Friday, October 31, 2014

Form vs. Function: a Central Conflict in Architecture


Sample Sketch-work
There seems to be a governing problem in most fields, especially some of the fields previously talked about by other students, that is a scarcity resources. The scarcity of resources present in all professions and in all of our lives manifests itself in architecture through a central conflict I've heard called "form vs. function".

A client comes to a meeting with the team of architects from the firm he contracted with in order to hear and see a design proposal; he likes what he sees a lot, he doesn't understand most of what he sees in the models and sketches and computer renderings, but it all looks really cool. He's excited and ready to get going with construction, then he's reminded of something he understands very well that brings his mind down to reality, numbers and dollar signs. It all depends on the client from that point on and the convincing ability of the architects, the architects would respond by talking about the reputation and purpose of the building and the client and his company, they would refer to the precedent set by architectural works done in the past and what those buildings have inspired in people, it seems like simultaneously the architects would use definition, division, and comparison in order to explain further the need for the designs they've come up with and why the price tag would be worth it.

One of Frank Gehry's sketches of Disney Hall. Due to
this architects reputation, most clients go to him
expecting something grand, so they expect to pay
the price. Unfortunately it's not like that for all Architects.
In the end, the architects' main argument would be how the form would influence the functionality (productivity of employees, appeal to costumers, etc.) in a positive way, thus appealing the main goal of most any company: increased profits. Mostly this appeals to the special topic of invention called deliberative (specifically referring to advantageous/disadvantageous) and also the common topic of cause and effect.

Finished Disney Hall, it's kind of cool to see a thought become
a reality, huh? 

Conflict Issues and Special Topics of Invention in Speech Pathology

A Point of Conflict in Speech Pathology


The main point of conflict I foresee as a speech pathologist is the argument over "necessary and proper". While many of us are familiar with this phrase in terms of our government, I'm using it to identify the cases speech therapists make throughout  their careers in regards to whether or not therapy is necessary and will be effective for individuals struggling to communicate in any way. 

Topics of Invention in Law

There are many opportunities for persuasion when dealing with communication disorders. I want to quickly describe two different scenarios that will in one way or another affect each of us. 

Scenario One: 

Imagine sometime in the near future. You're graduated, working, and you have one beautiful child. They are three years old and what you would describe as "extremely shy" Usual communication consists of pointing and making noises rather than word formation. The preschool teacher has noted that your child has a hard time joining other kids and often paces the room and simply watches. You're the parent and need to decide, is this behavior normal or is there an underlying problem?  

Scenario Two:

It is much further into the future. Your parent or grandparent is aging and activities of daily living are becoming more laborious for them. They require extra care now, but the decline you are most concerned with is their ability to chew and swallow. What do you do? 



Analysis

My field deals with highly charged, emotional situations such as these. Health of loved ones is something that is sensitive and dear to all of us. You want to do what is beneficial for those who are in your charge, you feel responsible. As a speech pathologist, I would take your concerns and do a little research. In order to identify the problem, I need to know the composition of the situation. For example, does the child have hearing loss or have an intellectual disability? Is the parent/ grandparent losing their teeth or had a stroke? Identifying these little parts help expose the whole problem. I would need to then compare these observations to what I know is standard or expected from someone in this age group. (You need to have a knowledge of what is "regular" in order to identify atypical behaviors.) Finally, I would help you see how therapy would be advantageous in improving the quality of life for the individual (helping your child eventually be able to interact with other children, or how therapy will help your parent/ grandparent safely be able to maintain independence and avoid a potentially harmful situation). The special topics of invention (parts/ whole, similarities and differences, and advantageous vs disadvantageous), will also then be used to help persuade your insurance that such interventions are necessary and proper. Those are the three topics of invention that are very common in my field.   


A Point of Conflict In Manufacturing

A common conflict that arises between manufacturers and material engineers is when the engineer suggests a material or technique that raises the price of the production, or the increases the time it takes to produce a product.

