78 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2013
    1. drive toward the formation of metaphors is the fundamental human drive,

      language-learning as an innate characteristic of the human brain

    2. aesthetic relation:

      Reality as defined by aesthetics. That's fun.

    3. dissolve an image into a concept.

      Do we lose something in this dissolution?

    4. but we do know of countless individualized and consequently unequal actions which we equate by omitting the aspects in which they are unequal and which we now designate as "honest" actions.

      Well, how else are people supposed to function in a real world? Nothing's constant, so all we can do is make assumptions and generalizations in an attempt to make sense of our surroundings

    5. and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things--metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities

      definition of language

    6. copy

      Implies that the sound is, somehow, directly related to the perception of something?

    7. he will always exchange truths for illusions.

      The Phantom Tollbooth!

    8. first laws of truth


    9. within a proud, deceptive consciousness,

      anti-organic - mind as separate and almost entirely unrelated to the real, natural world.

    10. They are deeply immersed in illusions and in dream images

      Perceptions as world-defining

    1. And is it necessary to think them not men, but gods in all things?

      An issue with perceptions of past masters in all fields of study.

    2. method

      Method vs. purpose Grammar vs. message

    3. wretchedly spent on false conjectures about these disciplines?

      Disagrees with purpose and analysis of rhetoric as given by the Greeks - I'm interested to see how he defines rhetoric

  2. Oct 2013
    1. capacity

      How might the speaker know the what extent the audience can understand his words? Is the information itself, after a certain point, impossible for some to understand, or is it the method of presentation?

    2. duty

      Use of rhetoric as duty

    3. unarmed against falsehood

      Is the logic of truth not enough to defend against false?

    1. We must not, therefore, start from any and every accepted opinion, but only from those we have defined -- those accepted by our judges or by those whose authority they recognize

      "Truth" as defined by social opinion.

    2. uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences

      "in oratory the very cardinal sin is to depart from the language of everyday life, and the usage approved by the sense of the community." - Cicero, De Oratore

    1. things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites,

      Enthymeme? Is this idea an assumption held by the public?

    2. pervert the judge by moving him to anger or envy or pity -- one might as well warp a carpenter's rule before using it.

      The judge is only human, though - sometimes it seems like the Greeks' concept of achieving the ideal got in the way sometimes.

    1. the better sort of man will be just without being forced to be so, and the written laws depend on force while the unwritten ones do not

      Can a person, like in the above scenario, actually be forced to be just? Who determines what's equal, what's fair when it's not a black-and-white situation ("failing to do them good")?

    2. disposition

      and therefore intent?

    1. as if you had failed to do right rather than actually done wrong. You may be able to trust other people to judge you equitably.

      Persuading oneself that one isn't actually in the wrong. Rhetoric can be used to change one's own perspective, it seems.

    1. (b) they invest a speech with moral character.

      Maybe the facade of moral character, but if used just because Aristotle's guidebook told the speaker to... I'd question that, anyway.

    2. character is affected

      Nature versus nurture

    3. Emulation.

      One of these things is not like the others...

    4. make his audience feel

      I like that he stresses manipulating the audience's perception of the speaker, rather than actually seeking to possess positive qualities. ;)

    1. Gorgias said that you should kill your opponents' earnestness with jesting and their jesting with earnestness;

      This will only work, though, if your audience looks to you as some sort of authority figure - if you don't seem to know what you're talking about, I think that doing what Gorgias suggests would only make you look foolish.

    2. after all, it is more fitting for a good man to display himself as an honest fellow than as a subtle reasoner."


    3. Appropriateness. An appropriate style will adapt itself to (1) the emotions of the hearers, (2) the character of the speaker, (3) the nature of the subject. Tact and judgement are needed in all varieties of oratory.

      Importance of style - speaking in a way that is relatable to the audience.

    4. paean

      "a metrical foot of one long syllable and three short syllables in any order."

    5. Four faults of prose style, with illustrative examples: (1) misuse of compound words; (2) employment of strange words; (3) long, unseasonable, or frequent epithets; (4) inappropriate metaphors.

      Rhetoric as a tool for communication - something that increases the understanding of the audience rather than confusing them until they agree.

    6. the right thing in speaking really is that we should fight our case with no help beyong the bare facts; and yet the arts of language cannot help having a small but real importance, whatever it is we have to expound to others

      Again, defining rhetoric not solely as style, but as the ability to persuade using solid arguments (with style in a place of major, but secondary, importance).

    1. powers of persuasion most of all enhanced by a knowledge

      Rhetoric not solely as skill in speaking, but also as being knowledgeable about a subject/having something real to say.

