Aristotle And Isocrates Rhetoric

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Pages: 5

Throughout history, there have been numerous approaches and opinions as to the uses of rhetoric and how it is ethically applied. Being such a valuable tool, scholars have debated continually throughout time to determine the right way to use and think about rhetoric- often times having completely different stances and not budging. In this paper, we are specifically looking at three philosophers, all respected in their time and still studied today, and trying to explain their approaches to rhetoric and how they see it best used. Plato, Isocrates and Aristotle each give distinct standpoints on the matter, they not only challenge but also break down any pre-existing notions about rhetoric. This brings us to the second aspect of this paper, relating the work of those three scholars to the older knowledge and work presented and taught by the sophists regarding argument and related discourse. there is ample evidence that Aristotle and Isocrates had particular views on the Sophists, however it was Plato the responded the most effectively and blatantly. Plato had very strong opinions when discussing rhetoric and its …show more content…
Socrates provides the voice of Plato, as well as the antagonist for this dialogue. In the beginning of the dialogue Socrates asks what Gorgias does, after a longer speech from Polus about how wonderful Gorgias’ work is, it is made evident that Gorgias is a rhetorician and teacher of rhetoric. This demonstrates how the sophist were viewed to not get right to the point, and instead tried to distract with pretty words. The dialogue continues with Socrates trying to get an answer from Gorgias in regards to what rhetoric is, all Gorgias tells him is that it is speech. Which is not a good enough answer for Socrates; Plato is inferring that even the sophists don’t know what they are