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Chapter Outlines
10th Edition

From the Instructors Manual


List mode: Normal (click on theory name to show detail) | Show All details | Clear details

Chapter 22—The Rhetoric

  1. Introduction.
    1. Aristotle was a student of Plato’s who disagreed with his mentor over the place of public speaking in Athenian life.
    2. Plato’s negative view of public speaking was based on his assessment of the Sophists.
    3. Aristotle, like Plato, deplored the demagoguery of speakers using their skill to move an audience while showing a casual indifference to the truth.
    4. Aristotle saw rhetoric as a neutral tool with which one could accomplish either noble ends or further fraud.
      1. Truth is inherently more acceptable than falsehood.
      2. Nonetheless, unscrupulous persuaders may fool an audience unless an ethical speaker uses all possible means of persuasion to counter the error.
      3. Speakers who neglect the art of rhetoric have only themselves to blame for failure.
      4. Success requires wisdom and eloquence.
    5. Although Aristotle’s Politics and Ethics are polished, well-organized texts, the Rhetoric is a collection of lecture notes.
    6. Aristotle raised rhetoric to a science by systematically exploring the effects of the speaker, the speech, and the audience.
  2. Rhetoric: Making persuasion probable.
    1. Aristotle saw the function of rhetoric as the discovery in each case of “the available means of persuasion.”
    2. In terms of speech situations, he focused on civic affairs.
      1. Courtroom (forensic) speaking renders just decisions considering actions of the past.
      2. Ceremonial (epideictic) speaking heaps praise or blame for the benefit of present day audiences.
      3. Political (deliberative) speaking attempts to influence those who consider future policy.
    3. Aristotle classified rhetoric as the counterpart of dialectic.
      1. Dialectic is one-on-one conversation; rhetoric is one person addressing the many.
      2. Dialectic searches for truth; rhetoric demonstrates truth that is already found.
      3. Dialectic answers general philosophical questions; rhetoric addresses specific, practical ones.
      4. Dialectic deals with certainty; rhetoric considers probability.
  3. Rhetorical proof: Logos, ethos, and pathos.
    1. Persuasion can be artistic or inartistic.
      1. Inartistic or external proofs are those that the speaker does not create.
      2. Artistic or internal proofs are those that the speaker creates.
    2. The available means of persuasion are based on three kinds of proof.
      1. Logical proof (logos) is an appeal to listeners’ rationality.
      2. Emotional proof (pathos) is the feeling the speech draws out of the hearers.
      3. Source credibility (ethos) is the way the speaker’s character is revealed through the message. 
    3. Case study: Barack Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame
      1. A few months into his first term of office, President Obama accepted an invitation to address the 2009 graduating class at their University of Notre Dame and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
      2. Based on Obama’s approval of abortion and stem-cell research, the announcement that Obama would be the commencement speaker triggered angry protests from many alumni, some students, and Roman Catholic church leaders.
      3. Despite the pro-and-con arguments about abortion that created a highly charged atmosphere surrounding the event, Obama’s speech was not judicial.
      4. This was a deliberative speech—not about any specific government policy, but one in which he urged listeners to be mindful of the way they interact with those who hold opposing views.
      5. The three types of proof Aristotle discussed demonstrate how President Obama might speak in a way that makes reaching his goal possible, maybe even probable, but never with absolute certainty.
    4. Logos: Quasi-logical arguments that make sense.
      1. Aristotle focused on two forms of logical proof—enthymeme and example.
      2. Enthymeme is the strongest of the proofs.
        1. An enthymeme is an incomplete version of a formal deductive syllogism.
        2. Typical enthymemes leave out the premise that is already accepted by the audience.
        3. Lloyd Bitzer notes that the audience helps construct the proof by supplying the missing premise.
      3. The example uses inductive reasoning—drawing a final conclusion from specific examples.
        1. If an illustration strikes a responsive chord in the listener, the truth it suggests seems evident.