A typical persuasion scenario for a material engineer is when they attempt to convince a manufacturer that a certain technique or material is correct for the item being produced. Let’s say the company in question is producing iPhone 6 cases, a material engineer might make his case in the following way:

Dear Mr. Doe,

I’ve reviewed the requirements for the new iPhone case you’re planning to produce and I have thought of some different materials which would serve you nicely. First option is a simply injection-molding some polyurethane. This route would be cheap, but it wouldn’t be as strong as other options. It would cost around $XXXX for the tooling and around ¢0.X for each unit produced. The second option involves the use of a high-impact polymer which can still be injection molded. While this route would be more expensive, you could charge more for the product, and the actual case would be extremely durable. An impact resistant polymer like the one used by the Mag-pul® Corporation would be the optimal material and you would even be able to claim the case is constructed from military grade materials. The tooling would be about the same, but the price of production per unit would increase.




Analysis: While there are several topics of invention used in this example, the major one has to stem from the promotion of the impact-resistant polymer. The engineer is stating that it would be advantageous to take the more expensive route to ensure quality. He uses an authority in the field of polymers to strengthen his argument. The engineer also uses definition to an extents when he described the type of polymer he has in mind. Virtue also weaves it’s way through the argument; although not explicitly stated, the engineer asserts that making an inferior product which is  cheaper is less virtuous that producing a high quality (although more expensive) product. 

Conflict Issues and Special Topics of Invention in Elementary Education

A point of conflict in Elementary Education
Politics and Elementary Education frequently come into conflict and one point is that of classroom size.  The schools aren't receiving enough funding from the government to hire more teachers and some schools are even letting go of teachers.  This leads to fewer teachers and more students so class sizes are increasing rapidly.  

Topics of invention in Elementary Education
Speaking a community forum a teacher or group of teachers may try to address the need for smaller class sizes to benefit the learning of the individual students and help funding for this to occur. A teacher could say something of the following:
A crowded classroom in California
"We are here to discuss the future of our children, our community and our country.  Have you ever been in a large group and something had been discussed that you didn't quite understand but because of the size of the group you felt your voice had been lost?  Children today are getting lost in these large class sizes.  They are entering a different community with different rules and often they get lost and left behind.  Isn't this contradictory with the No Child Left Behind Policy?  Your children and community need your help.  It is possible to make a difference in our community by donating and helping to fund the schools so that class sizes can be smaller and your children can have their voice heard and their needs met.  This is how real learning will occur.  The benefits are enormous for not only your family, but also our community and country.  Please stop and think of the future and make a difference today."

Analysis
A special topic of invention that was used is that of The Advantageous/The Disadvantageous where the disadvantages of large classroom size was emphasized and the advantages of small classroom was also emphasized.  The teacher wants to move the community to action so he/she will use the special topics of invention for a deliberative speech.  Some other common topics of invention can be used like Law (No Child Left Behind), Antecedent and Consequence (consequences of large classroom size), and the Possible/Impossible (show the difference that is possible when action is taken).  

Conflict Issues and Special Topics of Invention in Medicine

A Point of Conflict in Medicine
As mentioned by James in his post, the field of medicine is rife with restrictions, conflict, and moral dilemma.  Difficult decisions have to be made regarding ethics, but oftentimes the cold, seemingly unfeeling conclusion is the only one to be drawn.  Such strenuous situations can incite all manner of negative emotions and feelings—both in the doctor and in the patient. 
Topics of Invention in Medicine
Among the sick and afflicted, certain predicaments present themselves with solutions that are often seen as questionable.  In the case of narcotics, patients must decide firstly whether or not the sacrifice of full consciousness (and possibly morality) is worth the potential healing through the drugs.  Similarly, the doctor is also presented with the issue of right and wrong, and whether or not the risk of overdosing or addiction is too strong in a patient.  A potential instance of this could be:
Sometimes the standard is not enough.  This is where conflict sets in.
            Doctor: "The only way that you can be helped at this point if by the use of narcotics to help alleviate pain, but there is not much else that I can suggest."
            Patient: "No!  I don't want to throw away reality and my own ability to properly think.  Hampering that in any way causes me to shudder.  On top of that, the notion seems to me to be one of direct opposition to my religious beliefs.  It's wrong to me." 
            Doctor: "There is no known cure for your condition at this time, so the only assistance that I can provide is to lessen the severity of it.  Rest assured, I would not prescribe you with anything of lethal or harmful effect, but there is nothing else to be done.  I will not force you, but if you want any relief at all, then this is the only option I can provide." 
            Patient: "You've shown me the facts and I can't argue that this would be the only way as of now.  I want to take this avenue, but it goes against everything that I hold dear to me.  It's the principle!" 
Analysis:
Would these clone troopers be able to provide patients with
proper reassurance as to medical prescriptions and diagnoses?
Or, rather, would they simply force their views upon others?
Would this be right or wrong to do?

