Monday, December 15, 2003

Rhetorical sampler

There's a lot of good information over on Rhetorica:
  • In here, in the section "Bias in the news media", enumeration and description of the structural biases of journalism:
    • commercial
    • temporal
    • visual
    • bad news
    • narrative
    • status quo
    • fairness
    • expediency

  • In Pass the propaganda, the various ways that a speech can be used to convey a point without ever coming out and making the point explicitly:
    Literalists will argue that [X] never said in so many words yadda yadda yadda. This willfully misunderstands rhetoric. [X] didn't have to say it in so many words. The pathos and enthymemes of the speech did the persuading. Aristotle, 2,300 years ago, demonstrated how to get an audience to complete an argument by adding in the stuff that isn't specifically said.

    Journalists could report persuasive tactics as verifiable events if they knew how. Instead, they rely on partisan pundits to tell them what it all means. And the result is their reporting does more to transmit propaganda than to interrupt or challenge it.
  • Analyzing Argument:
    The problem with Aristotle's logic (concerning his desire for logic) is that argument by the syllogism is often deadly dull. Humans are passionate creatures whose hearts and minds are moved with appeals to emotion (pathos), character (ethos), as well as logic (logos)...