Chapter 5 Overview

Critical Thinking

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Chapter 5 Overview Individual claims presented without support are not always ready for tests of initial plausibility and the credibility of the source. Those tests presuppose that the claim comes in neutral form to our accepting or rejecting minds; but even lone sentences have ways of smuggling in strategies to affect our reception of them. Chapter 5 addresses these techniques of nonargumentative persuasion, which include the use of emotionally loaded language and suggestive sentence structure. Numerous categories of nonargumentative persuasion help you detect its often subtle appearances. 1. Rhetoric affects its audience's beliefs without offering reasons for a claim. a. Rhetoric uses additional layers of unstated meaning to influence beliefs and attitudes. i. Such claims frequently choose language that has a powerful and biased emotive force. (See Chapter 3 for a definition of emotive force.) The persuasion discussed in 2. a-c below most clearly fits into this category. ii. Other techniques manipulate features of communication less directly related to emotive force. The types of suggestion discussed in 2. d-e, and the obfuscatory ploys of 2. f-j, are nonargumentative persuasion without the emotive energy. b. Speaking most generally about nonargumentative persuasion, we will call words or phrases that manipulate their emotive force rhetorical devices and techniques. i. Rhetorical devices, or slanters , come in a variety of forms: They laud, censure, excuse, or change the subject. In general, they can dispose us to take a certain perspective on some subject. ii. Rhetoric typically occurs in the absence of argument, as a substitute for argument. iii. None of this necessarily means that slanters mislead—that nonargumentative persuasion is persuasion to falsehood. Nothing is wrong with persuasiveness itself. Bear the following points in mind: 1. We examine slanters to hone our ears for the shadings that language can take, not in order to produce flat and tepid language. 2.
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Chapter 5 Overview - Chapter 5 Overview Individual claims...

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