The doctor made the distinction between there being legally right and wrong scenarios in order to most remedy the situation, while the patient was trapped in the morality of the two.  Along those same lines of the special topics of invention, there was also the problem of what was advantageous and what was disadvantageous.  Benefits and drawbacks existed on both the judicial and deliberative sides of the spectrum.  In addition, under these circumstances, the common topics of invention of cause and effect, laws, documents, and authorities gain increased potency in their relevance and application.  Clearly laying out a path of logic via these strengthened common topics can be used to persuade an otherwise unwilling patient to make a decision on the use of narcotics in treatment.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Topics of Invention in French Teaching

Stasis: Budget cuts for language departments
Special topics:
  • People's responses to accents
  • Part: Language learning / Whole: Education
  • Advantageous
  • Conjugates (literally)
  • Connecting with the world

"Sorry, folks, but...we're getting budget cuts. And I'm pretty sure you know where those budget cuts are gonna come from."

A moan sounded from the audience of teachers. Well, those on the left side of the room: the art and language teachers.

"I know, I know," the board director said. But no amount of I know's could cure Madame Lachance's sadness and frustration. Time to speak for them, these left-side-of-the-roomers. Especially herself and Señora Hernandez. Especially herself.


"I'd like to say somesing."

Everyone squeaked their little metal desks to turn and look at her. Maybe it would be best to ditch the French accent, she decided. These people might be turned off by her pursed-lip vowels and delicate fricative r's, even without knowing it. Or with knowing it...she thought pointedly of bespectacled Mr. Simmons, the calculus professor. She cleared her throat and stood.

"I know what you're going to say, John," she addressed the director, who was now heaving himself into a little desk with a furrowed but resigned brow. "I know that we're competing with the world and that the world cares about math and science. And those subjects are so important! But you must understand that the students need all parts of an education. Including the arts." She gestured toward the choir director and the painting teacher. Then she put a hand against her own chest. "Including languages. These subjects will help them in the long run. And isn't that what we want?"

Nods bobbed up and down the rows of professors. Madame Lachance went on.

"Even just scratching the surface of a new language can help a student. It can help them learn more about their native language." She turned to face the English department chair. "Many English words, for example, come from French, or from the same Latin roots as French. Look at just one example: the verb appeler. It means "to call," like in the sense of the English word "appellation." These words are conjugates--they have a common background, and thus, both suggest the same meaning of name. Wouldn't that help your kids learn that vocabulary word?" she asked the English teacher.

More nodding.

"Learning French isn't just about learning French. It's about broadening your world and finding connections. We and the district should consider that."

Madame Lachance sat down, and the director stayed in his desk, nodding his head in thought.

Conflict Issues and Special Topics of Medicine

Many think that a Doctor is free to do whatever they want. While many Doctors seem to be the ultimate authority, they are in fact, restrained by many rules and regulations. The violation of which can result in termination of their license. While dealing with medications doctors also face many ethical situations. The following is a conversation that I overheard today in the clinic.

Patient: “I don’t understand why you can’t just give me the generic for Suboxone! It’s a lot cheaper and my insurance doesn’t want to cover it anymore.”

Doctor: “This is an addiction clinic. The reason why I don’t just prescribe you the generic is because it can be abused easier. The generic does not come with the naloxone inhibitor, meaning it can be used inappropriately. As your doctor I cannot ethically give you a drug that can potentially be abused.”

Patient: “I don’t believe this! I’ve been clean for 5 years. You can’t treat me like a druggie.”

Doctor: “In addition to these legal standards, many patients do not do well on the generic versions of this drug. Many patients experience nausea, headaches, and are more prone to experience withdrawal symptoms. Unless I have a letter from your insurance, stating that they will not cover the Suboxone I will not switch you onto a generic. Suboxone is a controlled drug, and as such I cannot legally switch you to the generic brand simply because it is more affordable.”


Many physicians are forced to make decisions between things that are legally right and morally right in respect to their patients. Many issues that are controversial are really a part of something bigger. Once the big picture is achieved it can be easier to understand, which could be definition or genus and species. Cause and Effect are also powerful. Stating laws and Authorities (usually themselves or the findings of other doctors) are very persuasive. Special topics include what is ethically right and what is advantageous to the patient.

Conflict Issues and Special Topics of Invention in Accounting

Point of Conflict in Accounting
One conflict that arises in accounting is if the financial statements should be based on historical cost or the real value.

Case Study
A time-share firm wants needs to account for all of the property they own on their balance sheet and are required to use the historical value (the value of the property when they first acquired the property) because they are in the United States which follows rules set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Many of their key investors are from Europe which uses the fair value (current value of the property) designated by  International Accounting Standards Board. Because the company uses the historical cost, most of their properties do not look like they are of a high value because they purchased most of the land thirty years ago. If they were to use the fair value then their assets would be priced at a significantly higher value, but it would also make the credibility of their statements decrease. This is because it is easier to fudge the current value of the property.

Analysis
As you can see from the case study above, the accounting world relies heavily upon the topic of invention: documents. Through the financial statements (documents) companies are able to share information about their financial standing with the public. There are specific guidelines and rules (law) that help create a standard statement across the United States, and foreign countries. The FASB and IASB (authority) are the ones who discuss and create the regulations that they think would give the firms the freedom to share their finances the way they would prefer without being able to fudge and distort the true values. 

Conflict Issues and Special Topics of Invention in English Teaching


English Teaching can often be quite stressful!
            Every day of the week, English teachers are constantly in some sort of conflict where they must convince others.  An extremely common point of conflict, or stasis, in English teaching is how to best teach the students.  Disagreements often arise between English teachers and other English teachers or, more likely, between English teachers and administrators on how to best teach and engage the children. 

           
Take this common scenario of conflict.  


Principal Collins, fuming, burst into Mr. Rice’s classroom early last Friday.  In a rage, she demanded to know why he refused to teach Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to his 9th grade class this semester and taught them the more “mature” Othello instead.  “This violates the state and the board’s educational laws and outlines!  There will be a standardized test at the end of this year, and you haven’t taught them the necessary material!” she seethed.  Mr. Rice sighed.  He hated teaching Romeo and Juliet.  The class consistently became much more engaged in Othello than in Romeo and Juliet, and he had looked at the test objectives.  They required perhaps a small summary of the play and nothing more.  Why, he wondered, did he have to teach his class anything but what he wanted to teach them?  They would get everything covered that they needed to cover.  Grammar, essay writing, literature, everything needed would be taught.  Mr. Rice stated slowly, “Ms. Collins, I take great pride in teaching my class and helping them learn and grow in English.  My students’ standardized test results consistently have been 20% higher than the state’s average, and I see no reason to deviate from my proven method no matter how much the state or board changes the requirements or curriculum.”  “Your job is a good reason, Mr. Rice,” Ms. Collins simpered. 


English teachers may not want to teach the
standardized curriculum for their class.
            Here we see a special topic of invention common to public school English teachers.  The idea of the law vs. personal desire occurs quite a bit.  Mr. Rice wants to teach what he wants to teach in English.  However, the state dictates that he teach a certain curriculum to his students.  Mr. Rice might be a better English teacher without the restrictions of the curriculum, but he, by law, must teach a certain way or he will lose his job.  The common topics of invention of law and cause and effect also occur with this special topic.  Law or at least school board doctrine must always be taken into account in Mr. Rice’s teaching.  Furthermore,  Principal  
Collins thinks that if Mr. Rice fails to teach his students the proper curriculum, the students will fail the standardized tests.

Another special topic of invention seen in this scenario is learning vs. curriculum.  Sometimes learning does not occur even with approved curriculum.  Mr. Rice must struggle between teaching approved curriculum and teaching what he feels is best conducive to learning.  Reconciliation can occur with the style he teaches.

