Three meanings of Rhetoric:
McKeon rhetoric as “universal” and “architectonic”
According to Aristotle, rhetoric doesn’t have a definitive subject.
Architectonic: that rhetoric’s subject is the systemization of communication
principals/ ideas. It is like math it is subject-less. Its subject matter is not natural,
but it is the cornerstone of all contemporary science, it has general applications to
all fields. It gives structrre to the other arts and disciplines, that it is a kind of
master discipline that organizes control overall other disciplines.
Universal: rhetoric enables us to understand principles of communication that
have universal applications.
Our dominate society stems from the ability to
Rhetoric as both nature and culture
Lessl’s heat and architecture metaphors
The creator’s effort to come up with a message. Invisible realm of human creative
thought. Rhetoric tries to appeal to all audiences and all resources of human motivation.
Rhetors use logos (logic), pathos (emotions), and ethos (credibility of speaker) when
using invention. The process of discovering the arguments and evidence for a persuasive
Dispositio: the effective ordering of arguments and appeals
primacy and recency, associations, history
Elocutio: the process of finding the right linguistic style for one’s message.
Ornament: figures of speech, schemes of language. Plays a critical role in rhetoric b/c it is
what gives something presence and allows it to stick out in the environment. Not a
superficial add-on to meaning. Ex. Kate Walsh ad: “when you turn it on, does it return
Herrick’s attributes of Rhetoric:
Planned: involves planning. Includes invention, disposition, and elocutio.
Adapted to Audiences: a rhetor tries to imagine who his planned audience will be. He
wants to appeal to the audience through identification. Forges links between the rhetor’s
views and those of an audience. Means attending to an audience’s values, experiences,
beliefs, social status, and aspirations.
Responsive to the situation: rhetorical discourse is typically either a response to a
situation or to a previous rhetorical statement. Rhetoric is crafted in response to a set of
circumstances, including a particular time, location, problem, and audience. It is response
making as in any rhetorical discourse is an individual’s response to a particular situation.
Rhetoric is response-initiating in setting that one expects ones response will receive a
response from the opposition.