65 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2013
    1. The liar is a person who uses the valid designations, the wo rds, in order to make something which is unreal appear to be real.

      This shows the power in words. The ability to deceive and the ability to at least describe truth.

    2. there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing.

      Reference to beasts; what separates us clever beasts from the other beasts?

  2. Oct 2013
    2. For teaching, of course, true eloquence consists, not in making people like what they disliked, nor in making them do what they shrank from, but in making clear what was obscure

      Clarity vs. Persuasion. Haven't really come across this yet.

    3. For the more he discerns the poverty of his own speech, the more he ought to draw on the riches of Scripture, so that what he says in his own words he may prove by the words of Scripture; and he himself, though small and weak in his own words, may gain strength and power from the confirming testimony of great men.

      The power of scripture? Do the holy texts not also qualify as rhetoric? Therefore, the power he refers to is really just the power of rhetoric.

    4. Better than either of these, however, is the man who, when he wishes, can repeat the words, and at the same time correctly apprehends their meaning.

      This line is comparable to Quintilian's high regard for improvisation. Augustine seems to go along the same lines arguing that better than just memory is memory with understanding. And best of all is being able to employ all of that whenever one wishes (improvisation).

    5. If, however, the hearers require to be roused rather than instructed, in order that they may be diligent to do what they already know, and to bring their feelings into harmony with the truths they admit, greater vigor of speech is needed. Here entreaties and reproaches, exhortations and upbraidings, and all the other means of rousing the emotions, are necessary.

      Rhetorical skill is obtained not by learning and following rules, but rather by imitating eloquent speakers.

    7. Now, the art of rhetoric being available for the enforcing either of truth or falsehood, who will dare to say that truth in the person of its defenders is to take its stand unarmed against falsehood? For example, that those who are trying to persuade men of what is false are to know how to introduce their subject, so as to put the hearer into a friendly, or attentive, or teachable frame of mind, while the defenders of the truth shall be ignorant of that art? That the former are to tell their falsehoods briefly, clearly, and plausibly, while the latter shall tell the truth m such a way that it is tedious to listen to, hard to understand, and, in fine, not easy to believe it? That the former are to oppose the to melt, to enliven, and to rouse them, while the latter shall in defence of the truth be sluggish, and frigid, and somnolent? Who is such a fool as to think this wisdom? Since, then, the faculty of eloquence is available for both sides, and is of very great service in the enforcing either of wrong or right, why do not good men study to engage it on the side of truth, when bad men use it to obtain the triumph of wicked and worthless causes, and to further injustice and error?

      Since it can be used for good and evil "equally", Augustine suggests it should be used as a counter to the evil use of rhetoric; fight fire with fire so to speak.

    1. In chapters 2-11, the various emotions are defined, and are also discussed (with incidental observations) from the three points of view just indicated. In chapter 2, Anger is the subject. The orator must so speak as to make his hearers angry with his opponents.
    2. it is especially important that he should be able to influence the emotions, or moral affections
    1. Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question.
    2. Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. Our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile. It is towards producing these effects, as we maintain, that present-day writers on rhetoric direct the whole of their efforts. This subject shall be treated in detail when we come to speak of the emotions.
    3. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. This kind of persuasion, like the others, should be achieved by what the speaker says, not by what people think of his character before he begins to speak. It is not true, as some writers assume in their treatises on rhetoric, that the personal goodness revealed by the speaker contributes nothing to his power of persuasion; on the contrary, his character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses.
    4. Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. This is not a function of any other art. Every other art can instruct or persuade about its own particular subject-matter; for instance, medicine about what is healthy and unhealthy, geometry about the properties of magnitudes, arithmetic about numbers, and the same is true of the other arts and sciences. But rhetoric we look upon as the power of observing the means of persuasion on almost any subject presented to us; and that is why we say that, in its technical character, it is not concerned with any special or definite class of subjects.

      He states "any given case" before later stating "almost any", referring to subjects. I justthink Aristotle is trying to express the extensive range rhetoric has.