Engagement’s relationship to learning is yet an additional special topic.  Mr. Rice thinks that the more engaged a class is in a topic, the more they will learn.  I do not think anyone doubts this fact, but trying to engage students is a classic problem for all teachers everywhere.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dialogue is less boring

    In his treatise De Oratore, Cicero claims that in order to master oratory first you need to learn the rules, then to practice.  There is a very noticeable application of this statement when you notice the notice the difference between this treatise and Cicero’s former, De Inventione.  In his early life, Cicero focused on simply stating and learning the rules for delivery and memory, but it becomes apparent that after years of experience and his use of dialogue he masters the art of eloquence (169).  This same observation was made by Hailee, who feels more enlightened by the dialogue approach given in De Oratore than the list of concepts given in De Inventione

    How does dialogue incite a different response from an audience than simply rehearsing a system of rules?  I think it has a lot to do with the level of style.  Cicero uses dialogue as a middle/high level of style, which both pleases the audience and moves them to think about rhetoric differently.  For instance, Cicero introduced humor in De Oratore when he responds to Crassus’ comment on not being educated on oratory.  He says “’By all means listen to a man discuss a topic which he never learned!”  De Inventione addressed the audience with a lower form of style.  Its primary purpose was to inform and to teach.  It was definitely more concise, but less entertaining. 

Seek ye knowledge

     Spencer 's post touched on the knowledge that Cicero attained during the thirty years between his composition of De Inventione and De Oratore. An orator, such as Cicero, can gain knowledge in the rhetorical field over time and through experience. This is essential to his skill and power in persuasion. But what about his knowledge about his subject matter? Should a rhetorician be well-informed in the fields about which he speaks?

     Socrates adamantly refused that Gorgias could speak about anything, anytime, anywhere without having a true understanding of that 'thing'. Cicero supports Socrates by saying, "The orator must know the facts of his case. If he doesn't then he must learn them" (168). Through Crassus,  Cicero explains that a rhetorician cannot ignore the necessity of obtaining basic knowledge about his topic. This is in line with Socrates's argument against Gorgias that skillful rhetoric cannot take the place of expertise in a given field.

     I find it interesting that while Cicero and Socrates agree about the need for specified knowledge, Socrates believes that a specialist will speak more eloquently about his subject than the rhetorician ever could. Cicero disagrees, saying that once the orator learns a subject, he "will present this material better than the specialist could" (168). I think the competition would come down to how skilled the orator is and how much he learns about the topic. Unless the specialist has absolutely no public speaking skills at all, then it would be an easy bet. What do you think?
Kirby, the rhetorician, knew nothing about cooking
until he needed to write an argument about it.
Now he has quite the big mouth!

Cicero states that, "Knowledge of the rules [of rhetoric] is the first step towards oratory" (169), and it seems to me that another step is acquiring knowledge about the subject so as to intelligently approach the argument.

Cicero and two ways he expressed his ideas about rhetoric

What advantage do I see in Cicero's use of dialogue form to address ideas about rhetoric in De oratore compared to his use of an explanatory form in De inventione?

I see that when Cicero writes in dialogue form, his ideas are easier to understand, the piece is more entertaining, and it is easier to read.

Advantages that Cicero maybe saw in addressing ideas about rhetoric in dialogue form rather than in the regimented form that he uses in De inventione include that he has greater artistic expression, and that by writing in a narrative format he can express the inner creativity of his soul.  Through dialogue form, Cicero is able to takes something that he previously approached from a scientific and factual angle and make it far more human and tangible.

Courtney has identified that in De oratore, Cicero effectively uses his new tool of pathos.
Thomas noted that Cicero does not refer to himself in De oratore like he did in De inventione.  This enables him to add a layer of depth to his understanding of rhetorical principles because he creates characters who discuss rhetoric.
Hailee focused on the ability of Cicero's use of dialogue form to help the reader feel comfortable with the rhetorical concepts and see how they can be applied in real world settings.

