Rhetoric: Plato Vs. Miriam Webster

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What is Rhetoric? If you asked one hundred people, you would most likely get one hundred different answers, but each definition, with the help of a little rhetoric, would be considered correct. Miriam Webster defines the word as “the aft of effective or persuasive speaking or writing,” yet greek philosopher Plato, in his Socratic Dialogue entitled “Gorgias,” argued that it is merely “the persuasion of ignorant masses within the courts and assemblies.” Whereas, theoretically speaking, both Plato and Miriam Webster cannot possibly be correct, it is the persuasive argument that each gives to back up their assertion that creates this paradox. That is rhetoric: the art of using language to persuade peers into sharing the views of the speaker, be it philosophical, political, social or other.…show more content…
I thought to myself, “how could a man whose treatises have defined the way we think to this day call others out for dictating the thoughts of others when all of his teaching have been equally as persuasive?” But as I dug deeper into the reading I realized that the reason he despised persuading the middle and lower class citizens was because he believed that they were easily persuadable, and not capable of true intellectual thought. Although the argument may be made that he was simply looking out for the middle class, I believe that his argument greatly underestimates the human ability to do what is right, and not what is necessarily the easiest
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