Exam- Unit 1
Part I: Is there anything new under the sun? How far have we come in the field of communication since Aristotle? To these questions I suppose I would have to say no, the basis of rhetorical theory and study is not new. However, as to far we have come since Aristotle, I would say the sheer breadth and depth of study of rhetoric and the field of communication as we know it today gives testament that there is new ideas and applications to Aristotle’s original thoughts. The basis and ideology of Aristotle are still prevalent in our rhetoric study today. For example, the effective means of persuasion (ethos, pathos, logos) were on my very first exam I took in the Speech Communication department at UT Tyler. Also the need for studying rhetoric so “the truth can prevail” and to define humans (The Rhetoric, pg. 22) are core ideas that have been instilled in my studies in this university. But as in most disciplines, we have had to adjust our thinking and application of rhetoric and communication through history. The increase of knowledge, the change in views and opinions, the exponential growth of technology, and the difference in cultures has caused us to have to further expound on what we have learned from Aristotle. When Aristotle taught all those years ago in ancient Greece, he may have taught his student the effective means of persuasion but he did not foresee the magnitude of the face-paced, “over-news-ed” western culture that values style over substance, and enjoys using sensation to get at people’s emotions. The values behind quality and style, the thought that nothing in rhetoric should matter except the logos or proof (pg 199), in today’s culture is idealistic at best. Because of this change of culture and opinions in our world, communication research has given way to new theories about what it means to use rhetoric, language, and delivery. We learn these theories because communication needed clearer definitions in...
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