  • Symbolic?
rhetor
Rhetor *
  • anyone who composes discourse that is intended to affect an audience’s or broader community’s thinking or actions.
goals of rhetoric
Goals of Rhetoric
  • Achieving clarity
  • Awakening sense of beauty
  • Bringing about mutual understanding
6 characteristics
6 Characteristics
  • Rhetoric is planned
  • How would this relate to:
6 characteristics1
6 Characteristics
  • Rhetoric is adapted to an audience
      • Enthymeme*: the rhetor provides a tenable premise and expects the audience to “fill in” or arrive at the desired conclusion, based on shared values, beliefs, concerns, or knowledge; shared but unstated assumption
6 characteristics2
6 Characteristics
  • Rhetoric reveals human motives
slide10

“We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super rich are the same. Like somehow the rich will eventually get so full that they’ll explode. And the candy will rain down on the rest of us. Like there’s some kind of pinata of benevolence. But here’s the thing about a pinata: it doesn’t open on it’s own. You have to beat it with a stick.” — Bill Maher

6 characteristics3
6 Characteristics
  • Rhetoric is responsive (to a situation or previous rhetorical statement)
6 characteristics4
6 Characteristics
  • Rhetoric seeks persuasion
    • Argument – claim, reason, evidence
    • Appeals
    • Arrangement
    • Aesthetics
6 characteristics5
6 Characteristics
  • Rhetoric addresses contingent issues
    • Contingent – no definite or unavoidable answers; weighing of options necessary
    • Deliberate: reason through various alternatives
social functions of rhetoric
Social functions of rhetoric
  • Testing ideas
    • for both rhetor and audience
    • By public – i.e. abolition of slavery
  • Assisting Advocacy
  • Distributing power
    • Personal power – express self effectively
    • Psychological power – shape thinking of others
    • Political power
social functions of rhetoric1
Social functions of rhetoric
  • Discovering facts
    • Locating evidence
    • Evaluating evidence
  • Shaping knowledge
    • Social role, rhetor & audience
  • Building community
    • Example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr