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sri a year ago
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sri a year ago
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sri a year ago
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sri a year ago
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STASIS and the TOPOI!

Stasis. Stasis is a procedure designed to help a rhetorician develop and clarify the main points of his argument. Stasis consists of four types of questions a speaker asks himself. They are:

Questions of fact: What is it exactly that I’m talking about? Is it a person? An idea? A problem? Does it really exist? What’s the source of the problem? Are there facts to support the truth of this opinion? Questions of definition: What’s the best way to define this idea/object/action? What are the different parts? Can it be grouped with similar ideas/objects/actions? Questions of quality: Is it good or bad? Is it right or wrong? Is it frivolous or important? Questions of procedure/jurisdiction: Is this the right venue to discuss this topic? What actions do I want my reader/listener to take? These questions may sound completely elementary, but trust me, when you’re struggling to get your mind around an idea for a speech or writing theme, stasis has an almost magical way of focusing your thinking and helping you develop your argument. Don’t skip out on it.

Topoi (Topics of Invention). Topoi, or topics, consist of a set of categories that are designed to help a writer or speaker find relationships among ideas, which in turn helps organize his thoughts into a solid argument. Aristotle organized the different rhetorical topics in his treatise The Art of Rhetoric. He divided the topics into two large categories: common and special. We’ll focus on common topics as they’re more general and applicable to every day rhetorical situations. (If you’d like more info on special topics see here.) Below, I’ve listed a few of the common topics that are especially helpful in forming arguments.

Definition. My classics professor crammed it into my head that in any rhetorical debate, definitions are vital. Whoever can dictate and control the meaning of a word or idea, will typically win. Politicians know this and spend a lot of energy working to frame and define the debate in their own terms and with their own spin. The topic of definition requires an author to determine how he would classify the idea, what its substance is, and to what degree it has that substance. Comparison. You’re probably familiar with this one from your middle school days when you had to write compare and contrast essays. It’s a great way to explore and organize. But the real power of comparison lies in its ability to help you develop powerful analogies and metaphors that stick with your audience. Cause and Effect. Perhaps you’re in a city hall meeting arguing against a new ordinance that requires restaurants to display nutrition information on all their food. You could use cause and effect as an effective way to persuade your listeners that it’s not a good idea. Using strong, factual evidence, present some of the possible detrimental effects of implementing the ordinance. (i.e. expensive for businesses, extra costs to city government to regulate, etc.) Circumstance. This topic looks at what is possible or impossible based on circumstances. With the topic of circumstance, you can also attempt to draw conclusions on future facts or events by referring to events in the past. “I know the sun will rise tomorrow because it has risen every day for thousands of years,” is a very simple example of the topic of circumstance in action.

Stasis and the topoi are just starting points in helping you organize your thoughts and arguments.

sri 2 years ago
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INVENTIO and the TOPOI!

Invention, according to Aristotle, involves “discovering the best available means of persuasion.” It may sound simple, but Invention is possibly the most difficult phase in crafting a speech or piece of writing as it lays the groundwork for all the other phases; you must start from nothing to build the framework of your piece. During the Invention Phase, the goal is to brainstorm ideas on what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it in order to maximize persuasion. Any good orator or writer will tell you they probably spend more time in the Invention step than they do any of the others.

Take Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Yeah, the man is polarizing and a lightning rod for controversy, but lawyers and jurists across the political spectrum recognize him as one of the best legal writers in the history of the Supreme Court. He’s able to take complex issues and arguments and distill them into short, powerful, and often witty sentences and paragraphs. Even if you don’t agree with the outcome of his opinions, you’re often left thinking, “Damn, that was a really good argument!”

What’s the secret to Justice Scalia’s rhetorical ability? Spending lots and lots of time in the Invention Phase. In an interview about his writing process, Scalia explained that he goes through “a lengthy germination process” for ideas before he puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Scalia brainstorms in his car while driving home from work and at the gym while exercising. This germination process lasts anywhere from a few days to even a few weeks. But the time invested in simply thinking and brainstorming pays off when he finally gets down to writing. I find this to be the case in my own life as well; my best posts are those which I allow to percolate in my brain for a long time, months, even years. I’m kicking around ideas when I’m brushing my teeth and taking a walk. When I finally sit down to write, the ideas come tumbling out, already nicely aged and seasoned.