    1. What makes a man a "sophist" is not his faculty, but his moral purpose. In rhetoric, however, the term "rhetorician" may describe either the speaker's knowledge of the art, or his moral purpose. In dialectic it is different: a man is a "sophist" because he has a certain kind of moral purpose, a "dialectician" in respect, not of his moral purpose, but of his faculty.

      A dis on the the sophists?

    2. it is clear, also, that it is useful.
    3. And if it be objected that one who uses such power of speech unjustly might do great harm, that is a charge which may be made in common against all good things except virtue, and above all against the things that are most useful, as strength, health, wealth, generalship. A man can confer the greatest of benefits by a right use of these, and inflict the greatest of injuries by using them wrongly.

      The first time in this class that someone has noted the dual nature of the power of rhetoric to do good or bad.

    4. Again, (4) it is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs, but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.

      Again, rhetoric as what sets humans apart from other animals.

    5. Further, (3) we must be able to employ persuasion, just as strict reasoning can be employed, on opposite sides of a question, not in order that we may in practice employ it in both ways (for we must not make people believe what is wrong), but in order that we may see clearly what the facts are, and that, if another man argues unfairly, we on our part may be able to confute him.

      A good rhetorician would be able to argue from either side of a question and be equally persuasive.

    6. The orator's demonstration is an enthymeme, and this is, in general, the most effective of the modes of persuasion.

      Deductive reasoning does not always sound so persuasive; as in Zeno's paradox about the Tortoise and the Hare. Everyone knows that the Hare will pass the Tortoise.

    7. They will often have allowed themselves to be so much influenced by feelings of friendship or hatred or self-interest that they lose any clear vision of the truth and have their judgement obscured by considerations of personal pleasure or pain.
    8. The arousing of prejudice, pity, anger, and similar emotions has nothing to do with the essential facts

      ...and apparently have everything to do with rhetoric.

    9. belong to no definite science

      This adds to the ambiguity of what rhetoric is.

    1. The Epideictic speaker is concerned with virtue and vice, praising the one and censuring the other.

      I thinks religious rhetoric falls under this category.

    2. In urging his hearers to take or to avoid a course of action, the political orator must show that he has an eye to their happiness.

      Their is no distinction between acting concerned and genuine concern for "their" happiness.

    3. it must adapt itself to an audience of untrained thinkers who cannot follow a long train of reasoning
    4. Hence rhetoric may be regarded as an offshoot of dialectic

      I believe rhetoric is its own branch of communication.

    5. Its possible abuse is no argument against its proper use on the side of truth and justice.

      The risks do not outweigh usefulness in seeking truth and justice.

    6. appeals to the emotions warp the judgement

      Sounds like a magic potion, alcohol, or hypnosis.

    7. Rhetoric is the counterpart of Dialectic.

      Is rhetoric NEVER concerned with seeking Truth? I believe rhetoric to be a useful tool in helping us explain and understand Truth.

  3. Sep 2013
    1. But now, instead of the acclaim which I expected, I have been rewarded with trials and perils and envy and calumny
    2. For, although he undertook most of his wars without support from the city, he brought them all to a successful issue, and convinced all the Hellenes that he won them justly. And what greater or clearer proof of his wise judgement could one adduce than this fact?

      End justifying the means.

    3. Well, then, whom ought you to believe? Those who know intimately both my words and my character, or a sycophant who knows nothing about me at all, but has chosen to make me his victim?

      Persuasion from ethos by using a comparison.

