Final Exam Classical Rhetoric Fall 2015

Final Exam
Classical Rhetoric
Fall 2015

Each question is worth 15 pts.

Section I: Your model of rhetoric
In this section of the exam I want you to spell out your own understanding of rhetoric, as developed along with and in some cases against the models we have covered in class. That is, tell me what you think the relation between rhetoric and truth is, and how that view compares and contrasts with the views set out in the 9 models we covered in class. You will do the same for power and function. Try to limit your answer to 3-4 paragraphs.

1. What is your view of the relationship of rhetoric and truth?
Some keyword: Not fair, thinking about the debate in class of this quarter, all cases have two sides, which are debatable. Truth is nothing more a game.

2. What is your view of the relationship between the speaker and the audience (power)?
The effect, power of the audience and the speaker. Speaker have the ability of persuade; audience has the ability of decisions. For example, it is another kind of invisible power when speakers got the audience’s believe.
3. What is your view of the function of rhetoric/
rhetoric is a way of finding a truth. We all get to get in the dialogue like asking question, debater presents ideas.
Rhetoric is a tool for speaker to win on presenting ideas.
Instrumental function
A tool to lead people to the truth.
A method to lead them to make the most possible decisions.
A way to spidient
Is a story, tells us who we are, where we come from. We were born to tell story about us.
Train the heart. A way for understanding what the unity truth and beauty. Truth is a way of being in the world. Learn to listen, to feel. Rhetoric is a way of teaching senses, and learning to feel. We are accepting this.
Silence could also be rhetoric.

Section II: Explanation of key passages

1. Write down what the passage means itself, what does it means to the world, what does it means to you.
In this section of the exam I want you to explain what each of the following quotations mean. You explanation should have two parts: First, tell us what does the author mean here, which is a combination of unpacking the claim advanced in the quotation and how that claim fits within the lager work as a whole. Second, tell us what you take this quote to imply for your own understanding of rhetoric. Your answers should be 3-4 paragraphs in length (of course, you could write a much longer answer, but here we just need the basics).

4. Gorgias, Encomium of Helen:
“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.”

5. Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a NonMoral Sense:
“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms—in short, a sum of human relations which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”

6. Plato, Gorgias:
“SOCRATES: Not so, my simple friend, but because you will refute me after the manner which rhetoricians practice in courts of law. For there the one party think that they refute the other when they bring forward a number of witnesses of good repute in proof of their allegations, and their adversary has only a single one or none at all. But this kind of proof is of no value where truth is the aim; a man may often be sworn down by a multitude of false witnesses who have a great air of respectability. And in this argument nearly every one, Athenian and stranger alike, would be on your side, if you should bring witnesses in disproof of my statement;—you may, if you will, summon Nicias the son of Niceratus, and let his brothers, who gave the row of tripods which stand in the precincts of Dionysus, come with him; or you may summon Aristocrates, the son of Scellius, who is the giver of that famous offering which is at Delphi; summon, if you will, the whole house of Pericles, or any other great Athenian family whom you choose;—they will all agree with you: I only am left alone and cannot agree, for you do not convince me; although you produce many false witnesses against me, in the hope of depriving me of my inheritance, which is the truth. But I consider that nothing worth speaking of will have been effected by me unless I make you the one witness of my words; nor by you, unless you make me the one witness of yours; no matter about the rest of the world. For there are two ways of refutation, one which is yours and that of the world in general; but mine is of another sort—let us compare them, and see in what they differ. For, indeed, we are at issue about matters which to know is honourable and not to know disgraceful; to know or not to know happiness and misery—that is the chief of them. And what knowledge can be nobler? or what ignorance more disgraceful than this? And therefore I will begin by asking you whether you do not think that a man who is unjust and doing injustice can be happy, seeing that you think Archelaus unjust, and yet happy? May I assume this to be your opinion?
POLUS: Certainly.
SOCRATES: But I say that this is an impossibility—here is one point about which we are at issue:—very good. And do you mean to say also that if he meets with retribution and punishment he will still be happy?
POLUS: Certainly not; in that case he will be most miserable.
SOCRATES: On the other hand, if the unjust be not punished, then, according to you, he will be happy?
SOCRATES: But in my opinion, Polus, the unjust or doer of unjust actions is miserable in any case, —more miserable, however, if he be not punished and does not meet with retribution, and less miserable if he be punished and meets with retribution at the hands of gods and men.”
7. Plato, Phaedrus:
Socrates: Until a man knows the truth of the several particulars of which he is writing or speaking, and is able to define them as they are, and having defined them again to divide them until they can be no longer divided, and until in like manner he is able to discern the nature of the soul, and discover the different modes of discourse which are adapted to different natures, and to arrange and dispose them in such a way that the simple form of speech may be addressed to the simpler nature, and the complex and composite to the more complex nature-until he has accomplished all this, he will be unable to handle arguments according to rules of art, as far as their nature allows them to be subjected to art, either for the purpose of teaching or persuading;-such is the view which is implied in the whole preceding argument.

8. Aristotle, Rhetoric:
“Rhetoric is the counterpart of Dialectic. Both alike are concerned with such things as come, more or less, within the general ken of all men and belong to no definite science. Accordingly all men make use, more or less, of both; for to a certain extent all men attempt to discuss statements and to maintain them, to defend themselves and to attack others.”

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