Overview

Overview

The word “appeal” has two senses: to plead and to please. And when we persuade others—whether to act or to think in different ways—we speak in ways that appeal to our audience. The ancient teacher of rhetoric and Greek philosopher Aristotle argues that speakers appeal to their audiences by pleading with and pleasing their senses of logic, emotion, and ethics. This seemingly simple point has grounded the 2,500-year-old tradition of rhetoric and has influenced writers and public speakers for over two millennia.

In this module, students will identify the three appeals in public debates and analyze how they are used to inform, persuade, and entertain. In addition to analyzing arguments, students will perform these appeals. Students will produce arguments that appeal to ethics, emotions, and logic.

Students will:

  • Produce two rhetorical analyses that study the rhetorical appeals in public debates.
  • Perform weekly rhetorical exercises in which they make appealing arguments.
  • Will lead class discussion on a theoretical text and present a text for group analysis.

 

Possible outline of the course:

Unit 1: Aristotelian Treatment of Rhetorical Logic, Emotions, and Ethics

Week 1
Aristotle: Rhetoric: A theory of Civic Discourse, Book 1, Chapters 1-8. pp. 26-77
Aristotle: Rhetoric: A theory of Civic Discourse, Book 1, Chapters 9-15. pp. 78-118

Week 2
Aristotle: Rhetoric: A theory of Civic Discourse, Book 2, Chapters 1-11. pp. 119-162
Aristotle: Rhetoric: A theory of Civic Discourse, Book 2, Chapters 12-26. pp. 163-215

 

Unit 2: Contemporary Approaches to Rhetorical Logic

Week 3
Crowley and Hawhee: “Stasis Theory: Asking the Right Questions” pp. 71-102
Schiappa: from Defining Reality: Definitions and Politics of Meaning, “Language and Definitions: How We Make Sense of Reality” pp. 11-32

Week 4
Case Study from Law: Definition of Marriage: Proposition 8
Toulmin: from An Introduction to Reasoning, Chapter 2, “Probability,” pp. 41-87

Week 5
Toulmin: from An Introduction to Reasoning, Chapter 3, “The Layout of Arguments” pp. 87-113,
Toulmin: from An Introduction to Reasoning, Chapter 3, “The Layout of Arguments” pp. 114-134

 

Unit 3: Contemporary Approaches to Rhetorical Pathos

Week 6
Gross: from A Secret History of Emotion, “A New Rhetoric of Passions” pp. 1-20
Gross: from A Secret History of Emotion, “Thinking and Feeling without a Brain: William Perfect and Adam Smith's Compassion.” pp. 157-180

Week 7
Rickert: from Ambient Rhetoric: The Attunements of Rhetorical Being, Introduction, “Circumnavigation: World/Listening/Dwelling.”pp. 1-40
Rickert: from Ambient Rhetoric: The Attunements of Rhetorical Being, Chapter 5, Rhetoric, Language, Attunement: Burke and Heidegger” pp. 159-190

Week 8
Case Study from Literature: O’Brien “How to Tell a True War Story”
Case Study from Op-Ed: Dillard "The Wreck of Time: Taking Our Century's Measure"

 

Unit 4: Contemporary Approaches to Rhetorical Ethics

Week 9
Burke: from A Rhetoric of Motives, Chapter 1, “The Range of Rhetoric.” pp. 3-43
Burke: from A Rhetoric of Motives, Chapter 2, “Traditional Principles of Rhetoric.” pp. 49-136

Week 10
Ratcliff: from Rhetorical Listening, Chapter 1, “Defining Rhetorical Listening” pp. 17-46
Ratcliff: From Rhetorical Listening, Chapter 2, “Identifying Places of Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Disidentification, Non-identification” pp. 47-77

Week 11
Davis: from Inessential Solidarity, Chapter 1, “Identification.” pp. 18-36.
Solove: From The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet, “How the Free Flow of Information Liberates and Constrains Us. pp. 17-49

Week 12
Solove: From The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet, “Shaming and the Digital Scarlet Letter.” pp. 76-104
Case Study: Singapore Blogs “Dawn Yang’s Facebook Page”

Week 13
Plato: Phaedrus
Plato: Phaedrus