    2. prompted by the worse disposition

      When intent matters, rather than outcome.

    3. special, i.e. the law of a particular State

      What is special law classified in relation to, if not individuals affected?

  3. Sep 2013
    1. we are in no respect superior to other living creatures; nay, we are inferior to many in swiftness and in strength and in other resources; but, because there has been implanted in us the power to persuade each other and to make clear to each other whatever we desire, not only have we escaped the life of wild beasts, but we have come together and founded cities and made laws and invented arts; and, generally speaking, there is no institution devised by man which the power of speech has not helped us to establish.

      There's a TED talk about mirror neurons, neurons which allow humans to identify with and learn from the actions of others. The speaker credits these with the formation of human civilization and invention of language. In other words, the ability to communicate ideas, emotions, actions, and states of mind with others (rhetoric) may very well distinguish us from other living creatures.


    2. For if I have had the affection of men who have received rewards in recognition of excellence, but have nothing in common with the sycophant, then how, in all reason, could you judge me to be a corrupter of youth?

      Logically flawed.

    3. urging all his fellow-countrymen to be nobler and juster leaders of the Hellenes

      Positive political oratory, as opposed to the view that all court rhetoricians are corrupt.

    1. And let no one suppose that I claim that just living can be taught;(25) for, in a word, I hold that there does not exist an art of the kind which can implant sobriety and justice in depraved natures. Nevertheless, I do think that the study of political discourse can help more than any other thing to stimulate and form such qualities of character.

      Refinement rather than creation of a virtuous soul. Interesting view of nature versus nurture.

    2. but according as any one of the things which I have mentioned is lacking, to this extent must their disciples of necessity fall below the mark

      Part natural ability plays in success.

    3. For ability, whether in speech or in any other activity, is found in those who are well endowed by nature and have been schooled by practical experience
    4. For I note that the bad repute which results therefrom does not affect the offenders only, but that all the rest of us who are in the same profession share in the opprobium.

      One purpose in writing this speech.

    5. practical experience or to the native ability of the student, but undertake to transmit the science of discourse as simply as they would teach the letters of the alphabet, not having taken trouble to examine into the nature of each kind of knowledge

      Reflects Isocrates' educational method.

    6. For the latter have no interest whatever in the truth

      Again, distinction made between educators and politicians.

    7. they hold their hands out for a trifling gain and promise to make their disciples all but immortal!

      Sophists as salespeople

    8. who devote themselves to disputation,(2) since they pretend to search for truth, but straightway at the beginning of their professions attempt to deceive us with lies?

      He sees strong distinctions between different rhetoricians - the philosophers, educators, and court speakers.

    9. If all who are engaged in the profession of education were willing to state the facts instead of making greater promises than they can possibly fulfill, they would not be in such bad repute with the lay-public.

      Interesting statement in view of Isocrates' later defense in Antidosis. There, he states that he is in poor repute with the lay-public due to calumny.

    10. making greater promises than they can possibly fulfill

      Rather use practical, external method.

  4. caseyboyle.net caseyboyle.net
    1. evil

      Evil to him, the tyrant or rhetorician, rather than some general idea of evil.

    2. Then you must prove that the rhetorician is not a fool, and that rhetoric is an art and not a flattery

      The concessions Socrates led Polus to make allowed him to shift the burden of proof.

    3. Rhetoric, according to my view, is the ghost or counterfeit of a part of politics.

      Rhetoric defined as trickery; Socrates sees nothing noble about it. Because it's target audience is the ignorant, and it's purpose is to engender belief rather than truth, Socrates seems convinced that rhetoric can do nothing but deceive.

    4. SOCRATES: And in the same way, he who has learned what is just is just?

      Being just... isn't a profession. Logically flawed.

    5. those who know

      I want to know how Socrates tells the difference between belief and knowledge. Capital letters Truth and Knowledge seem pretty important to him, but in this statement he's assuming that the ignorant and the knowledgeable are easily distinguished.

    6. POLUS: O Chaerephon, there are many arts among mankind which are experimental, and have their origin in experience, for experience makes the days of men to proceed according to art, and inexperience according to chance, and different persons in different ways are proficient in different arts, and the best persons in the best arts. And our friend Gorgias is one of the best, and the art in which he is a proficient is the noblest.
    7. SOCRATES: I had that in my admiring mind, Gorgias, when I asked what is the nature of rhetoric, which always appears to me, when I look at the matter in this way, to be a marvel of greatness.


    8. I do not know what my own meaning is as yet


    9. SOCRATES: Shall we then assume two sorts of persuasion,—one which is the source of belief without knowledge, as the other is of knowledge?