    4. to inspire them to a life of valor and of dangers endured for their country; whether I should justly be punished for the words which have been read, or whether, on the contrary, I deserve to have your deepest gratitude for having so glorified Athens and our ancestors and the wars which were fought in those days
    5. that while those who are thought to be adept in court procedure are tolerated only for the day when they are engaged in the trial, the devotees of philosophy are honored and held in high esteem in every society and at all times; that, furthermore, while the former come to be despised and decried as soon as they are seen two or three times in court, the latter are admired more and more as they become better and more widely known; and, finally, that while clever pleaders are sadly unequal to the higher eloquence, the exponents of the latter could, if they so desired, easily master also the oratory of the court

      This reminds me of "MC versus rapper". "An MC is a representative of Hip-Hop culture. A Rapper is a representative of corporate interests. An MC can be a rapper, but a rapper will never be an MC." -KRS ONE

    6. For there are men who, albeit they are not strangers to the branches which I have mentioned, have chosen rather to write discourses, not for private disputes, but which deal with the world of Hellas, with affairs of state, and are appropriate to be delivered at the Pan-Hellenic assemblies—discourses which, as everyone will agree, are more akin to works composed in rhythm and set to music than to the speeches which are made in court. For they set forth facts in a style more imaginative and more ornate; they employ thoughts which are more lofty and more original, and, besides, they use throughout figures of speech in greater number and of more striking character

      Could these men not also be considered rhetoricians?

    7. But you have heard also from my accuser that I have received many great presents from Nicocles, the king of the Salaminians.39 And yet, can any one of you be persuaded that Nicocles made me these presents in order that he might learn how to plead cases in court—he who dispensed justice, like a master, to others in their disputes? So, from what my accuser has himself said, it is easy for you to conclude that I have nothing to do with litigation.
    8. Moreover, you will find that these men are able to carry on a profitable business in alone; if they were to sail to any other place they would starve to death; while my resources, which this fellow has exaggerated, have all come to me from abroad.

      A bit of bragging. A good jab at the "other" Sophists.

    9. You can judge this from my habits of life, from which, indeed, you can get at the truth much better than from the lips of my accusers; for no one is, I think, blind to the fact that all people are wont to spend their time in the places where they elect to gain their livelihood. And you will observe that those who live upon your contracts and the litigation connected with them are all but domiciled in the courts of law, while no one has ever seen me either at the council-board, or at the preliminaries,35 or in the courts,36 or before the arbitrators 37; on the contrary, I have kept aloof from all these more than any of my fellow-citizens

      A sort of mix of ethos and logos. He attempts to build up his own credibility using reason.

    10. for if any man had been wronged by me, even though he might have held his tongue up till now, he would not have neglected the present opportunity, but would have come forward to denounce me or bear witness against me. For when one who has never in his life heard a single disparaging word from me has put me in so great peril, depend upon it, had any suffered injury at my hands, they would now attempt to have their revenge.

      Makes sense, however, this assumes he is telling the truth about never having hurt anyone with his speaking or writing.

    11. All this has availed me nothing; on the contrary, I who have lived to this advanced age without complaint from anyone could not be in greater jeopardy if I had wronged all the world.
    12. me and the truth

      This is interesting in that he aligns himself with truth (or Truth); he claims truth is on his side.

    13. show to them and to posterity the truth about my character, my life, and the education to which I am devoted, and not suffer myself to be condemned on these issues without a trial nor to remain, as I had just been, at the mercy of my habitual calumniators.

      An appeal to justice and mercy. This is effective in building a relationship with the audience because they can relate to being wronged and wrongly accused of something without the opportunity to explain themselves.

    14. my opponent made no argument whatever on the merits of the case, and did nothing but decry my “cleverness” of speech11

      This sounds like the accusations against Pres. Obama. He speaks too well or is too eloquent so it mustn't be true.

    1. Why, if they were to sell any other commodity for so trifling a fraction of its worth they would not deny their folly

      It is interesting that Isocrates considers the Sophists as salesmen of what he believes to be a worthless commodity. It is ironic because Isocrates, himself being a Sophist, does not mention much about his own pedagogical methods. He does not offer much in the way of advice and suggestions for improvement; only criticism.

    2. Homer, who has been conceded the highest reputation for wisdom, has pictured even the gods as at times debating among themselves about the future(5) --not that he knew their minds but that he desired to show us that for mankind this power lies in the realms of the impossible.