Greek Grandma and the Extension of the Bicycle


So before I get started on my main point, I would like to comment on the fact that reading excerpts from Roman rhetorical conversations is very interesting when compared to Greek debate because the Greeks were laying the foundation of what rhetoric would become, without any history to go back on. The Romans kept referring to their rhetorical schooling and had the Greek rhetorical background. There were many times when the Romans referenced the Greeks in their debate, and it almost seemed like an insult. "Your views are like those of the Greek philosophers" (167). That's like us saying, "you talk like my grandma!"
Anyway, comparing De Inventione to De Oratore was much like a coming of age thing, as so many people have mentioned before (I think Spencer had a great take on this.). However, I think I will branch out a little bit and build off of those who posted before me. People have commented that it seems like Cicero had more life experience when he wrote so De Oratore, and I agree, but would ask, why does it seem that way? My answer: emotion and pathos. Before Cicero got into the "real world," or took off his training wheels, his writing read like a dictionary. However, once he learned a little more about rhetoric he realized how important it was to engage the listener in more pathetic appeals. Humor, style, and emotion were emphasized in De Oratore much more than they ever would have been if it had been written by the Cicero who wrote De Inventione.
I've actually had to read this textbook
for a class last year. Wasn't that bad...
The style of the pieces reflected that change as well. De Inventione was much more technical than the dialogue of De Oratore. I understand why Macey may have found the name dropping confusing, but if the dialogue is read like a play script or like an actual conversation then it isn't as confusing as it first appears. I definitely agree with Hailey that De Inventione is less relatable  due to its technicalities. I felt like I was reading a textbook, whereas with De Oratore I actually enjoyed following along with the reading.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Advantage of Experience


As I read Cicero's "De Inventione" I was impressed to see how much the concepts which Cicero wrote about seemed to be a part of him now. As I read it was clear to see that he had transformed from the student merely running through the concepts into the teacher who had experience using them. I knew that Cicero understood the concepts in "De Oratore" but one can see the evident mastery in the latter work, "De Inventione."

You can see this in the way he is instructing the people listening. He also calls upon different experiences which he has had over the course of his career. I would have to say the main difference between Cicero's "De Oratore" and "De Inventione" is the life time of experience which Cicero now can draw upon. I like how Hailee compared there two speeches to a missionary's fair-well and  homecoming talks. I think that's a really relateable example for most of us. Truly Cicero has gained a mastery of the things which he wrote about in his first speech. 

I had a similar experience lately when I went to the Jan's Sport winter gala in Park City. There was man giving a speech and he was not being well received. I knew the concepts behind oration, but I had only considered them conceptually. As I analyzed his speech I theorized why his speech wasn't working. In that moment I realized that my understanding had changed from conceptual to operational.  This change is the fundamental difference between Cicero's two works. 


Cicero vs Plato

It’s honestly nothing new when I say that the differences are very distinct between the literary elements and rhetoric of Cicero’s De oratore and Plato’s Gorgias. Plato does a pristine job of utilizing dialogue to completely destroy rhetoric and make Socrates look completely different than what he really was. Cicero utilized his speech to exploit different aspects of the rhetorical ideas and I would agree with Hailee’s post that it was very insightful. 

The main point that initially came to my mind was similar to the same points that Joseph made in his post. He discusses the differences in morality between Cicero and Plato. We can clearly see that Plato’s ethics and morals aren’t very sound. I feel like he doesn’t give others the opportunity to make rebuttals nor speak in general. We can see that Cicero does a much better job at adding a moral value to his own oratory. He is more open minded and is willing to scrutinize various points of a given topic.




I also really liked Brooke’s point about De Oratore’s arrangement. For whatever reason, I felt like it was set up in a peculiar way and it was different than the other readings that we have been assigned. It absolutely was in a very clear, organized way so that the reader can see clearly that the points Cicero makes are demonstrated in his own writings. Irony. 

"Silence is Golden"


The idea of knowledge and understanding as explained in Spencer's blog caught my attention. This principle had been taught many'a'times by my father in the walls of the place I call home. With this in mind I desire to take the invitation presented by Thomas and add on to the comments found in Macey's post in regards to comparing the De Oratore and Gorgias.

Although similar in some ways, ultimately both dialogues are extremely different in nature and purpose. Plato's Gorgias has a very clear purpose; to prove that Plato (as well as his mentor Socrates) are correct in their logic and ultimately have the moral truth.

On the other hand Cicero allows both sides of the argument to be heard as he creates the dialogue between Antonius and Crassus, thus producing an environment of exploration and deeper understanding of the principles of rhetoric. This could be interpreted as a sophist ideology.

Plato claimed that orators have no specific skill and intellect but rather a broad understanding of many things (which in my mind seems immoral or more amoral) while it is apparent that Cicero believes that, “the orator must know the facts of his case.” This adds a level of morality and truth to his definition of rhetoric. 


