In your first thought essay you explored rhetoric’s definition and applied it to how someone else used it. For this thought essay you are asked to look at how you use it. Plato, Brockriede and Weaver all discuss how rhetoricians should act ethically, and describe that ideal position as “lovers” – the wisdom-lover for Plato, the noble lover for Weaver and the Arguer as Lover for Brockriede. Bakhtin and Burke discuss how rhetoric can impact others. Consider what it means to be a “lover” when practicing rhetoric, and then respond to the following prompt.
Prompt: Pick a situation in which you were a rhetor. Were you a “noble lover”, or were you an “evil lover?” Set the context and examine your rhetorical decision through the eyes of Plato, Weaver, Brockriede, Bakhtin and/or Burke. Justify your response with specific examples and references to course concepts from Part 5 & 6.
Your answer should be a thesis driven discussion of the role of ethics in your own rhetorical acts. Some issues you could consider*:
Did your thoughts, intentions/actions, and speech/rhetoric align?
How did your use of rhetoric affect the Other: did it “bring them into Being” as Bakhtin would argue? Or did your response deny their “existence?”
Did you use identification according to Burke?
Is it possible to be both a noble and evil lover in one rhetorical act?
Should/could ethics have played a greater role in the example you identify? Why or why not?
Do we have a responsibility with our “response-ability?”
Did you think of this rhetorical exchange as war or love? How did this affect your action?
Was heterogeneous a factor in your exchange?
*These questions are merely secondary suggestions. You do not need to and should not try to answer all of the questions. They are just examples of some ways to approach the prompt. Be sure to focus your main thesis on the prompt itself.
Remember: The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think through the material carefully. You SHOULD and you MUST reference text concepts(part 5 &6) to lend support for your argument and discussion of rhetoric and ethics, but this assignment is also designed to solicit your feelings on the topics we have covered.
Typed, double spaced, 1-inch margins and 12 point font; No less than 3 pages(full pages), no more than 3 ½
No work cited or title page necessary, ONLY in-text citations from reader or class.