Their initial accounts were in the Northeastern region of the United States, and they annually observed a constant profit increase.
Rhetoric is characterized as "empty words" or as fancy language used to distort the truth or tell lies. Television newspeople often say something like "There was more rhetoric from the White House today," and editorialists write that politicians need to "stop using rhetoric and do something," as though words had no connection to action.
Many people blame rhetoric Hss261 1404a 01 ethics in healthcare our apparent inability to communicate and to get things done. But that isn't the way rhetoricians defined their art in ancient Athens and Rome. In ancient times, people used rhetoric to make decisions, resolve disputes, and to mediate public discussion of important issues.
An ancient teacher of rhetoric named Aristotle defined rhetoric as the power of finding the available arguments suited to a given situation. For teachers like Aristotle or practitioners like the Roman orator Cicero, rhetoric helped people to choose the best course of action when they disagreed about important political, religious, or social issues.
In fact, the study of rhetoric was equivalent to the study of citizenship. Ancient teachers of rhetoric thought that disagreement among human beings was inevitable, since individuals perceive the world differently from one another.
They also assumed that since people communicate their perceptions through language—which is an entirely different medium than thoughts or perceptions—there was no guarantee that any person's perceptions would be accurately conveyed to others.
Even more important, the ancient teachers knew that people differ in their opinions about how the world works, so that it was often hard to tell whose opinion was the best. They invented rhetoric so that they would have means of judging whose opinion was most accurate, useful, or valuable.
If people didn't disagree, rhetoric wouldn't be necessary. But they do, and it is. A rhetorician named Kenneth Burke remarked that "we need never deny the presence of strife, enmity, faction as a characteristic motive of rhetorical expression" But the fact that rhetoric originates in disagreement is ultimately a good thing, since its use allows people to make important choices without resorting to less palatable means of persuasion—coercion or violence.
People who have talked their way out of any potentially violent confrontation know how useful rhetoric can be. On a larger scale, the usefulness of rhetoric is even more apparent. If, for some reason, the people who negotiate international relations were to stop using rhetoric to resolve their disagreements about limits on the use of nuclear weapons, there might not be a future to deliberate about.
That's why we should be glad when we read or hear that diplomats are disagreeing about the allowable number of warheads per country or the number of inspections of nuclear stockpiles per year.
At least they're talking to each other. As Burke observed, wars are the result of an agreement to disagree. But before people of good will agree to disagree, they try out hundreds of ways of reaching agreement. The possibility that one set of participants will resort to coercion or violence is always a threat, of course; but in the context of impending war, the threat of war can itself operate as a rhetorical strategy that keeps people of good will talking to each other.
Given that argument can deter violence and coercion, we are disturbed by the contemporary tendency to see disagreement as somehow impolite or even undesirable. We certainly understand how disagreement has earned its bad name, given the caricature of argument that daily appears on talk television.
In his column "On Television" Bill Goodykoontz had fun with the typical dialogue heard on news talk shows: After hour upon hour of watching political "discussion" shows, a fever dream follows: Lef s just jump right to the news of the day: All, an attorney for the ACLU. Another merry skip down the road to socialism?
We really do need to monitor what goes on there. Tune in tomorrow night when we discuss Sesame Street—kids show or tool of the creeping enemy? Here Goodykoontz aptly captured the shouting and name-calling that pass for discussion on television shows like his fictitious Crossscreech. The characters he depicts don't actually argue; rather, they shout commonplaces at one another.
This is an extremely unproductive model of argument because it seldom stimulates anyone to change his or her mind. Engaging in productive argument is much different from shouting tired slogans.
For one thing it is hard intellectual work, and for another, it requires that all parties to an argument listen to positions stated by others. Despite its difficulty, people who live in democracies must undertake productive argument with one another, because failure to do so can have serious consequences, hr the early months offor instance, representatives of the United States government tried to convince other members of the United Nations Security Council to authorize an invasion of Iraq.
When France and other members of the Security Council refused to support this measure, the government of the United States was faced with several alternatives: All of the options except the last require the use of rhetoric, and in each of those cases more deliberation could have limited or halted violence.
Interestingly, some Americans responded to this failure to achieve agreement not by asking for more negotiation but by adopting an antiFrench stance.Nov 11, · Find essays and research papers on Philosophy at schwenkreis.com We've helped millions of students since Join the world's largest study community.
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