The ancients regarded rhetoric as the crowning intellectual discipline — the synthesis of logical principles and other knowledge attained from years of schooling. Modern readers will find considerable relevance in Aristotelian rhetoric and its focus on developing persuasive tools of argumentation. Aristotle's examinations of how to compose and interpret speeches offer significant insights into the language and style of contemporary communications, from advertisements to news reports and other media.
Despite dating from the 4th century BC, The Art of Rhetoric continues to be regarded by many as the single most important work on the art of persuasion. As democracy began emerging in 5th-century Athens, public speaking and debate became an increasingly important tool to garner influence in the assemblies, councils, and law courts of ancient Greece. In response to this, both politicians and ordinary citizens became desperate to learn greater skills in this area, as well as the philosophy behind it. This treatise was one of the first to provide just that, establishing methods and observations of informal reasoning and style, and has continued to be hugely influential on public speaking and philosophy today.
Aristotle, the grandfather of philosophy, student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great, was one of the first people to create a comprehensive system of philosophy, encompassing logic, morality, aesthetics, politics, ethics, and science. Although written over 2,000 years ago, The Art of Rhetoric remains a comprehensive introduction for philosophy students into the subject of rhetoric, as well as a useful manual for anyone today looking to improve their oratory skills of persuasion.
The De Oratore, written in 55 B.C., argues that rhetoric is socially significant because states are established and maintained through the leadership of eloquent men.
The three books of dialogues in this volume feature discussions between well-known figures in Roman history, including Lucius Crassus, Marcus Antonius, Quintus Lutatius Catulus, Quintus Marcius Scaevola, Caius Aurelius Cotta, Julius Caesar Strabo Vopicus, and Publius Sulpicus Rufus.
The Brutus continues the theme of the dialogues, giving a history of eminent orators whose performances exemplify the Ciceronian theory that rhetoric finally adds up to leadership.
In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don’t need to have anything important to say—you simply need to say it well.
In an age unhealthily obsessed with the power of substance, this is a book that highlights the importance of style.
In addition to the introduction, the book contains substantial commentaries and thorough endnotes. Key Greek terms are discussed for readers who are unfamiliar with the language. A special feature is a discussion on the importance of the dramatic and literary aspects of the dialogues for interpreting their philosophical content.
The introductions deal with the nature of the dialogues themselves as philosophical texts and with Plato’s philosophical assumptions and key concepts, as well as with the necessary background of Athenian society. The endnotes clarify any ambiguities and obscurities in the original text, identifying all references to people, places, gods, et cetera.
The commentaries are designed to open up the dialogues for the reader, showing the issues that have been debated by commentators and considering some of the responses to them. They are designed to stimulate further reflection.
The philosophic goal of the Symposium is to find the ultimate manifestation of the love that controls the world, leading to mystic union with eternal and supercosmic beauty. Phaedrus discusses the psychology of love, resulting in the concept of the familiar Platonic "forms" as objects of transcendental emotion. In this inexpensive edition of the renowned Jowett translation, they will be welcomed by anyone interested in Greek thought or the philosophy of Plato.