      This is an example of ethos. Isocrates is appealing to the authority, or high regard in those days, of Homer to suggest that even the gods don't know everything. Therefore, no man can claim to either. This is like using a celebrity to endorse a product. In this instance, Isocrates uses Homer as if Homer would also frown down upon the 'other' Sophist teachers, so everyone else should too.

    1. For in my opinion there is no profit in a man's life if his body is in an evil plight—in that case his life also is evil: am I not right?

      Is he saying that rhetoric (body) is an evil plight? So if there is any bad associated with rhetoric than it is evil. And if the body is evil then the rhetoric's existence is also evil? Seems like a bit of a stretch.

    2. But the virtue of each thing, whether body or soul, instrument or creature, when given to them in the best way comes to them not by chance but as the result of the order and truth and art which are imparted to them: Am I not right? I maintain that I am. And is not the virtue of each thing dependent on order or arrangement? Yes, I say. And that which makes a thing good is the proper order inhering in each thing? Such is my view.

      This sounds a lot like Encomium of Helen; it is the will of the gods or destiny. Gorgias uses this same logic in trying defending Helen. If there exists Truth, as Socrates is arguing, then the gods must have established it and therefore pre-destined everything. So, why bother?

    3. in a contest with a man of any other profession the rhetorician more than any one would have the power of getting himself chosen, for he can speak more persuasively to the multitude than any of them, and on any subject.

      The extensiveness of rhetoric to be able to speak to any subject.

    4. GORGIAS: What is there greater than the word which persuades the judges in the courts, or the senators in the council, or the citizens in the assembly, or at any other political meeting?—if you have the power of uttering this word, you will have the physician your slave, and the trainer your slave, and the money-maker of whom you talk will be found to gather treasures, not for himself, but for you who are able to speak and to persuade the multitude.

      After Socrates suggests there are professions that all could be considered 'greatest', Gorgias one-ups Socrates and describes rhetoric as more powerful than all of them because they can all be persuaded by the art of rhetoric.

    1. discourse is a great potentate, which by the smallest and most secret body accomplishes the most divine works; for it can stop fear and assuage pain and produce joy and make mercy abound.

      In the investigation of “what is rhetoric?”, this one line of Gorgias sums up the reason rhetoric is such an important topic. Its subtlety is overlooked and mistaken for something inconsequential. However, as Gorgias points out, this small secret body has great power. The implicit use of the word body gives rhetoric an almost physical existence and ability to move an object; as if rhetoric had the physical ability to push, pull, or lift another body. In defining what rhetoric is, this statement tells us first why it is even important to know what rhetoric is. Gorgias’ thoughts on what rhetoric is suggests it is persuasion by “trickery” or “magic”. This further describes rhetoric’s power as not just physical, but perhaps supernatural. The comparison is made between rhetoric and drugs. Just as a drug can impair judgment, making one vulnerable, rhetoric, too, can play tricks on the mind. Furthermore, the power of rhetoric can be a great force for good, persuading one or many to do good. The drug analogy applies here also as many drugs heal, promote health, and ward off sickness. This two-edged sword aspect of rhetoric is just another example of the power this small body possesses. The great power of rhetoric, which is only known to be had by humans, has given them undisputed superiority among all animals on earth. The ability to read, write, speak, or otherwise communicate rhetoric is one of the greatest gifts given to man.

    2. By means of words, inspired incantations serve as bringers-on of pleasure and takers-off of pain. For the incantation's power, communicating with the soul's opinion, enchants and persuades and changes it, by trickery. Two distinct methods of trickery and magic are to be found: errors of soul, and deceptions of opinion.

      Gorgias seems to be using rhetoric itself as an excuse for Helen, or using rhetoric as a rhetorical device.

    3. And if persuasive discourse deceived her soul, it is not on that account difficult to defend her and absolve her of responsibility, thus: discourse is a great potentate, which by the smallest and most secret body accomplishes the most divine works; for it can stop fear and assuage pain and produce joy and make mercy abound.

      Gorgias truly believes in the power of discourse; to persuade and induce action.

    4. how is she not to be pitied rather than reviled?

