Aristotle's Rhetoric

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Born in 384 B.C.E. (All dates given in this paper are B.C.E.), Aristotle studied at Plato’s Academy where he excelled at philosophy and rhetoric often giving his own lectures and writing dialogues in the style of Plato. In 335 he set up his own school called the Lyceum on the outskirts of Athens and began teaching a curriculum of biology, history, logic, rhetoric, and philosophy. He would die following a short illness in 322 at the age of 62.

Aristotle’s major works include Organon, On the Soul, the Physics, the Politics, the Poetics, and the Rhetoric. The entire foundation of the Western philosophical tradition was formed from a combination of the works of Aristotle and Plato. (Aristotle, 2005) Rhetoric is simply “the art of speaking or writing effectively ("Rhetoric,"2013).” The Rhetoric “is a searching study of audience psychology. Aristotle raised rhetoric to a science by systematically exploring the effects of the speaker, the speech, and the audience (Griffin, 2012, p. 289).” Just as it was back in ancient Greece, speaking in public today is an art. A good public speaker is knowledgeable about the subject he or she is speaking on in the hope that the audience will be persuaded to side with the speaker. According to Aristotle “Rhetorical study, in its strict sense, is concerned with the modes of persuasion (Aristotle, 2005, p. 99).”

Aristotle. (2005). Poetics and rhetoric. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics.

Griffin, E. (2012). Communication, communication, communication: A first look at communication theory. (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Rhetoric. (2013). Retrieved from
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