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CSAMP Visiting Speaker: Christof Rapp (LMU)
February 13, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
We are delighted to welcome Christof Rapp to the Promseminar from the LMU in Munich. Prof. Rapp will be in Toronto as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at UTSC. He will be speaking “On Turning Rhetoric Into an Art. About the General Orientation and Purpose of Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric“.
Abstract: In Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle has the ambition of finally turning rhetoric into an art (technê). Admittedly, his predecessors already used to call their rhetorical manuals technai, but Aristotle (not unlike Plato) seriously doubts that the tips and tricks they provide can match the methodological and epistemological requirements for a real art. Accordingly, the first chapters of the Art of Rhetoric have to show that the usual, Platonically-minded objections against conventional rhetoric do not exclude the possibility of an art-like or art-based rhetoric. Also, or so I argue, these chapters give some quite condensed, yet fairly important hints about what Aristotle takes to be the so far missing foundation of a methodologically conducted rhetoric. This peculiar Aristotelian approach has implications for how Aristotle himself assesses various persuasive tools. First and foremost they have to be ‘technical’, i.e. provided by the technê in question. By and large, Aristotle seems to think that the judgements effected in the audience by technical tools of persuasion are less corrupted than the judgements effected by conventional rhetoric. However, this is not to say that Aristotle selects and assesses persuasive tools with a view to the effect of the best possible judgement in the audience.