ERIC Number: ED246502
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Public Speaking Using Aristotle's "Rhetoric."
Rather than relegating Aristotle's "Rhetoric" to history of rhetoric courses, where it is regarded with only an antiquarian interest, it can be used as a practical text for introductory public speaking courses. The advantages would be threefold: (1) its emphasis is essentially on rhetoric as a speaking art rather than an art of composition; (2) it explains the what, why, and how of persuasion rather than simply the how as contemporary technical manuals tend to do; and (3) it reinvests the teaching of public speaking with the seriousness accorded it in ancient, medieval, and renaissance universities, thus countering the attitude common among today's undergraduates that the public speaking course is an easy "A." Three translations of the work are currently in print, only one in paperback, that of Lane Cooper. The least expensive and most accurate translation is the Loeb edition from Harvard University Press, with the Greek appearing on the pages facing the English. Although the "Rhetoric" lacks the contemporary examples that are the selling point of many new texts, the teacher can successfully explain and defend the relevancy of the examples without allowing the Greek names to discourage the students. In addition, by pointing out that Aristotle's sureness is not rigidity but rather is the result of the purpose of his rhetoric, which is to appeal to a political group, teachers can make students aware of the transfer of values from text to contemporary life. Student evaluation of the course that used the "Rhetoric" has been positive. (CRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).