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Rhetoric and Politics

Shawn J. Parry-Giles

Subject Politics
Communication Studies » Rhetorical Studies

People Aristotle

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The study of rhetoric and politics examines the role of →  Persuasion in the political process. The study of rhetoric most commonly begins with readings from ancient Greece and Aristotle's handbook, On rhetoric . Classical scholars conceived of rhetoric as a practical art involving the performance of public oratory in the contexts of politics, law, and ceremonial occasions, separated from the philosophy of knowledge. As Isocrates’ words expressed during the classical period: “Speech is responsible for nearly all of invention. It legislated in matters of justice and injustice, in beauty and baselessness… . With speech we fight our contentious matters, and we investigate the unknown” ( Antidosis 254–256, in Mirhady 2000 ; →  Rhetoric, Greek ; Rhetoric, Roman ). While twentieth-century rhetorical scholars continued to address the role of persuasion in the →  Public Sphere , its study has more recently expanded beyond public oratory to include other persuasive texts, including advertisements, autobiographies, →  cartoons , films, manifestoes, memorials, photographs, →  Television and print news, and many other forms of →  Discourse circulating in public spaces (→  Advertising ; Cinema ; Newspaper ; Photography ). Rhetoricians of today also recognize the epistemological contributions of rhetoric, which accentuate its role in creating knowledge and constituting perceptions of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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