Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blog 10: Intent is Everything

In chapter two and three we learned about the three branches of oratory, the five canons, about the intentions of rhetoric. Toye explains the three branches of oratory as 1. forensic/judicial rhetoric, 2. epideictic/display rhetoric, 3. deliberative rhetoric. I was personally most interested by the deliberative rhetoric because of its close connection to legislators and voters. One of my possible job aspirations is to be a lobbyist where a huge part of the job is being able to participate and accurately use deliberative rhetoric when defending or pushing a bill. Being able to persuade someone in a very useful skill, and while some people may feel a little uneasy with it, there is still very much good to be said about someone who can effectively get their message received.

Next Toye talked about the five canons of rhetoric which are 1. invention/discovery, 2. arrangement, 3. style, 4. memory, and 5. delivery. these five canons reveal the elements of rhetoric that when hit on and delivered properly help to drive any message you are trying to deliver home. In order to effectively use these five canons one must focus on the nature of the audience. By focusing on questions like, who is your audience and what do they value you most? You can really take advantage of what rhetoric has to offer.

Lastly, a point that was really driven home by Toye is how not only do the fundamentals of rhetoric matter, but most importantly what your intentions are. Rhetoric has often been viewed in a negative connotation and mostly because people will use rhetoric, but also pepper it with lies. If you are completely honest with your audience and are strong, confident, respectful, and also 100% believe in your cause you should have no reason to doubt the intent of the argument.

After reading these two chapters my two questions are:
1. Is there a way we can detect a bad intention when someone is using rhetoric?
2. if there was a 6th canon what would it be?

Reading: Toye, Richard (2013). Rhetoric: A very short introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. [Chapters 2 & 3]

No comments:

Post a Comment