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Kennedy, George A. A New History of Classical Rhetoric Princeton University Press Princeton, New Jersey 1994 Xi preface Rhetoric is described as a “…discipline that was a basic tool of power and cultural integrity in antiquity…” (Kennedy 1994 xi). This definition seems like a very good one to keep on hand. Make sure to reread and review the context so that I have a clear and accurate vision of the text. Chapter 1 3 Rhetoric described as “…a specific cultural subset of a more general concept of the power of words and their potential to affect a situation in which they are used or received” (Kennedy 1994 3). Fred’s Paper: If we used and discuss rhetoric and ignore the larger context in which rhetoric was developed or discussed, aren’t we overlooking the very nature, power, and structures of rhetoric? While we are not obligated to use the same tools in exactly the same ways or places in which they were designed—of course because our cultural values and contexts have changed and developed—we should keep these in mind because these environments helped shape these tools into very powerful and effective devices. Thus, while we may or may not select the specific applications, it can help us to better understand what the optimal application of these tools are within certain environments. 4 “Perhaps epideictic rhetoric is best regarded as any discourse that does not aim at a specific action but is intended to influence the values and beliefs of the audience” (Kennedy 1994 4) Is this not a lot like entertainment or public amusement in modern media? Chapter 2 19 two traditions in the fifth century’s development of rhetoric: the sophists who used example and imitation and the more pedestrian handbook tradition 21 “…the cultural ideals that made Athens great in the fifth century: patriotism, freedom under the law, self-confidence, versatility, and reliance on public debate to determine policy” (Kennedy 1994 21). These values are so close to what we have today. This both reflects the massive cultural impact which the Greeks have had on the western tradition as well as on the establishment of the United States and its cultural values. Similarly, Pericles’ assertions in his Funeral Oration indicate how much is in common between the Classical Greeks and modern American values. While it is obvious that rhetoric has had an overwhelming impact on modern American culture—bad rhetoric, one could say, given the posturing, absence of values, and other gross generalizations made by profiteering greedy capitalists—but we have not seen nearly as much
Kennedy New History pgs 1-80 notes
application of rhetoric at the deeper, more important, and social and political levels which are encouraged and asserted by Isocrates and which are at the very root of the practice. 22 “The basic function of epideictic oratory is to enhance belief in certain moral and civic values and thus to increase social bonding and the solidarity of the cultural group” (Kennedy 1994 22). What is the impact when the nature of the oratory is violent, destructive, or aggressive? How can destructive or socially corrosive such materials are? And I have to wonder what kind of positive, healthy, and happy modern examples of epideictic oratory we can locate. When we as a culture do not have a common cultural heritage and formation, what happens? Without a shared epideictic group, awareness, or collection, what are we to do? Where are we to go? How do we actually connect with other members of our community? 24-26 Four signs of rhetorical or heightened consciousness. 1. Growing interest in forms of proof and argument 2. Awareness of the potential for artistic unity in speeches and the perks of breaking them into logical pieces 3. Experiment in rhetorical style in poetry and prose and attempts to describe different styles 4. The science of philology and grammar. Could we use these traits to establish or evaluate our own students’ rhetorical selfawareness? Has this already been done?
28 Locate Cahn’s article “rhetoric of rhetoric” 29 “Rhetoric could be regarded as a natural force, the distinctive human faculty, as Isocrates claimed, or even something divine, as Gorgias suggested in his Encomium of Helen. Isocrates also identified it as dealing not with humdrum details of everyday business but with the great questions of national identity and human life. The question of whether or not rhetoric was an art, as in the argument between Socrates and Gorgias, was important because if rhetoric was an art it could claim to have method and theory to be learned from its teachers. It could claim a place among other systematic disciplines; analogies between rhetoric and medicine as curative arts are frequent. The eloquent orator then becomes a civic ideal, the master artist of civic life. He alone is in full control of language, which serves to authorize his art and his personal claims” (Kennedy 1994 29). The bold section here could be used in the Fred paper—at least potentially. There is the disciplinary discussion and there is the social power function. If rhetoric is an equal, then it is a means to establish authority and thus all of the disrepute is not deserved. If the disrepute has not been adequately challenged or addressed, then those who claim to be working for or defending rhetoric are apparently not doing that well of a job, or they are at least neglecting part of their job and or resources.
Kennedy New History pgs 1-80 notes
Vitally important here is that phrase “master artist of civic life.” The emphasis is not upon the individual or the loner; the focus is upon the one person participating in the culture. And while his skills and abilities mark him as unique, an authority, and he can make strong personal claims, these are all taking place within the civic life. The placement or ascription of value to individuals who do such things, who are able to adeptly use and apply their linguistic skills with such ability and power is very different from today. Instead of having emphasis placed upon wealth or national media attention—some of the primary currencies in our current culture— these other approach places emphasis on the ability to be in control of language. The control of the language authorizes the art. Think about that! Chapter 3 38 Kennedy is discussing Phaedrus here “The importance of the dialogue is that for the first time it poses in detail the question of the morality of rhetorical society and for the first time emphasizes the need for knowledge as the basis of communication.” 43-49 a discussion of Isocrates and his works 44 Kennedy asserts that Panhellenism was Isocrates favorite subject. If this was his goal, as it is also discussed in Jaeger, then this is another scholar who asserts this as a main goal of Isocrates. And, if multiple scholars are asserting the same thing, then did Isocrates not work and help achieve his goal, his favorite subject: the domination by Greece? Isocrates on Ed: A student must first have ability. Education can improve this. And then there is practice. 46 Isocrates is considered by many to be father of liberal education 48 “Here Isocrates is arguing for a kind of behavioral conditioning. Get students to practice themes about patriotism and virtue, about justice and temperance and courage and wisdom; have them study examples from history and choose from among these examples to illustrate their arguments. Encourage their ambitions to be great speakers. Their own characters will thereby be molded, and not only will they apply the lessons they learn in their speeches, but they will try to live up to these standards, knowing that their effectiveness with an audience will result in large part from the audience’s trust in their character “(Kennedy 1994 48). This could be used with the athletics and/or the incorporation of actually paideic lifestyle/ mode for instructors. This is a great harnessing of Isocrates which could be used in an introduction or in a conclusion. I would need more of the original text, but this work certainly has a lot of potential.