Spotlight: Aristotle’s Rhetoric (4th Century BC) – Art of Persuasion


Aristotle’s Rhetoric, is his great literary work on ‘the art of persuasion.’  He saw poetry and rhetoric as tools that were used too often to manipulate others by manipulating emotions and omitting facts. Many of our politicians today use this type of hyperbole to sway opinions.

The Rhetoric is regarded by most rhetoricians as the most important single work on persuasion ever written.  Gross & Walzer concur, indicating that, just as Alfred North Whitehead considered all Western philosophy a footnote to Plato, “all subsequent rhetorical theory is but a series of responses to issues raised” by Aristotle’s Rhetoric.

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