How to Win the Argument

How to Win the Argument: Rhetoric and Democracy
Arguments shape the progress of free society. From "Four score and seven" to "never surrender," to "I have a dream," we celebrate the power of rhetoric to motivate political action. Yet rhetoric can mislead as well, and its techniques appear to involve a form of manipulation. In this class, we will examine the "arts" of rhetoric, and the philosophical debates surrounding the role of rhetoric in politics. Readings include political speeches (Lincoln, Churchill, King), plays (Aristophanes, Shakespeare), ancient philosophies of rhetoric (Plato, Aristotle), and modern theories of speech and "public reason" (Mill, Rawls). We will prepare and practice public speech-making in class, and we will compose and revise our own analytical and rhetorical prose.
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PSCI 0249

All Sections in Fall 2024

Fall 2024

PSCI0249A-F24 Lecture (Fram)