Art of Persuasion Greek Philosopher Reading Response Paper


The Art of PersuasionOften referred to as the “poet of the violin,”

Joshua Bell

is one of the world’s most celebrated violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence.


(384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher ofAlexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics,government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato’s teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle’s writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality, aesthetics,logic, science, politics, and metaphysics. Aristotle’s


is an ancient Greek treatise on the art of persuasion, dating from the 4th century BC. The English title varies: typically it is titled Rhetoric, the Art of Rhetoric, or a Treatise on Rhetoric. Rhetoric

Along with Grammar and Logic, rhetoric is one of the three ancient arts of discourse,(meaning with words) or verbal (meaning with words) communication. Rhetoric is the art of speaking or writing effectively – to serve your desired purpose. Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E) defined rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” Rhetoric is a thoughtful, reflective activity leading to effective communication, including a rational exchange of opposing viewpoints. It’s as important today as in Aristotle’s time, this ability to plan and demonstrate effective communication to appeal to an audience of one or many. Rhetoric is the tool kit containing the skills to to resolve conflicts without confrontation, to persuade readers and listeners to be receptive to our message, or to move people to take action.

Think about a communication that you need to deliver

It could be a message on your web site, or a perhaps you need to deliver your message in a presentation, –

What outcomes do you hope for from that communication


The Rhetorical Triangle Aristotle described the interaction between subject, speaker, and audience (or subject, writer, and reader) in what has come to be known as the Rhetorical Triangle. The

Rhetorical Triangle Contains: The Subject The general topic, content, and ideas contained in the text. The Occasion The time and place where will you deliver the communication and what is the context that encouraged the writing to happen. The Audience The readers or listeners to whom this message is directed. The Purpose The goal the speaker/writer wants to achieve. The Speaker The voice that tells the story – Aristotle called it the persona. Note: The author and the speaker are not always the same person. These combine to provide the rhetorical situation. The Rhetorical Situation The subject, occasion, audience, purpose, and speakerwill work together to determine your rhetorical situation — the situation which generates your need for communicating.

Consider the speech Al Gore would give about global warming to an audience of true believers versus an audience of skeptics versus an audience of climate scientists versus an audience of elementary schoolchildren – each would present a different rhetorical situation.

Ethos, Pathos, Logos Aristotle believed that a speaker’s ability to persuade is based on how well the speaker appeals to his or her audience in three different

areas: ethos (ethical appeal), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (logical appeal). Ethos, pathos, and logos conform to the Rhetorical Triangle. Ethos relates to the writer/speaker. Their credibility, their reputation, their authority, and the trust and confidence you place in them. Logos relates to the content is it making sense to the audience? Pathos relates to the reader/audience and the emotional connection they experience through your content.

Think about that communication that you need to deliver

It could be a message on your web site, or a perhaps you need to deliver your message in a presentation, –

Now let’s test its ability to communicate its point persuasively through the eyes of your audience.

(This activity “The Art of Persuasion” is available to download) Here


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  1. Reading Responses: (Written in Journal)

    In every reading response there will be a 3 part response:Part 1 – Summarize the article: What are the main points?Part 2 – Personal Response:

    What do you think of this source? Have you seen these techniques before? Which do you prefer? Why?

Part 3 – Academic Vocabulary:

List at least 5 words you don’t know. Give the dictionary definition, synonym and antonym for them. Also, use each in a sentence.

*Research Reading Responses- These responses will be based on articles that


research for your assignments. Not only will you do the normal reading response, but you will also evaluate the source and thoughtfully consider where and how you would use it for your writing. Finally, include a Works Citedcitation so it can be found!

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