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Paper Topic:

The difference between classical and modern rhetoric

The difference between classical and modern rhetoric

2006

The difference between classical and modern rhetoric

There is a famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln which claims

You can fool some of the people all of the time , and all of the people some of the time , but you can not fool all of the people all of the time (Lincoln . It could be considered however , that the aim of rhetoric , the not always so gentle art of persuasion , is to do exactly that . The dictionary definition of rhetoric `1 . The study of

the technique of using language effectively . 2 . The art of using speech to persuade , influence , or oratory (Collins ) may be static , but the way in rhetoric , itself is utilized within society has evolved considerably since it 's original conception

While the word rhetoric itself is said to have be coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato (Wikipedia ) and originates from the ancient Greek word rhktfr , meaning orator , or one who is especially `practiced and skilled in giving formal , ceremonial , or persuasive public addresses (Encarta ) today it is also used on occasion as a semi-derogatory term for language that is considered to be overly pretentious , for flowery speeches or overly descriptive passages of written text that have no true value to the piece but are simply included because the author has considered that they `looked good on br

Interestingly , this particular aspect of rhetoric bears close correlation to Plato 's own definition of sophistry , which originally far from holding today 's rather more negative meaning described a group of traveling self styled `teachers ' who claimed to teach virtue to their students . Plato however disputed this claim , and is said to have considered that in reality the Sophists were merely `flattering ' their charges by teaching them not virtue , but exactly what they wanted to hear (Wikipedia

The more `persuasive ' aspect of rhetoric however , still widely exploited in everyday life , although the method of delivery is much changed from Plato 's time

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (whose teacher and mentor Plato also first famously outlined the differences between what he deemed to be `true ' and `false ' rhetoric ) famously authored a lengthy treatise on the subject named `The Art of Rhetoric , in which he first states that rhetoric is complementary to dialectic in that both are `concerned with both sides of an opposition ' also that they both `rely on the same theory of deduction and induction (Rapp

In this treatise Aristotle sets forth to describe rhetoric in terms of a civil art , or technique and describes what he sees as the different types of `civic rhetoric ' including items readily recognizable today such as forensic rhetoric (concerned with determining the truth or falsity of past events , deliberative rhetoric (concerned with determining whether or not particular future actions should or should not be taken , and epideictic rhetoric (concerned with praise and blame (Wikipedia

Perhaps more notably , Aristotle defined what he termed as the three types of rhetorical `proof . The first of these `proofs...

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