Aristotle notes and questions

1. Style (lexis) is the right way to say something for persuasive effect. However, more than just the correct style is necessary. An attention to the timeliness (kairos) of the discourse is needed as is the necessary application or appeal to reliable proofs (pisteis). The three most common appeals are appeals to reason (logos), to authority (ethos), and to emotion (pathos). These brief definitions will suit our purposes but know that those three appeals are much more complex than a brief list reveals. 2. p. 220 – what we are studying here is from Aristotle’s Rhetoric and not his treatise on Poetics (must login to read this when off-campus). 3. p. 221 – definition of style as speech that is clear and appropriate to the context. More importantly, Aristotle connects the importance of style to the ancient Greek notion of arête, or the good, the virtuous. So for Aristotle, style connects with a moral authority, one that is clear and contextual. Perhaps this means that there is not one “good” thing to do in any good situation. Rather, it is up to the speaker to make the connection to the good. 4. Further, the author should be somewhat invisible so as to “speak not artificially but naturally.” Here we see the notion of an authentic voice. Of the real voice. 5. p. 224 – faulty syllables of sound are unpleasant. Might mean what we try to say must sound harmonious or all the pieces must fit. What if we allow for the unpleasant? Is this productive? Put yourself in the ears of someone in 1969. What about the MC5 sounds “unpleasant”? 6. p. 227 – 8: poetic (or artistic) speech is absurd or frigid. This connects with punk’s early rejection of “art rock”. 7. p. 235 – appropriate discourse. Serious issues should be handled in a serious manner; light issues in a light manner. How might we account for “dark comedy” or for sarcasm? What are the limits in categorizing. 8. Write 250 – 300 words about how you would define “style” at the moment. What is important about the concept of style (or why should anyone care about style)? What do you think Aristotle would say about punk music?