Things to Consider in the Invention Phase

So what sorts of things should you be thinking about during the Invention Phase? Without some direction and guidance, brainstorming can often be fruitless and frustrating. Pondering the following elements can increase the effectiveness of your Invention sessions.

Your audience. One of the key factors in crafting a persuasive piece of rhetoric is tailoring your message to your specific audience. Find out to the best of your ability the overall demographics and cultural background of your audience. What does your audience fear? What are their desires? What are their needs? This information will help you decide what sorts of facts to incorporate into your rhetoric as well as help you determine which means of persuasion would be the most effective to employ.

Your evidence. When planning your speech or writing, collect any and every type of evidence you can find. Evidence could be facts, statistics, laws, and individual testimonies. It’s always good to have a nice blend, but remember different audiences are persuaded by different types of evidence. Some people need cold, hard facts and statistics in order to be persuaded. Others find the testimony of peers or a reputable authority to be more convincing. Part of getting to know your audience is figuring out what kinds of evidence they will find most credible and compelling.

The means of persuasion. You remember the three means of persuasion, right? Pathos, logos, and ethos? This is the time when you want to determine which of the three persuasive appeals you’ll use in your speech. Ideally, you’d have a nice mixture of all three, but again, different audiences will be better persuaded by different appeals. Using pathos (appeal to emotion) to convince a room full of scientists that you have discovered cold fusion probably won’t get you very far. A focus on logos would work much better. Again, it’s all about suiting your rhetoric to your audience.

Timing. People are receptive to certain ideas at different times depending on context. People often advise couples not to go to bed angry, to work out their problems before hitting the sack. But at night we’re tired and cranky; our defenses are down. Trying to convey your side of things at this time frequently results in a small issue blowing up into something much bigger. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep often helps put things in perspective. You’ll likely find your spouse more willing to hear you out in the morning. As it is in marriage, so it is with everything in life; the importance of timing cannot be underestimated. Present a cost-cutting idea at work the same day five of everyone’s favorite employees were laid off, and you’ll get a icy, hostile reception. Present it six months later and people will actually listen.

Another aspect of timing is the duration of your speech or writing. In some instances a long, well-developed, and nuanced speech is appropriate; other times, a shorter, and more forceful presentation will be more effective. Again, it often depends on your audience and the context of your speech.

Abraham Lincoln was a master of timing. His Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in history. Many people don’t know that Lincoln actually wasn’t the keynote speaker that day; rather, that honor fell to renowned orator, Edward Everett. Everett delivered a two hour speech that displayed some of the finest skill in oration and rhetoric; he held the audience in rapt attention. Lincoln took to the stand and delivered his address in less than five minutes. While the contemporary audience was not overly impressed, Everett knew he had been witness to greatness. He wrote Lincoln, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” And of course, 150 years later, no one quotes Everett or even remembers he spoke at Gettysburg, but everyone remembers Lincoln and are familiar with his words. Timing matters.

Format of argument. So you have a vague idea of what you’re supposed to write or talk about. The hard part is taking that vague idea and organizing it into a concrete theme or thesis. Without some guidance on how to do this, a man can rack his brain for hours and not get anywhere. Fortunately for us, the ancient rhetoricians left us some nifty little cheat sheets on developing the format and theme for our arguments, which is where we turn next.

sri 2 years ago
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Amplification

Amplification ("auxesis" in Greek and "amplificatio" in Latin) is a central term in rhetoric, naming a variety of general strategies as well as some very specific procedures or figures of speech.

Amplification as a scheme (an arrangement of words)

Amplification (auxesis) sometimes refers to arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force. In this sense, auxesis is comparable to climax and has sometimes been called "incrementum."

Amplification as a change in connotation

Amplification (auxesis) sometimes names the act of referring to something in terms disproportionately large (a kind of exaggeration or hyperbole).

Amplification as an emotional effect

Amplification sometimes names a desired effect (associated with the emotional appeal or pathos), which can be achieved through various figures or rhetorical strategies. It has also named the process of discovering or composing such emotionally charged passages.