        2. Aristotle said that both forms of logos are persuasive, but examples are especially so when they illustrate a premise or the conclusion of an enthymeme that’s already been stated.
        3. Aristotle noted that examples drawn from the past are more compelling than made-up illustrations.
    5. Pathos: Emotional appeals that strike a responsive chord.
      1. Aristotle was skeptical of the emotion-laden public oratory typical of his era.
      2. Yet he understood that public rhetoric, if practiced ethically, benefits society.
      3. Aristotle catalogued a series of opposite feelings, explained the conditions under which each mood is experienced, and then described how the speaker can get an audience to feel that way.
        1. Anger vs. calmness.
        2. Friendliness vs. enmity.
        3. Fear vs. confidence.
        4. Indignation vs. pity.
        5. Admiration vs. envy.
      4. Aristotle scholar and translator George Kennedy claims that this analysis of pathos is “the earliest systematic discussion of human psychology.”
    6. Ethos: Perceived source credibility
      1. According to Aristotle, it’s not enough for a speech to contain plausible arguments. The speaker must seem credible as well
      2. Aristotle was primarily interested in how the speaker’s ethos is created in a speech.
      3. In the Rhetoric, he identified three qualities that build high source credibility—intelligence, character, and goodwill.
        1. The assessment of intelligence is based more on practical wisdom and shared values than training or education.
        2. Virtuous character has to do with the speaker’s image as a good and honest person.
        3. Goodwill is a positive judgment of the speaker’s intention toward the audience.
        4. Aristotle’s explication of ethos has held up well under scientific scrutiny.
  4. The five canons of rhetoric.
    1. Invention—in order to generate effective enthymemes and examples, speakers draw upon both specialized knowledge about the subject and general lines of reasoning common to all kinds of speeches.
      1. Aristotle called stock arguments topoi, a Greek term that can be translated as “topics” or “places.”
      2. As Cornell University literature professor Lane Cooper explained, “In these special regions the orator hunts for arguments as a hunter hunts for game.”
    2. Arrangement—Aristotle recommended a basic structure.
      1. He wrote that “there are two parts to a speech; for it is necessary first to state the subject and then to demonstrate it.”
      2. First the thesis, then the proof.
    3. Style—Aristotle emphasized the pedagogical effectiveness of metaphor.
      1. But for Aristotle, metaphors were more than aids for comprehension or aesthetic appreciation.
      2. Metaphors help an audience visualize—a “bringing-before-the-eyes” process that energizes listeners and moves them to action.
    4. Delivery—naturalness is persuasive.
      1. Audiences reject delivery that seems planned or staged. Naturalness is persuasive, artifice just the opposite.
      2. Any form of presentation that calls attention to itself takes away from the speaker’s proofs.
    5. Memory—this component was emphasized by Roman teachers.
      1. In our present age of instant information on the Internet and teleprompters that guarantee a speaker will never be at a loss for words, memory seems to be a lost art.
      2. Perhaps for us, the modern equivalent of memory is rehearsal.
  5. Ethical reflection: Aristotle’s golden mean.
    1. He took the Greek admiration for moderation and elevated it to a theory of virtue.
    2. Aristotle assumed virtue stands between two vices.
    3. Moderation is best; virtue develops habits that seek to walk an intermediate path.
    4. This middle way is known as the golden mean.
    5. The golden mean is the path that embraces winsome straight talk, gentle assertiveness, and adaptation.
    6. Aristotle advocated the middle way because it is the well-worn path taken by virtuous people.
  6. Critique: A theory that stands the test of time.
    1. Aristotle’s Rhetoric can be classified as both an objective and interpretive theory.
      1. As a good objective theory, Aristotle’s rhetoric predicts future audience responses, explains why they will respond this way, and has practical utility.
      2. As a good interpretive theory, Aristotle’s rhetoric offers a new understanding of people, clarifies the values they are likely to hold, and generated a wide community of agreement that has spanned 24 centuries so far.
    2. Nonetheless, clarity is often a problem with Aristotle’s theory that affects its relative simplicity and aesthetic appeal.

