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Perspectives on Human Communication – 2005. Dr. Willard Uncapher Mon-Fri 8/29,31 & 9/2/2005 – Rhetoric and Comm. Frameworks [Please Fill out Attendance Sheet]. Media History Overview. Historical Periods – a timeline I. Oral (3 million - 3500 bce.)

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perspectives on human communication 2005

Perspectives on Human Communication – 2005

Dr. Willard Uncapher

Mon-Fri 8/29,31 & 9/2/2005 – Rhetoric and Comm. Frameworks

[Please Fill out Attendance Sheet]

media history overview
Media History Overview
  • Historical Periods – a timeline
  • I. Oral (3 million - 3500 bce.)
  • includes dance, etc.- question is how info transmitted
  • and stored; how is culture transmitted & formed
  • II. (Hand) Written
  • a. glyphic, syllabic, etc (3500 bce. - 750 bce. approx.)
  • b. alphabetic (750 bce. - 1450 ce.)
  • III. Typographic (1450 - 1830 ce.)
  • printing press- mass media, newspapers
  • IVa. Electronic I (1830s- 1940s approx.)
  • telegraph, telephone, electric light
  • info become independent of space; short
  • IVb. Electronic II (1945- present)
  • (interactive) computers, multi-media fusions
oral era 3 million 3500 bce
Oral Era - (3 million - 3500 bce)
  • Words Have Power – How do words come to have meaning?
  • Bards, [Mobads, Brahmins]- poets who can remember
    • Greek Homeric tales; Sanskrit- Rg Veda;
    • Oral ‘Literature’ as performance
    • William Parry (Greece) and Alfred Lord (Yugoslavia)– Bards did exist!
  • Mnemonics- How is culture transmitted & stored between generations, and between communities?
    • Poetry- has rhyme, rhythm, repetitions – 'wise nestor' ‘Clever Odysseus‘
hand written ii alphabetic 750 bce 1450 ce approx
(Hand) Written II- Alphabetic (750 bce- 1450 ce approx.)
  • Origins – Used in commerce, then government, & only later in religion and story. Sumerians and clay. Letters among Merchants
  • Scribes – Professionals learn how to write and read, and so gain a special power.
  • Glyphs- Writing from symbols, to syllabaries
  • Books scarce until era of printing - scarce books & documents designed to be memorized to feed a vibrant oral culture
  • Alphabet Revolution? Many writing systems without vowels- Greeks add vowels to perfect efficient (‘digital’) system
  • ‘Democratization’? Because easier to learn system, to learn new words – still, rights for women, slaves, non-citizens were more limited
  • Greeks & Rhetoric? – a period of transition from ‘oral’ to ‘limited (hand) written’ culture – with alphabet, there is enough literacy to impact how society is organized, teachings its young, relates to its elders, and values knowledge!
rhetoric and the study of languages
Rhetoric and the Study of Languages
  • Study of Languages is ancient – not simply Greek
  • Formal Grammarians and Rhetoricians – seem to arise with spread of writing.
  • Panini – Ancient Indian Grammarian – (300 BCE) – Studies grammar of Sanskrit as a universal Language
    • comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology
    • “Sanskrit" means "complete" or "perfect" and it was thought of as the divine language, or language of the gods
rhetoric in greece
Rhetoric in Greece
  • Study of Language
    • According to Aristotle, Corax ‘invented’ rhetoric in Syracuse (Sicily) around 476 B.C.
    • Corax’s student, Tisias, is said to have further developed the skills of rhetoric and then brought them to mainland Greece
  • Rhetoric as ‘persuasive discourse’
    • “discipline given to the analysis, design, critique, and delivery of words intended to influence the attitudes or behaviors of a specific audience”
    • Isocrates – sounds like a lawyer, argues about who should pay debts
  • Rhetoric as a (formal) study of language
    • Study of ‘communication’ / tropes or figures of speech
why does rhetoric arise in greece
Why does Rhetoric arise in Greece?
  • Athens experiment in democracy provides new place for public debate to influence public policy.
  • Need for persuasive speech in legal cases (Isocrates)
  • Oral expression and skilled oratory were admired and popular for entertainment.
the sophists
The Sophists
  • Teachers emerged in the 5th century (B.C.) to teach rhetorical skills.
  • Sophist means “bearer of wisdom.”
  • Some taught wisdom (Socrates).
  • Some taught eloquence (Gorgias).
  • Others taught both wisdom and eloquence (Isocrates).
isocrates 436 338 b c
Isocrates (436-338 B.C.)
  • In his Antidosis, Isocrates defined the field of rhetoric and its importance in human affairs.
  • Elevates political and public interest over more philosophical and private interest
  • Isocrates believed that oratory was an art.
  • Importance of practical wisdom
  • Excellence could be attained only through:
    • Talent: development of an existing aptitude,
    • Education: extensive knowledge of subject matter,
    • Application: rigorous practice.
plato 427 347 b c
Plato (427-347 B.C.)
  • Dialogue: “Phaedrus” – discusses rhetoric
  • Emphasizes reason and ideals
