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Rhetoric In Language Essay

1122 words - 5 pages

Of all the facilities humankind has developed in its timely history, language has been, is and will continue to be the one attribute that sets us apart from all other intelligence. The ability to communicate clearly with each other is so important and beneficial, yet vastly overlooked and grossly misused. As intelligent beings, we all have choices that need to be made, and motives behind our decisions; however, it is language that allows us to communicate, defend, and justify the outcomes of those conclusions. The problem with humans is that the capability of language is constantly used to feed egoistic emotional desires. We have this gift that when utilized sincerely allows us to be ...view middle of the document...

He views rhetoric as an act of self-gratification and pleasure and he proves it through examining Gorgias and his students (who are merely a mirror of society). Rhetoric is simply a method of persuasion employed by Gorgias. Persuasion for Socrates comes in two forms. One form provides belief without knowledge and the other provides knowledge without belief. Socrates points out that rhetoric, as used by people of Gorgias' stature and the like, is the like of language that persuades others to believe without knowing; without instruction of right or wrong. This is most crucial to understand because as it pertains to societal history, the timelines are filled with people who use language to greedily fulfill their humanely uncontrollable desires.The bottom line in this is that is ultimately proves immoral and the overlying message is that nobody seems to be concerned with that fact. Socrates and Gorgias will debate theissue of what rhetoric is feverishly but every time Gorgias is asked to explain what rhetoric is, he fails to give a conclusive answer that aligns with his ideas of what rhetoric is. When asked to define rhetoric, Gorgias gives the initial response that it is an art that is derived from knowledge or a natural ability that works on instinct and reflexes. but Socrates will point out that rhetoric doesn't have to rely on knowledge. Gorgias will say that rhetoric is speech, but that definition doesn't suffice Socrates, as it is vague and even Euthyphronian. This is when Gorgias tells Socrates that rhetoric is a manufacturer of persuasion. Again, Socrates will ask Gorgias for a definition or rhetoric and he responds with what rhetoric does; furthermore, he responds that the ability gives one great power and therefore it is good. Here, Gorgias equates power with what is good.It is here where one may find Gorgias difficult to understand because it is quite obviously that he is a smart man. He has...

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