Figures of Pathos exuscitatio climax synonymia congeries Amplification as arrangement

Amplification deals generally with addressing the parts of any given communicative activity, and so to "amplify" a speech would be to address each element of its conventional arrangement. Thus, each of the parts of an oration can be considered a method of amplification, including those figures or strategies that are optional, incidental, or which further specify the parts of an oration. These include

digressio eutrepismus / ordinatio Numbering and ordering the parts under consideration. A figure of division, and of ordering. procatalepsis Refuting anticipated objections. Amplification as copia (a pedagogical process)

Amplification also names a central method of rhetorical pedagogy equally associated with rhetorical invention and with the development of style through various exercises in amplification (see copia).

As such, amplification names an important point of intersection within rhetoric where figures of speech and figures of thought coalesce. That is to say, means for varying and repeating kinds of expression (figures of speech, or copia verborum) overlap with means for developing ideas or content (the figures of thought, or copia rerum).

Within the progymnasmata exercises, certain standard methods were suggested for amplifying subject matter within these practice orations, including the use of dialogue (sermocinatio) and various kinds of description (see Figures of Description).

Amplification of Thought or Subject Matter

Amplification can be considered synonymous with the entire activity of rhetorical invention, in that it can deal with developing material, coming up with something to say, by considering and employing various commonplaces or topics of invention. As such, all of the topics of invention can be considered means of amplifying (developing) an argument or a speech. Especially common as topics for amplification are

Division Definition Comparison Figures for amplifying thought or ideas are many and have been grouped into such categories as figures of division, description, and reasoning:

Figures of Division enumeratio Dividing a subject into its adjuncts, a cause into its effects, or an antecedent into its consequents. Figures of Reasoning aetiologia A figure of reasoning by which one attributes a cause for a statement or claim made, often as a simple relative clause of explanation. enthymeme The informal method of reasoning typical of rhetorical discourse. paromologia Admitting a weaker point in order to make a stronger one. dirimens copulatio A figure by which one balances one statement with a contrary, qualifying statemnt exergasia Repetition of the same idea, changing either its words, its delivery, or the general treatment it is given. A method for amplification, variation, and explanation. peristasis A description of attendant circumstances synonymia In general, the use of several synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. A kind of repetition that adds emotional force or intellectual clarity. epiphonema An epigrammatic summary which gathers into a pithy sentence what has preceeded. A striking, summarizing reflection. epitasis The addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. correctio To amend a term or phrase one has just employed, or to specify more particularly by explaining what something is not. epexegesis When one interprets what one has just said. A kind of redefinition or self-interpretation metabasis A transitional statement in which one explains what has been and what will be said. synathroesmus / frequentatio The conglomeration of many words and expressions either with similar meaning (= synonymia) or not (= congeries). expeditio After enumerating all possibilities by which something could have occurred, the speaker eliminates all but one commoratio Dwelling on or returning to one's strongest argument. gnome sententia, chreia A short, pithy saying, which can be used to amplify subject matter. Amplification as a Category of Figures.

The centrality of amplification to rhetoric is apparent in its use as a way of categorizing the function of many figures, especially when authorities have used amplification as a way of creating a third category of figures that lies between those of words and those of thought (See Figures of Speech and Thought). In other words, amplification is a way of understanding both narrow, local modes of rhetorical figuring and broader, content-oriented modes of rhetorical argument or overall effects.

Amplification as Vice

Amplification can also be considered en error, either by overtreating the subject matter (tautologia) or by using more words than necessary (see Stylistic vices and also Figures of Excess and Superfluity)

sri 2 years ago
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Why learn Rhetoric?

One thing I’ve noticed about my manly heroes is they all took courses in rhetoric at some point during their education. Intrigued by this commonality, I decided to look into why this was so. The answer was simple: rhetoric was an essential part of a liberal education from the days of Aristotle all the way up to the early 20th century. A well-educated man was expected to write and speak effectively and persuasively and students devoted several years to studying how to do so.

But in the early part of the 20th century, a shift in education occurred. Degrees which prepared students for specific careers replaced a classical, liberal arts education. Today’s college students get just a semester of rhetoric training in their Freshman English Composition classes, and these courses often barely skim the subject.

Which is quite unfortunate.

