Rhetoric: An End and a Means

4 April 2015
This paper compares Plato’s theories about rhetoric and dialectic means of communication.

This paper discusses Plato’s ideas on how we discover truth with continual dialogue. The author looks at Plato’s theories about the objective of dialectic and rhetoric and compares the two arguing that while rhetoric is used as a tool for persuasion, dialectic is used as a tool to achieve truth.

From the paper:

An editorial in The Daily Princetonian of February 21, 2000 extols alcohol as the world’s most extraordinary beverage,” noting specifically that alcohol’s effects are akin to a truth serum. Through a Platonic lens, this statement comes to acute focus. Alcohol is widely noted as a conversational stimulus where participants are less inhibited in expressing opinions. Platonic congruity arises because Plato espouses dialectic, a candid give and take discourse, as a means to discovering immutable Truth. Thus, even Plato could consent to The Daily Princetonian’s judgment (Brummett 25).

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