The final point I wish to make is the most significant I have to offer. Yes, Plato was able to trump his foe in Gorgias but did he truly come away as victor? In reality, Cicero's ability to use rhetoric has swayed our class to trust his interpretation of rhetoric over Plato's. How? The answer is found in Proverbs 29:11, "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards." Cisero recognized that to persuade requires trust in the persuader and gained that trust through allowing Crassus hear out the angle of Antonius. Plato failed to understand that mere logos is not enough to persuade when we don’t have all the facts in this life.

Ridicule or Modesty: Modes of argumentation

I found, as Macey R did, that there were many similarities between Aristotle’s Gorgias and Cicero’s De Oratore. The Kairos of the speeches were very similar in their casual, friendly conversation. I found the styles to be similar, as well as their arrangements and persuasive techniques, although I found Cicero’s dialogue to be more civil and humble. I’ll start with an explanation of the similarities.

I just felt like this guy reminded
me of Antonius; "Your turn, Crassus!
You've got this!"
In both works, an intro is compiled, and then a reflective dialogue is given. Both of the main speakers are writing as they think back to how the situation was at the time. Each of these works uses definition, questions to form their ideas and insight comprehension in their audience. The authors of both make a striking appeal for their side, by arguing that their art is the greatest of all the arts. In this, they both make passionate arguments backed up by reason and examples. They pose similar questions, including thoughts such as ‘can this art be taught?’ and ‘how does one gain this skill?’ It seems as if the arguments and questions, as well as how the arguments are brought up and discussed is very similarly categorized.


The reason that I view De Oratore to be more civil and humble is because of the actions and words of Cicero. While in Aristotle’s Gorgias the questions posed are used to belittle and contradict and make the audience (or others arguing) fumble in their argument, Antonius uses the intellect of others, and relies on multiple witnesses to argue his point. At one point, he even says (after a compliment) “I am describing my own meager achievements.” This is the tone that he holds the entire work. Later, he passes the argument to one who he views to be more eloquent and knowledgeable on the topics discussed. While Gorgias argues with multiple people and uses his intellect and pompous nature to bring shame and ridicule to his competitors, Antonius stays calm and builds his argument on knowledge and ethos, as he discusses is important to oratory. 

Be real!

I don't feel I could make a better comparison between Plato's Gorgias and Cicero's De oratore than has already been made by Macey Richardson in her post. I agree with all of the points that she made and even found greater insight of how the two treatises relate by reading her post.

I don't know if any of you have seen the BBC series Sherlock, but I like it enough
to watch it, which is saying a lot... I'm a fan of  Benedict
Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in the series. I think I'm a fan because the actor
has become Sherlock, he has taken on his emotions, his personality, everything that is
Sherlock Holmes, so that I actually believe him when he's acting, he's genuine because in a way
what he feels when he acts as this fictional character is probably what the writers felt as they
created that character.
In the closing paragraphs of De oratore Cicero narrates the dialogue of Crassus, who is discussing style. But he finishes powerfully by declaring that "...delivery is the supreme factor in successful oratory." and then goes on to say that the emotions and the delivery used in oratory cannot be faked. He says that artificiality is easily and quickly detected. Many of the previous blog posts have aligned Cicero with the Sophists, which I mostly agree with. But in the dialogue between Socrates and Gorgias in Plato's Gorgias one of the common points brought up by Socrates his belief that it would be better for the masters of any given subject to speak about their subject instead of a professional orator, because it is more genuine. In De oratore Cicero seems to bridge a disconnect fabricated by Socrates; good rhetoric and oratory does need genuine deliverers, but just because someone isn't a specialist in a given subject doesn't mean he or she isn't passionate about it. (However, having more knowledge about a subject definitely makes it easier to talk about that subject; notice how much shorter this blog post is than my posts about architecture... I usually have to cut stuff out of those posts because they're too long.) 

It's very interesting to see Cicero draw his knowledge from so many different sources of learning, I think that is a part of what Macey was talking about in her post about the difference in the dialogue in De oratore  versus the dialogue in Gorgias; the dialogue was much less biased and more open, or as Macey put it; "mature". 


My nephew!!! Isn't he cute? He's so happy in this picture
because he's doing his favorite thing, dipping things and then eating them.
He's passionate about it and you can tell, so the emotion is contagious!