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Rhetoric Quotes

21 of the best book quotes from Rhetoric
  1. #1
    “The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument, or follow a long chain of reasoning.”
  2. #2
    “The arousing of prejudice, pity, anger, and similar emotions has nothing to do with the essential facts, but is merely a personal appeal to the man who is judging the case.”
  3. #3
    “Rhetoric is the counterpart of Dialectic. Both alike are concerned with such things as come, more or less, within the general ken of all men and belong to no definite science.”
  4. #4
    “It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs, but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.And if it be objected that one who uses such power of speech unjustly might do great harm, that is a charge which may be made in common against all good things except virtue, and above all against the things that are most useful, as strength, health, wealth, generalship. A man can confer the greatest of benefits by a right use of these, and inflict the greatest of injuries by using them wrongly.”
  5. #5
    “There are three things which inspire confidence in the orator’s own character-the three, namely, that induce us to believe a thing apart from any proof of it: good sense, good moral character, and goodwill.”
  6. #6
    “In a political debate the man who is forming a judgement is making a decision about his own vital interests. There is no need, therefore, to prove anything except that the facts are what the supporter of a measure maintains they are.”
  7. #7
    “What makes a man a ‘sophist’ is not his faculty, but his moral purpose.”
  1. #8
    “A statement is persuasive and credible either because it is directly self-evident or because it appears to be proved from other statements that are so.”
  2. #9
    “That the orator’s own character should look right is particularly important in political speaking: that the audience should be in the right frame of mind, in lawsuits.”
  3. #10
    “Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”
  4. #11
    “Ethical studies may fairly be called political; and for this reason rhetoric masquerades as political science, and the professors of it as political experts-sometimes from want of education, sometimes from ostentation, sometimes owing to other human failings.”
  5. #12
    “Rhetoric falls into three divisions, determined by the three classes of listeners to speeches. For of the three elements in speech-making--speaker, subject, and person addressed--it is the last one, the hearer, that determines the speech’s end and object.”
  6. #13
    “Those who have been wronged, or believe themselves to be wronged, are terrible; for they are always looking out for their opportunity.”
  7. #14
    “The main matters on which all men deliberate and on which political speakers make speeches are some five in number: ways and means, war and peace, national defence, imports and exports, and legislation.”

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  1. #15
    “Of those we have wronged, and of our enemies or rivals, it is not the passionate and outspoken whom we have to fear, but the quiet, dissembling, unscrupulous; since we never know when they are upon us, we can never be sure they are at a safe distance.”
  2. #16
    “When people are feeling friendly and placable, they think one sort of thing; when they are feeling angry or hostile, they think either something totally different or the same thing with a different intensity.”
  3. #17
    “People who are afflicted by sickness or poverty or love or thirst or any other unsatisfied desires are prone to anger and easily roused.”
  4. #18
    “Things that cause friendship are: doing kindnesses; doing them unasked; and not proclaiming the fact when they are done, which shows that they were done for our own sake and not for some other reason.”
  5. #19
    “Forgetfulness, too, causes anger, as when our own names are forgotten, trifling as this may be; since forgetfulness is felt to be another sign that we are being slighted; it is due to negligence, and to neglect us is to slight us.”
  6. #20
    “We feel friendly towards those whom we help to secure good for themselves, provided we are not likely to suffer heavily by it ourselves.”
  7. #21
    “Fear is caused by whatever we feel has great power of destroying or of harming us in ways that tend to cause us great pain.”
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