      This "rhetorical" question provokes a feeling of incompetence for those choosing to revile.

    5. For it is not natural for the superior to be hindered by the inferior, but for the inferior to be ruled and led by the superior

      Is this a form of chiasmus?

    6. For it is clear that her mother was Leda and her father was in fact the god, but said to be mortal, Tyndareus and Zeus--of whom the one, by being, seemed, while the other, by speech, was disproved--and the one was the mightiest of men while the other was tyrant over all. Born of such parentage, she had godlike beauty, which having received she not inconspicuously retained.

      Gorgias uses logos in an attempt to convince the audience that it was not, or could not have been, Helen's fault that she was "cursed" with such beauty. This implicitly places blame on the men who were tempted by her beauty.

    7. It being required of the same man both to speak straight and to refute [crooked speech, one should refute] those blaming Helen, a woman concerning whom the testimony of those who are called poets has become univocal and unanimous--likewise the repute of her name, which has become a byword for calamities. And by bestowing some rationality on the discourse, I myself wish to absolve this ill-reputed woman from responsibility, and to show that those who blame her are lying--and, having shown the truth, to put an end to ignorance.

      What ought to be done is followed with how it will be done.

    8. The order proper to a city is being well-manned; to a body, beauty; to a soul, wisdom; to a deed, excellence; and to a discourse, truth--and the opposites of these are disorder. And the praiseworthy man and woman and discourse and work and city-state and deed one must honor with praise, while one must assign blame to the unworthy--for it is equal error and ignorance to blame the praiseworthy and to praise the blameworthy.

      It appears that Gorgias is self-justifying his forthcoming backing of Helen. This is his pre-opening argument.

    1. We learn our words in this fashion and we don't know who our teachers are

      How do we know what we know is true? An epistemological question that reinforced the notion of absolute truth not existing.

    2. And what about breaking an oath: suppose a man is captured by the enemy and takes a firm oath that, if he is set free, he will betray his city: would this man do right if he kept his oath? (7) I don't think so, but rather if he should save his city and his friends and the temples of his fathers by breaking it.

      Catch-22. In this instance utilitarianism comes to mind; what does the most good for the most people?

    3. At least if people had brought horses or cows or sheep or men, they would not have taken away anything else. Nor, again, if they had brought gold would they have taken away brass, nor if they had brought silver would they have taken away lead. (28) Do they then take away seemly things in exchange for disgraceful ones ? Now really, if anyone had brought an ugly (man), would he take him away handsome? They give as witnesses the poets (who) wrote to give pleasure and not for the sake of truth.

      So the limitations on relativism are things having to do with wealth/money and beauty...seems to imply that these are universally valued or viewed the same.

    4. everything done at the right time is seemly and everything done at the wrong time is disgraceful

      This reminds me of the Old Testament: "To every thing there is a season... A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up."

    5. Some say the seemly is one thing and the disgraceful another, and that as the name differs, so does the thing named, and others say that the seemly and disgraceful are the same.

      This seems like a chicken-egg type argument. Who invented the idea that a certain action was disgraceful? and who perpetuated the idea or acted in opposition until the majority followed suit?

    6. And, further, take the case of various contests, athletic, musical, and military: in a race in the stadium, for instance, victory is good for the winner but bad for the losers. (7) The same holds true for wrestlers and boxers, and for all those who take part in musical contests: for instance, (victory) in lyreplaying is good for the winner but bad for the losers. (8) In the case of war (and I shall speak of the most recent events first) the victory of the Spartans which they won over the Athenians and their allies was good for the Spartans but bad for the Athenians and their allies.

      It can be argued that loss in competition and war can be good for the losers as losing can highlight certain weaknesses to focus on in order to improve and strengthen them. Although only time can tell, loss in war sometimes results in a better outcome for more people. For example, Kamehameha was triumphant in war, but those he defeated became more united and it ultimately led to more peace in what later became the Kingdom of Hawaii. Joseph of Egypt's apparent setbacks (losses) ultimately led to his becoming 2nd in command in all of Egypt.