  • Dialectic vs Rhetoric
    • Dialectic [analysis and synthesis of formal reasoning],
  • Rhetoric is an art to be learned
    • Speeches organized like living organisms
    • psychagogia--which translates into "soul-leading"--describes the nature of rhetoric
  • Writing is a copy of a copy
    • Will it weaken memory?
aristotle 394 322 b c
Aristotle (394-322 B.C.)
  • Flourished after Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great, known for his walking lectures (The “Peripatetic Philosopher”).
  • A scientist and observer of nature
    • Provided many explanations about how nature (physical, biological, psychological, etc) worked
    • Provided rules for reason and thought
    • Contrast with Plato:
      • Deductive Thought – reasoning from accepted basic/first principles (Plato) – look by to Pythagoras & Mathematics
      • Inductive Thought – reasoning based on experience and evidence; from a particular case (Aristotle)
aristotle s rules of logic for the same of argument you must accept these
Aristotle’s Rules of Logic:For the same of argument… you must accept these!
  • The Law of Identity – “A = A” – Things are what they are, and stay the same.
    • Eg. Men, Women as categories with consistent qualities.
    • Some argue this ‘law’ is not properly in Aristotle – from Middle Ages
  • The Law of the Excluded Middle – “A or not A” – Something either is or is not.
    • Eg. Either someone is a Human or they are not.
    • Some argue [later] for 3 values – yes, no, maybe
  • The Law of Contradiction – “A and not A can’t both be true” – contradictory statements can’t both be true.
    • Eg. One can’t be both human and non-human.
Syllogism and EnthymemesHow do you string ideas, assumptions, and connections together in an ‘argument’? It’s harder than it seems!
  • Syllogism – is a three part ‘argument’ with:
    • a major premise (“All humans are mortal”);
    • a minor premise (“Socrates is a human”); and
    • a conclusion (“Socrates is a mortal”)
  • Enthymeme – is a syllogism with an unstated assumption; can usually be restated as deductive syllogism
    • “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." —Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle, 1988. (The hidden premises might be, Jack Kennedy was a great man, and you are not a great man.)
    • “The beautiful women, draped across the dashing red sports car... there is no logical connection between the two, but the advertiser would like to imply a premise that there is. If the advertiser came out and said "Buy this car and you will have more sexual satisfaction" it might be easier to reject as a premise.
  • Note: If the premises of the syllogism are invalid, the syllogism or enthymeme (argument) can be refuted.
aristotle continued
Aristotle (continued)
  • Aristotle produced the first “textbook” on Rhetorical skills.
    • Aristotle’s Rhetoric combined the ethical concerns of Isocrates and Plato with the sophist’s practical ideas about persuasion.
    • Rhetoric combines dialectic, psychology, and persuasion.
      • [Contrast this with later theories of communication of Chapter 2: eg. channel, noise, feedback, social norms, etc.]
  • Three Elements to Poetics and Arguments [do memorize]
    • Ethos: ethical behavior which establishes the speakers good character and personal credibility. Speaks to the cultural side
      • What makes someone credible? Why might this be ‘cultural’ in nature?
    • Pathos: psychological tactics which bring the audience into an emotional state favorable to the speaker’s position or arguments.
      • What gets you excited, worried, impressed by a topic?
    • Logos: logical arguments which either make a case (or appear to make
      • What good reasons are there for you do accept or do something?
cicero 106 43 b c fancy language
Cicero (106-43 B.C.) – ‘fancy language’
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman orator, lawyer, and practicing rhetorician.
    • Appears during the decline of the Roman Republic – before rise of the Empire with its Caesar/monarch.
      • Republic – wealthy aristocrats are elected. Mobility in law or military
    • A famous orator – would give elaborate, compelling speeches, and write about the theory of giving such speeches
    • Synthesized the Greek and Roman schools of rhetoric, and contributed specifics to the classical canon.
      • Used manuals in Greek; still a more upper class pursuit.
  • His works included De Inventione (On Invention) and De Oratore (On Oratory).
    • Inventione reads like a manual for lawyers, while Oratore is an extensive work on the artistry of rhetoric.
    • Places Rhetoric above Law and Philosophy
  • Wants to balance ‘truth’ and ‘speech’
    • A skeptic [we can’t know ‘ultimate truth’] in philosophy, but not in ethics and politics – we need to act! - Cicero acknowledged the influence of Isocrates on his work.
  • Seneca the Younger – Contrasts with Ciceronian style: favors ‘plain speech’ of the people!
the roman school quintilian s five canons
The Roman school: Quintilian’s Five Canons

