COMM270 LECTURE NOTES

COMM270 LECTURE NOTES - Lecture 1/19 Influences on...

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Lecture 1/19 - Influences on Development of Rhetoric in Greece o Geography o Climate o Religion o Culture- talking was what they did for fun o Arts- rhetoric would later be considered among the arts; Greeks considered the arts to be balanced forces (order, balance versus passion, intensity) o Politics- the most important influence Slaves, women, and even some men were not citizens In ancient Greece there were no attorneys - The Sophists were known for: o Teaching arête- virtue or character o Teaching rhetoric o Charged large sums of money for education o Many taught eristic or disputation/arguing both sides of an issue ( dissoi logoi )- learned how to argue both sides so as to become better debaters o Epideixis or display (advertising) speech, e.g., Gorgias’ Defense of Helen o ALSO: Taught argument that they called “Probability Argument”; addressing issues of contingency; matters of fact - Two Important Sophists: o Protagoras: “Man is the measure of all things.” A rather subversive doctrine, for it seemed to challenge religious doctrine. o Gorgias: Best known for his claim to be able to speak on any subject matter, for his skill in epideixis , his concept of kairos , and for “play” of language- he was the first to develop figurative language (gorgianic figures) like antithesis and parallelism - Socrates and Plato: o Plato was a student of Socrates. Socrates did not write so we don’t know how faithfully Plato’s dialogues represent his thinking. o Socrates is the main character in Plato’s dialogues, and almost always at least one of his interlocutors is a Sophist. o For Plato (and his character Socrates), it should be the goal of all men to seek the truth- to come as close to discovering it as possible (although language hides the truth from us). - Plato’s Political and Philosophical Views: o Anti-Democratic: The polis (city-state) should be governed by philosophers who have engaged in dialectic to discover the Truth.
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o Dialectic-philosophical method: The Midwife Art Question and Answer Dialogue of Challenge and Response, to discover Truth. Forerunner of Logic - Plato on Rhetoric: Gorgias o Rhetoric is like cookery- both deal only in appearances; they don’t offer knowledge or truth o Cooking will not improve the body, and rhetoric will not improve the soul. Both are “artificers” (sham or false arts) not true arts o Rhetoric offers only opinion ( doxa ), not truth. - Plato’s Later Definition of Rhetoric ( Phaedrus ): Rhetoric is an art which leads the soul by means of words not only in law courts and other public assemblages, but in private company as well. It is concerned with small things as well as with great, and is no more to be esteemed in important than in trivial matters. - Requirements of a True Art of Rhetoric ( Phaedrus ): 1. Rhetor must know The Truth.
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