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However, even the original instructors of Western speech—the Sophists—disputed this limited view of rhetoric.According to the Sophists, such as Gorgias, a successful rhetorician could speak convincingly on any topic, regardless of his experience in that field.

Aristotle defines rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion" and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law or for passage of proposals in the assembly or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies, calls it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics".Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.The legality and use of the death penalty in the United States of America is a highly controversial issue.Access to society journal content varies across our titles.If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.He restricted rhetoric to the domain of the contingent or probable: those matters that admit multiple legitimate opinions or arguments.The contemporary neo-Aristotelian and neo-Sophistic positions on rhetoric mirror the division between the Sophists and Aristotle.Although some have limited rhetoric to the specific realm of political discourse, many modern scholars liberate it to encompass every aspect of culture.Contemporary studies of rhetoric address a much more diverse range of domains than was the case in ancient times.Because the ancient Greeks highly valued public political participation, rhetoric emerged as a crucial tool to influence politics.Consequently, rhetoric remains associated with its political origins.


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