1. Invention (inventio): the devising of matter, true or plausible, that would make the case convincing.

2. Arrangement (dispositio):the ordering and placing of matter.

3. Style (elocutio):the adaptation of suitable words and sentences to the matter invented.

4. Memory (memoria): the firm retention in the mind of the matter, words, and arrangement.

5. Delivery (pronuntiatio): the graceful regulation of voice, countenance, and gesture.

quintilian beyond ca a d 30 98
Quintilian & Beyond (ca. A.D. 30-98)
  • Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was born in Spain (Calahorra) but was taken to Rome around A.D. 50.
  • His principal work was the Institutio Oratoria, a blend of practical and theoretical precepts for educating citizen-orators.
    • Sets up the first ‘public school’ of rhetoric
    • Sets up ‘steps’ in learning rhetoric’
    • Creates ‘textbook’ – hence importance for later generations
  • Quintilian argued that the goal of a rhetorical education was “a good man speaking well.”
  • For Quintilian, a “good man” possessed a long list of attributes and behaviors, most of them oriented to civic duty.
    • “Good speech” is an essential component to being full human
  • Pragmatic Approach – judge things by how well they work, and how well they serve people, arguments, and causes.
  • Medieval Rhetoric – Are your reasons based on ‘truth’ (received, transcendental - Plato) or ‘analysis’ (words as conventions, Aristotle)
what is communication
What is communication?
  • Is communication intentional?
    • Are we dealing with ‘people’ or senders who want to send ‘something’ via communication?
    • Does it require a sender and receiver?
  • Is communication symbolic?
    • Must it involve signs, symbols, or some abstraction?
    • Is communication concerned with meanings?
  • Is our study of communication limited to humans?
    • Can we include animals… or plants?
  • Is communication limited to speech?
    • What different ‘channels’ are we going to look at?
    • When is ‘not doing something’ also ‘sending a message’?
models and definitions
Models and Definitions
  • Models and theories begin with definitions.
    • Definitions help establish the structure of the model.
      • Show structure and function.
  • Models and Theories?
    • Models are necessarily reductionist
      • Only some things selected
    • Models are abstractions (the map is not the territory).
      • We have to use ‘concepts’ [remember laws of identity, excluded middle, contradiction?]
    • Models are descriptive tools.
      • Illustrate, demonstrate, explain, and/or show relationships among entities or concepts.
      • Illustrate dynamics among components of a theory.
    • Models may lead to predictions
models and perspectives
Models and Perspectives
  • Psychological [Transmission]: communication as the transmission of messages

Metaphor: Radios

  • Social construction: communication as collective world-building

Metaphor: Software

  • Pragmatic: communication as patterned interactions

Metaphor: Chess game

  • Cultural and Critical Studies: communication as a revealer of social and cultural forces
  • Ethnography of Communication: looking at speech communities as observed