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Rhetoric And La Times Essay, Research Paper

At the bosom of our being human lies the being of linguistic communication. And at the bosom of linguistic communication is the being of thoughts. In fact, linguistic communication is normally viewed by communicating bookmans such as Professor Lankershim as determining our really ability to believe ( Lecture, 1999 ) . Built-in to linguistic communication is besides the ability to portion thoughts portion ideas that were arguably formed through linguistic communication. Gratuitous to state, there is some gimmick 22 at drama here. Ancient philosophers spent a great trade of attempt chew overing on linguistic communication and idea. After all, they were minds by trade. And in their thought they saw the demand for being able to efficaciously carry others to accept their ideas. Enter a term known as rhetoric. Rhetoric, in ancient Greek times a methodological analysis for address devising and persuasion, is now adapted to mention to the symbols used to pass on ( Lecture, 1999 ) . Let us cross two immensely separated periods of clip, therefore being the threshold of the twenty-first century and ancient Greece, to analyze how rhetorical philosophers Plato and Aristotle would measure a modern column column by Robert Scheer. Plato contends that rhetoric is merely valuable if it involves cognition of some category of objects ( Harrick, 55 ) . He provides an analogy to clear up: true rhetoric is similar athletic activity in that it builds upon and restores the wellness of the organic structure. In other words, effectual rhetoric is founded in truth, and can non pull strings the audience. Rhetoric, to Plato, is the tool by which talkers can inform and leave cognition. In the LA Times article entitled Now That End Is Near, GOP Can t Let Go, editorialist Robert Scheer focuses on right flying political relations from a left-of-center stance. Scheer argues that the Republican party is self destructing, and that its leaders are to fault. While I tend to hold, I do non experience as if Plato would accept the statement. The very footing of political relations is the being of more than one party take a firm standing that they are the holders of absolute truth. I am right, you are incorrect and are bad for the wellness of the state. This conflict for power and policy lends itself rather easy to use, and it is the use nowadays in Scheer s article that Plato would happen erroneous. For illustration, Scheer uses loaded footings to depict the leaders of the GOP. Of class the ill-famed Kenneth Starr is present and accounted for: Kenneth Starr [ is ] a sinisterly priggish interrogator using the power of the province to irrupt on the most private of minutes ( Scheer, 1999 ) . Sinister. That is decidedly a nametag that prompts a negative image of the adult male through word pick entirely, don T you think? Besides, Scheer s pick to give voice unwritten sex with an intern as the most private of minutes avoids the absolute truth and alternatively triggers sympathy in the reader. After all, would you like your private minutes intruded upon? No? Well so, you must hold that Starr is a scumbag. This is use, and it surfaces more than one time in Scheer s column, once more with the accusal GOP leaders are angry nags, guilting us at every dissentious bend ( Scheer, 1999 ) . Scheer so continues to do the barbarous premise that Senator Trent Lott and Representative Bob Barr are racialist because they appeared at easiness when turn toing an avowedly racialist group in the deep South. This non a decision, this is an premise. However, to a broad audience looking for any support stuff in favour of Republicans being anti-gay racialists, it will be taken as truth and Plato would happen anything manipulative taken as truth to be in misdemeanor of his rhetorical theory. In the duologue Phaedrus, Plato argues that true

rhetoric betters the person and society. Through Socrates, Plato establishes rhetoric to be the influencing of the psyche through words in add-on to a cognition of truth ( Harrick, 66 ) . This combination leads to the good ordination of our lives, which is called virtuousness ( Harrick, 67 ) . Basically, the rhetor has the duty of taking his audience on a moral and soul bettering route. To Plato, rhetoric is persuasive if this end is ever in the head of the talker.

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This leads me right into a struggle. Because the duologue of Scheer s statement contains manipulative phrases, I feel as if Plato would call on the carpet the writer. But I besides feel as if Robert Scheer has the best involvement of the state in head. His message is that the GOP is falling apart, and that to follow the republican way is to follow in the footfalls of the immoral and unethical. Scheer intends to break the lives of his audience, and to foster support the sentiments that he genuinely feels are moral and uplifting. But so once more, Plato insists that it is a combination of true cognition and virtuous purposes that comprise true rhetoric. Aristotle, another Grecian philosopher with his ain positions of rhetorical theory, believed that dialectic is a necessity for an effectual persuasion. Dialectic is a term mentioning to the spring and take of statements when sing an issue. To Aristotle, it is necessary to see both sides of an issue and reply possible inquiries from your resistance. Robert Scheer would hold done a slightly applaudable occupation harmonizing to Aristotelian rhetoric. Albeit, political sentiment normally leaves really small room for the just representation of the other party. But however, when turn toing the monster inclinations of some GOP functionaries, Scheer does pay tribute to the obvious Republican rebuttal good, what about George W. Bush? ! ? Scheer does a nice occupation of hushing this resistance by indicating out that there are compassionate conservativists out at that place, but they are denounced by the more powerful GOP leaders. This is in direct support of Scheer s thesis in that the GOP is destructing all efforts at doing themselves appeal across party lines. Aristotle besides believed that a key to rhetoric prevarications in happening the available agencies of persuasion ( Harrick, 78 ) . This means that the talker, or in this instance the writer, must happen the most appropriate manner of pass oning to his audience. Scheer succeeds in making this. He understands that he is composing a column for a broad audience that is likely to be sensitive to the function of the republican party in the Clinton dirt, and that the broad reader is likely to be easy charged by anti-right-wing sentiments. Thus Scheer s onslaught: GOP leaders have become angry nags, guilting us at every dissentious bend while eschewing all who are less pure in their devotedness to the Christian right. So while Plato would see Scheer s statement as manipulative and non founded in a truth that could be considered absolute, Aristotle would back up the column and reexamine it as a good illustration of his rhetorical theory. Equally far as I am concerned? I favor Aristotle s stance. When I read Platonic doctrine in general, I feel as if he views himself as the all cognizing beginning of truth. Yet truth is far from absolute. I found the article entertaining, enlightening, and an illustration of a well-formulated statement wherein the resistance, while rather viciously attacked, was good represented.

Harrick, James. ( 1998 ) . The History and Theory of Rhetoric Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Scheer, Robert. Now That End Is Near, GOP Can t Let Go. The Los Angelels Times 10 Feb. 1999, Metro.