You can access the Outline for a particular chapter in several ways:

  • Switch to View by Theory, then select the desired theory/chapter from the drop-down list at the top of the page. Look in the list of available resources.
  • To quickly find a theory by chapter number, use the Table of Contents and link from there. It will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
  • You can also use the Theory List, which will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.

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Instructors can get
additional resources.
Read more

New to Theory
Resources?

Find out more
in this short
video overview
(3:01).

Chapter Outlines
10th Edition

From the Instructors Manual


List mode: Normal (click on theory name to show detail) | Show All details | Clear details

Chapter 22—The Rhetoric

  1. Introduction.
    1. Aristotle was a student of Plato’s who disagreed with his mentor over the place of public speaking in Athenian life.
    2. Plato’s negative view of public speaking was based on his assessment of the Sophists.
    3. Aristotle, like Plato, deplored the demagoguery of speakers using their skill to move an audience while showing a casual indifference to the truth.
    4. Aristotle saw rhetoric as a neutral tool with which one could accomplish either noble ends or further fraud.
      1. Truth is inherently more acceptable than falsehood.
      2. Nonetheless, unscrupulous persuaders may fool an audience unless an ethical speaker uses all possible means of persuasion to counter the error.
      3. Speakers who neglect the art of rhetoric have only themselves to blame for failure.
      4. Success requires wisdom and eloquence.
    5. Although Aristotle’s Politics and Ethics are polished, well-organized texts, the Rhetoric is a collection of lecture notes.
    6. Aristotle raised rhetoric to a science by systematically exploring the effects of the speaker, the speech, and the audience.
  2. Rhetoric: Making persuasion probable.
    1. Aristotle saw the function of rhetoric as the discovery in each case of “the available means of persuasion.”
    2. In terms of speech situations, he focused on civic affairs.
      1. Courtroom (forensic) speaking renders just decisions considering actions of the past.
      2. Ceremonial (epideictic) speaking heaps praise or blame for the benefit of present day audiences.
      3. Political (deliberative) speaking attempts to influence those who consider future policy.
    3. Aristotle classified rhetoric as the counterpart of dialectic.
      1. Dialectic is one-on-one conversation; rhetoric is one person addressing the many.
      2. Dialectic searches for truth; rhetoric demonstrates truth that is already found.
      3. Dialectic answers general philosophical questions; rhetoric addresses specific, practical ones.
      4. Dialectic deals with certainty; rhetoric considers probability.
  3. Rhetorical proof: Logos, ethos, and pathos.
    1. Persuasion can be artistic or inartistic.
      1. Inartistic or external proofs are those that the speaker does not create.
      2. Artistic or internal proofs are those that the speaker creates.
    2. The available means of persuasion are based on three kinds of proof.
      1. Logical proof (logos) is an appeal to listeners’ rationality.
      2. Emotional proof (pathos) is the feeling the speech draws out of the hearers.
      3. Source credibility (ethos) is the way the speaker’s character is revealed through the message. 
    3. Case study: Barack Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame
      1. A few months into his first term of office, President Obama accepted an invitation to address the 2009 graduating class at their University of Notre Dame and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
      2. Based on Obama’s approval of abortion and stem-cell research, the announcement that Obama would be the commencement speaker triggered angry protests from many alumni, some students, and Roman Catholic church leaders.
      3. Despite the pro-and-con arguments about abortion that created a highly charged atmosphere surrounding the event, Obama’s speech was not judicial.
      4. This was a deliberative speech—not about any specific government policy, but one in which he urged listeners to be mindful of the way they interact with those who hold opposing views.
      5. The three types of proof Aristotle discussed demonstrate how President Obama might speak in a way that makes reaching his goal possible, maybe even probable, but never with absolute certainty.
    4. Logos: Quasi-logical arguments that make sense.
      1. Aristotle focused on two forms of logical proof—enthymeme and example.
      2. Enthymeme is the strongest of the proofs.
        1. An enthymeme is an incomplete version of a formal deductive syllogism.
        2. Typical enthymemes leave out the premise that is already accepted by the audience.
        3. Lloyd Bitzer notes that the audience helps construct the proof by supplying the missing premise.
      3. The example uses inductive reasoning—drawing a final conclusion from specific examples.
        1. If an illustration strikes a responsive chord in the listener, the truth it suggests seems evident.
