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Aristotle Vs. Aristotle's Rhetoric And Dialectic

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In Rhetoric, Aristotle states, “Let rhetoric be [defined as] an ability, in each [particular case], to see the available means of persuasion” (Kennedy, 2007, p. 37). Aristotle is saying that rhetoric is not just the art of persuasion through speech. He was saying that rhetoric is the art of discovering the methods of persuasion available in all situations. This relates to the goal of many figures in the current day political climate. This goal is to discover methods of persuading as many people as possible as often as possible. A politician’s use or rhetoric can be compared to Aristotle’s study of rhetoric in that both utilize the artistic proofs and practice the three species of rhetoric. Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric closely matches the goals of modern politicians, and so rhetoric has become ingrained into our modern day political process.

Aristotle views rhetoric as the counterpart to dialectic, and points out several key differences. Aristotle says that both rhetoric and dialectic begin with “endoxa”, or reasoning from a commonly held belief or opinion (Herrick, 2016, p. 71). Both rhetoric and dialectic must be based on a logical argument. Rhetoric takes that argument and adds elements of the speaker’s character and emotions, creating a more diverse method of persuading an audience. Dialectic favors a fact-based dialogue and does not rely on the speaker’s character and emotions. Rhetoric and dialectic are both methods of addressing questions. These questions do
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