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The Art of Rhetoric

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Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric is the earliest systematic treatment of the subject, and it remains among the most incisive works on rhetoric that we possess. In it, we are asked: What is a good speech? What do popular audiences find persuasive? How does one compose a persuasive speech? Aristotle considers these questions in the context of the ancient Greek democratic city-state, in which large audiences of ordinary citizens listened to speeches pro and con before casting the votes that made the laws, decided the policies, and settled the cases in court. Persuasion by means of the spoken word was the vehicle for conducting politics and administering the law. After stating the basic principles of persuasive speech, Aristotle places rhetoric in relation to allied fields such as politics, ethics, psychology, and logic, and he demonstrates how to construct a persuasive case for any kind of plea on any subject of communal concern. Aristotle views persuasion flexibly, examining how speakers should devise arguments, evoke emotions, and demonstrate their own credibility. The treatise provides ample evidence of Aristotle's unique and brilliant manner of thinking, and has had a profound influence on later attempts to understand what makes speech persuasive.

The new translation of the text is accompanied by an introduction discussing the political, philosophical, and rhetorical background to Aristotle's treatise, as well as the composition and transmission of the original text and an account of Aristotle's life.

Author: Aristotle
Publisher: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780198724254
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2018

Aristotle was born in the Macedonian city of Stagira in 384 BC, and died in 322. He studied in Plato's Academy in Athens and later became tutor to Alexander the Great, before establishing his own school in Athens, called the Lyceum. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient, medieval and modern philosophy. Many of them have survived, including The Nicomachean Ethics, The Politics and Poetics, among others.

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