        2. Aristotle said that both forms of logos are persuasive, but examples are especially so when they illustrate a premise or the conclusion of an enthymeme that’s already been stated.
        3. Aristotle noted that examples drawn from the past are more compelling than made-up illustrations.
    5. Pathos: Emotional appeals that strike a responsive chord.
      1. Aristotle was skeptical of the emotion-laden public oratory typical of his era.
      2. Yet he understood that public rhetoric, if practiced ethically, benefits society.
      3. Aristotle catalogued a series of opposite feelings, explained the conditions under which each mood is experienced, and then described how the speaker can get an audience to feel that way.
        1. Anger vs. calmness.
        2. Friendliness vs. enmity.
        3. Fear vs. confidence.
        4. Indignation vs. pity.
        5. Admiration vs. envy.
      4. Aristotle scholar and translator George Kennedy claims that this analysis of pathos is “the earliest systematic discussion of human psychology.”
    6. Ethos: Perceived source credibility
      1. According to Aristotle, it’s not enough for a speech to contain plausible arguments. The speaker must seem credible as well
      2. Aristotle was primarily interested in how the speaker’s ethos is created in a speech.
      3. In the Rhetoric, he identified three qualities that build high source credibility—intelligence, character, and goodwill.
        1. The assessment of intelligence is based more on practical wisdom and shared values than training or education.
        2. Virtuous character has to do with the speaker’s image as a good and honest person.
        3. Goodwill is a positive judgment of the speaker’s intention toward the audience.
        4. Aristotle’s explication of ethos has held up well under scientific scrutiny.
  4. The five canons of rhetoric.
    1. Invention—in order to generate effective enthymemes and examples, speakers draw upon both specialized knowledge about the subject and general lines of reasoning common to all kinds of speeches.
      1. Aristotle called stock arguments topoi, a Greek term that can be translated as “topics” or “places.”
      2. As Cornell University literature professor Lane Cooper explained, “In these special regions the orator hunts for arguments as a hunter hunts for game.”
    2. Arrangement—Aristotle recommended a basic structure.
      1. He wrote that “there are two parts to a speech; for it is necessary first to state the subject and then to demonstrate it.”
      2. First the thesis, then the proof.
    3. Style—Aristotle emphasized the pedagogical effectiveness of metaphor.
      1. But for Aristotle, metaphors were more than aids for comprehension or aesthetic appreciation.
      2. Metaphors help an audience visualize—a “bringing-before-the-eyes” process that energizes listeners and moves them to action.
    4. Delivery—naturalness is persuasive.
      1. Audiences reject delivery that seems planned or staged. Naturalness is persuasive, artifice just the opposite.
      2. Any form of presentation that calls attention to itself takes away from the speaker’s proofs.
    5. Memory—this component was emphasized by Roman teachers.
      1. In our present age of instant information on the Internet and teleprompters that guarantee a speaker will never be at a loss for words, memory seems to be a lost art.
      2. Perhaps for us, the modern equivalent of memory is rehearsal.
  5. Ethical reflection: Aristotle’s golden mean.
    1. He took the Greek admiration for moderation and elevated it to a theory of virtue.
    2. Aristotle assumed virtue stands between two vices.
    3. Moderation is best; virtue develops habits that seek to walk an intermediate path.
    4. This middle way is known as the golden mean.
    5. The golden mean is the path that embraces winsome straight talk, gentle assertiveness, and adaptation.
    6. Aristotle advocated the middle way because it is the well-worn path taken by virtuous people.
  6. Critique: A theory that stands the test of time.
    1. Aristotle’s Rhetoric can be classified as both an objective and interpretive theory.
      1. As a good objective theory, Aristotle’s rhetoric predicts future audience responses, explains why they will respond this way, and has practical utility.
      2. As a good interpretive theory, Aristotle’s rhetoric offers a new understanding of people, clarifies the values they are likely to hold, and generated a wide community of agreement that has spanned 24 centuries so far.
    2. Nonetheless, clarity is often a problem with Aristotle’s theory that affects its relative simplicity and aesthetic appeal.

You can access the Outline for a particular chapter in several ways:

  • Switch to View by Theory, then select the desired theory/chapter from the drop-down list at the top of the page. Look in the list of available resources.
  • To quickly find a theory by chapter number, use the Table of Contents and link from there. It will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
  • You can also use the Theory List, which will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.

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