John Stewart

John Stewart - Bobby Krivitsky Anne Demo CRS 183 John...

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Bobby Krivitsky Anne Demo CRS 183 February 18, 2011 John Stewart: Sophistic or Platonic? Rhetoric is defined as the systematic study and intentional practice of effective symbolic expression. (Defining Rhetoric ppt.). In the midst of the changes taking place in Ancient Greece, emerged the first teachers of rhetoric, the Sophists. The Sophists approach to rhetoric consisted of three main points, the ability to memorize model speeches, epideixis, which consists of composing speeches for occasions, and the requirement that students invent arguments for and against a proposition. (Lecture 1/13). The Sophists were popular but heavily controversial. For one thing, the Sophists would advertise and accept payment for their teaching. In addition to this, Sophists “promoted the notion that truth derives from clash of arguments and is relative to places and cultures.” (Lecture 1/13). Sophists also promoted a view of justice that was built on social customs that were not derived from law and authority. The father of the Sophists is considered to be a man named Gorgias. Gorgias was a teacher of rhetoric and a defender of Sophistry. Gorgias is considered to be a professional persuader. Gorgias lived from 485 to 380 BCE and despite being born in Sicily, lived in Athens. (Lecture 1/13). Gorgias believing that words work magic and that they have the power to arouse emotions such as fear, pity, and longing. In addition to this, Gorgias was also known for developing stylistic devices such as metaphors and similes, balanced clauses, and lyric delivery. (Lecture 1/13). One man who vehemently opposed the ways of the Sophists was
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Plato. Plato had an aristocratic upbringing and was a student of Socrates. Plato’s philosophy was to question the validity of all accepted truths and beliefs. (Lecture 2/9). Plato was skeptical of democracy and believed that it promoted the elite “philosopher
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John Stewart - Bobby Krivitsky Anne Demo CRS 183 John...

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