Rhetoric: the Art of Persuasion

Topics: Rhetoric, Logos, Regulatory Focus Theory Pages: 3 (1094 words) Published: February 15, 2011
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion
Since the development of the human language, many philosophers throughout history have given their own interpretation of rhetoric. The term rhetoric is used to describe the effectiveness of language and how incorporating certain aspects into writing and speech can lead to improved clarity and persuasion. If used correctly, rhetoric should include ethos, pathos, and logos, also known as the rhetorical triangle, in order to have a well rounded argument. Although opinions on the 'real' definition of rhetoric differ, overall it means correct usage of structure, argument, and support to create an overall understanding of the point the writer or speaker is trying to convey. One of the most famous and well known rhetoricians is Aristotle, a Greek philosopher. He was one of the first philosophers that introduced the three forms of rhetoric which are ethos, pathos and logos, that stand for character, emotion and logic. In Aristotle's book, Rhetoric and Poetics, Aristotle wrote one of his many definitions of rhetoric, “It is clear, then, that rhetorical study, in its strict sense, is concerned with the modes of persuasion. Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration, since we are most fully persuaded when we consider a thing to have been demonstrated” (Roberts 22). Aristotle's point is that rhetoric is a form of persuasion and requires all points of the rhetorical triangle as evidence to back up what was said to convince the audience. Since most humans are visual learners, this quotation by definition is true for the most part. Without proper evidence or demonstration one cannot convince the audience. “It is clear, then, that rhetoric is not bound up with a single definite class of subjects, but is a universal as dialectic; it is clear, also that it is useful. It is clear further, that its function is not simply to succeed in persuading but rather to discover the means of coming as near such success as the circumstances of each...
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