September 24, 2012


Bizzell and Herzberg said, the scientific and philosophical revolutions of the seventeenth century affected rhetoric in a number of ways. First starting off with the effect of ‘indirect.’ Which resulted in a change with the conception of logic, which is known to be a branch of knowledge dealing with rhetoric. However, as experimental science and inductive reasoning replaced deductive logic as “the standard of inquiry…” Critics of this century believed that literature was purposeful and intended to please and instruct the reader, which I believe to its entirety to this day. When I think of how literature is purposeful, the art of persuasion easily comes to mind. The art of persuasion ran straight along with the art of poetry. How the art of persuasion deals with the new theories of psychology where rhetoricians confirmed the idea that reasoning and imagination were the key mental faculties, especially in persuasion.

So how exactly did the seventeenth century get its name the “Enlightenment Period”? It all derived from rhetoric. Before rhetoric was idolized, in the seventeenth century, traditional rhetoric was, how Bizzell and Herzberg call it, “under attack” by the science, who claimed that rhetoric obscured the truth by encouraging the use of ornamental rather than plain, direct language. I purposely disagree with this statement because science relies on factual information, it has to make sense; rhetoric on the other hand is based on your version of truth and you having power as a speaker to persuade your audience to believe what you are saying is the absolute truth. Bacon said, “that rhetoric applies reason to the imagination to move the will.” Tom Hanks starred in a movie called, A League of their Own, and there is a scene where he uses rhetoric in all fullness when talking to his main player. He not only calls her out on her actions but also gives her a huge situation to think about that she had not even thought once about before. Rhetoric is to be used in all goodness and health. When Tom Hanks gave her that private speech, she did what he intended and slightly hoped she would do; come running back to her team just in time before their final game. 

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