On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What definition did Aristotle give for 'rhetoric' at the beginning of the book?

Rhetoric was defined by Aristotle as neither an art nor a science because it was not concerned with any specific subject. Instead, its focus was on how to persuade people of the subjects or arts.

2. How was dialectic defined and what was its connection to rhetoric?

Dialectic was similar to rhetoric because it was also concerned with argumentation, but there were times where dialectic was inappropriate. In these times, rhetoric was needed. An example that Aristotle provided of this was rhetoric explaining complicated issues to large or uneducated crowds.

3. Why would rhetoric be used to help define individual beliefs?

Rhetoric can cause a person to consider all sides of a question and learn the truth about it. Once the truth is discovered, that person will be in a much better position to form a solid opinion and support it.

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