      Perhaps one of Socrates' main criticisms of rhetoric.

    10. false knowledge

      substitutes "knowledge" for "learning"

    11. SOCRATES: And that, Gorgias, was what I was suspecting to be your notion; yet I would not have you wonder if by-and-by I am found repeating a seemingly plain question; for I ask not in order to confute you, but as I was saying that the argument may proceed consecutively, and that we may not get the habit of anticipating and suspecting the meaning of one another's words; I would have you develope your own views in your own way, whatever may be your hypothesis. GORGIAS: I think that you are quite right, Socrates.

      Socrates himself seems to be a master of persuasion via making the opinions of his opponents sound an awful lot like his own.

    12. To the greatest, Socrates, and the best of human things.

      Reflects cultural ideal of virtue - not something that many are likely to be opposed to - while not communicating anything concrete.

    13. POLUS: O Chaerephon, there are many arts among mankind which are experimental, and have their origin in experience, for experience makes the days of men to proceed according to art, and inexperience according to chance, and different persons in different ways are proficient in different arts, and the best persons in the best arts. And our friend Gorgias is one of the best, and the art in which he is a proficient is the noblest.
    14. And which sort of persuasion does rhetoric create in courts of law and other assemblies about the just and unjust, the sort of persuasion which gives belief without knowledge, or that which gives knowledge

      experience versus Truth

    1. For the incantation's power, communicating with the soul's opinion, enchants and persuades and changes it, by trickery.

      Our world is shaped by perceptions, defined by words.

    2. for it is equal error and ignorance to blame the praiseworthy and to praise the blameworthy.

      Reason for argument.

    3. hence it is not now easy to remember the past or consider the present or foretell the future; so that most people on most subjects furnish themselves with opinion as advisor to the soul.

      Opinion vs. memory, as if memory were absolute, infallible, objective.

    4. will of a god cannot be hindered by human forethought.

      Did Helen lack free will?

    5. Fortune and plans of the gods and decrees of Necessity she did what she did, or abducted by force, or persuaded by speeches, <or conquered by Love>

      Argument that higher powers absolve Helen of responsibility.

    6. Encomium

      "a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly"

    7. lying

      I've come to understand "lying" as purposeful deceit, but in this case it seems to mean "misinformed." This may be due to error in translation, or perhaps ignorance was considered as bad as deception.

    1. democratic

      How might the author's sense of democracy be defined? Just for interest's sake.

    2. And I don't say that wisdom and virtue are teachable, but that these proofs do not satisfy me.

      Yep, proof is tough. So, rhetorically, how do people persuade without adequate proof?

    3. And even if a particular man did not teach, this would not prove anything, but if a single man did teach, this would be evidence that teaching is possible.

      Issue with forming theories and finding Truth - we don't know all the particulars in the universe. i.e. it's easier to disprove (as the author's doing here) than to prove.

    4. "Does he exist with respect to some particular thing, or just in general?" Then if someone denies that the man exists, he is mistaken, because he is treating (the particular and) universal senses as being the same. Because everything exists in some sense.


    5. And we ought to bring up the question whether it is the sane or the demented who speak at the right moment. For whenever anyone asks this question they answer that the two groups say the same things, but that the wise speak at the right moment and the demented at the wrong one. (10) And in saying this, they appear to be making a small addition, "(the) right moment" or "the wrong one," so that the situation is no longer the same.

      Is the author defining sanity/dementia by the "right moment" or "the right moment" by sanity/dementia?

    6. A talent is heavier than a mina and lighter than two talents; therefore the same thing is both heavier and lighter.

      Important point for the whole argument - the concepts discussed are relative to the world around them.

    7. But to this too an opposite argument is put forward: that the just and the unjust are different things, and that as the name differs, so does the thing named.

      Good and bad, seemly and unseemly, just and unjust, seem to me to be concepts of individual and social morality, not innate characteristics of an action. In other words: because people project moral convictions on things that happen, and people don't all have the same moral code, the moral judgement for that occurrence won't be constant for all humanity. So, "the thing named" doesn't need to have an innate "justice" or "injustice" for the two words to be descriptors of different concepts.

    8. Some say that the good is one thing and the bad another, but others say that they are the same, and a thing might be good for some persons but bad for others, or at one time good and at another time bad for the same person.

      These two concepts don't seem to actually oppose each other, if broken down to the basic arguments. The first argument is that good and bad are separate things. The second seems to be that the two concepts are subjective, and therefore meaningless. However, because they can still have meaning from the perspective of the individual, it doesn't seem logical to say subjectivity=meaningless division between the terms.