Richard J.

Schoeck The Practical Tradition of Classical Rhetoric In Rhetoric and Praxis, Ed Jean Dietz Moss, 23-41 1986, The Catholic University of America Press Washington, D.C. 24 “…[T]he art of rhetoric is one of our oldest and most enduring inheritances from the classical period, and it has never lost its usefulness or its relevance to the widest possible spectrum of problems and situations in a long sequence of changing societies.” Riff: it has been of use for thousands of years, it still will be of use; regardless of how people may respond to the names and labels given to it, it would be silly to ignore its importance and applications.

“During the long stretch of time from its beginnings twenty-five centures ago until today, rhetoric has always been thought to be highly practical, and the relation between the theory and practice of rhetoric and the society it serves is one which will tell us much about the value that society puts upon rhetoric, recognizing its need and its potential value—especially in the estimation of the individual’s capacity and responsibility for making decisions and responding rationally to eloquence.” (Schoeck The Practical Tradition of Classical Rhetoric, In Rhetoric and Praxis, Ed Jean Dietz Moss, 25) Riff: tradition of being highly practical and valued; link to paideia as not just part of Greek culture, but also of the educational tradition of the west; it has been highly valued, like rhetorical skill, and needs to be attended to (this may be weak, but it’s worth thinking about).

25 rhetoric as one of most practical application because it develops three kinds of eloquence: Judicial; deliberative; panegyrical/epideictic

29 Cites a professor Michel that from Greek rhetoric flowed two modes of enquiry that must be distinguished: dialogue and manual (Phaedrus and Aristotle’s Rhetorica) [near word for word here]

Riff: Does this mean that the two most basic modes for persuasion were initially the dialogue and manual? It would seem that was what Michel is stating. Then again, it is a how-to and a let’s talk. Part of me wonders if this not also be one of the reasons why how-to/DIY shows are so popular—the manual—and talk shows/dialogue are so popular. Do they go back to cultural patterns which are so familiar that we embrace them without thinking about them too much? 30 Quintilian stressed that “…the first essential of a perfect orator was that he be a good man…” Riff: that begs the question what is a good man? This appears to link to the importance of being in integrity with yourself and your ideas so that what you have to say has ethos, has credibility, and rings as true isntead of setting off the bullshit detectors. 30-34 Because Cicero and Quintilian’s works influenced the construction of arguments used in courts and in gov’ts (see essay again for particulars laid out there) as well as later impact in the construction of sermons in the Christian religion, rhetoric has been a very vital, active, practical and engaged tool in the construction of society and cultures. In short, people in positions of power and influence used and adapated classical rhetorical methods to their own circumstances and situations of power/institutions and created their own using these same tools. These are patterns of thinking/construction/ argumentation throughout western thought. 40 Rhetoric: another defintion “…it is the use of language which comes into being in response to human needs, which is born out of the urgencies of a particular human situation in a moment of history, which forms uniquely the expression and discovers the necessary means and form for the confrontation of human beings with other human beings and then moves through language and rhetoric toward understanding each of the other.” Riff: wow. Use this. Think about it.

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