Aristotle rhetoric essay

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Philosophy

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In his work, also, Aristotle strives to show the superiority of his work compared to other rhetoric theorists. In this paper, I aim to show that there are in fact inconsistencies and weaknesses in Aristotle’s rhetorical theory. First, is an investigation into the neutrality of Aristotelian rhetoric. The fact that rhetoric can be used by people of both good and bad character in the achievement of good and bad purposes makes it a neutral tool. Aristotle does regard rhetoric as a tool that can be used to achieve something useful (Rhetoric, XIII-XX), but seems to ignore the fact that it can be misused to achieve bad intentions. In the course of his work on rhetoric, Aristotle gets involved in criticizing other works of rhetoric.

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In his criticism of contemporary manuals of rhetoric, he argues that previous theorists insisted more on methods outside the subject of rhetoric such as slander, arousing emotion and ways of distracting the audience from the main subject of a speech- that previous works on rhetoric insisted on non-argumentative tools (Rhetoric I. Reading into his work, we find aspects of the very manuals he criticized and thus encounter another weakness of his work on rhetoric. His theory, just like the theories he criticized, covers other tools of persuasion that are not strictly argumentative. One such tool is the speechmaker’s ability to stimulate emotion and make himself credible.  xiii-xx, doi:10. 1017/cbo9780511707421. Allen, J. "Aristotle on the Disciplines of Argument: Rhetoric, Dialectic, Analytic.

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