Rhetoric Panel Presentation Success

Our class members did a great job with sharing their post-debate reflections at The Office of International Affairs First Thursdays Event, “An Effective Rhetoric for Global Peace and Understanding: Students’ Insights for Presidential Candidates,” on October 6, 2016.

Some excerpts from the insights shared with Longwood students:

Rhetoric refers to the purposeful use of language and the classic art of making effective arguments. Plato suggested that rhetoric should be used to find the truth and achieve justice. Aristotle defined it as the use of the available means of persuasion.  Quintilian said only good and virtuous men should practice the art of rhetoric. Various other key figures across cultures and nations also studied rhetoric and offered their own definitions and interpretations of this art.”

The presidential candidates seem to make various arguments. The question is: are these effective arguments?”

“Jay Heinrichs, a persuasion guru who has applied rhetorical principles, from business transactions to family quarrels, observes that ‘We need to distinguish rhetorical argument from the blame-shifting, he-said-she-said squabbling that defines conflict today. In a fight, each disputant tries to win. In an argument, they try to win over an audience’ (Thank You for Arguing).”

Albert Einstein once said: ‘The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.’ We concur with this statement, but we also contend that the world is a dangerous place because of those who say nothing or say the wrong thing. We hope that our presidential candidates work to achieve global peace and understanding by awakening the idea that it all begins with their use of language. Rhetoric is more than a tool of persuasion–it is the fundamental difference between conflict and progressive argument.”

Well done, ENGL 305: Rhetoric and Public Culture students!

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