Our economy and society in the West in general are becoming increasingly knowledge and information based; the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively is more essential to success than ever before. Yet we’re spending less and less time teaching our young people the very subject that will help them navigate this new world.

If you’re like many men today, you didn’t spend much time learning about the art of rhetoric growing up. So today we’re beginning a series called Classical Rhetoric 101. Designed to offer the essential basics on the subject, the series will help you bone up on this manly art. We will begin by laying out an argument for why you should be interested in studying rhetoric in the first place.

What Is Rhetoric?

Rhetoric is simply the art of persuasion through effective speaking and writing.

For many in our modern world, the word “rhetoric” has a pejorative meaning. They see rhetoric as the manipulation of truth or associate it with an overly fastidious concern with how things are said over what is said. But from ancient times up through the early 20th century, men believed learning the art of rhetoric was a noble pursuit and considered it an essential element of a well-rounded education. They saw rhetoric as a vital tool to teach truth more effectively and as a weapon to protect themselves from those who argued unfairly and for nefarious purposes.

Why Study Rhetoric?

Magnifies your influence as a man. Every day you have dozens of interactions where you need to influence people – from the memo you write at work to the conversation with your kid on picking up after himself at home. Your ability to persuade others through language is key to your influence as an employee, friend, father, and citizen. Studying rhetoric will equip you with the linguistic tools to make you more persuasive in your dealings with others and thus expand your circle of influence.

Makes you a better citizen. Here in the US, we just had our midterm elections where many states voted for government officials and Congressional seats. Leading up to the election we were bombarded with campaign ads on TV and radio, opinion pieces in newspapers and on blogs, and a 24/7 stream of talking pundits on television. With so many different voices being blasted at voters, it was easy to get confused as to what was fact and what was “spin.”

Politicians and special interests groups pay experts in the art of rhetoric hundreds of thousands of dollars to help craft political messages and advertisements to persuade voters to cast their ballot for their side. If you want to be a well-informed voter and citizen, you must be fully cognizant of the tactics and techniques being used on you. Such knowledge empowers you to discern truth from B.S.

And as a citizen you have a right to voice your opinion on issues. Do so effectively by studying up on your rhetoric first.

Protects you from intellectual despotism. I had a classics professor that said, “Advertising is the tool of the despot.” That idea really stuck with me. Since ancient times, powerful men have used propaganda to maintain control over their subjects. According to my professor, advertising is just a benign name for propaganda. Both rely on emotional appeals to change our ideas and feelings about a cause, position, or product.

When we allow ourselves to be easily swayed by advertising, whether political or commercial, we give another person control over our minds. Studying rhetoric puts up a defensive shield around your brain (no tin foil necessary!), allowing you to see through the smoke and mirrors, filter out external messages and follow your own inner compass.

Makes you a savvy consumer. A mature man creates more than he consumes. Unfortunately, today’s man has to battle an onslaught of advertisements that tell him a man is defined by what he owns. Corporations spend billions of dollars on advertising to get you to buy their products. While Madison Avenue applies advances made in psychology and neurobiology to their ad campaigns, many of the persuasive techniques used by ad agencies have been around since the days of Aristotle. A knowledge of rhetoric guards a man’s mind and his pocketbook.

Empowers you for rigorous and constructive debate (and grants insight on what constitutes one). A man should know how to discuss and debate with vigor, intelligence, and civility. Sadly, many men today never learned this essential and awesomely manly skill. Just visit any blog or internet forum and you’ll see how debate and discussion has devolved into petty name calling and reductio ad Hitlerums. Learning the basics of rhetoric will give you the tools you need to take part in more constructive discussions on the web and in your daily life.

Additionally, having a firm understanding of rhetoric will help prevent you from getting sucked into flame wars. You’ll be able to spot when a troll is using logical fallacies or unsound arguments. Instead of wasting your time fruitlessly and frustratingly engaging one, you can go do more important things in your life.

Where We’re Going from Here

Over the next few months I’ll be publishing articles that will hopefully give you a nice introduction to the basic principles of classical rhetoric. In our Classical Rhetoric 101 Course, we’ll be covering:

A Brief History of Rhetoric The Three Means of Persuasion The Three Genres of Rhetoric The Five Canons of Rhetoric The Virtues of Style A Brief Summary of Rhetorical Figures Logical Fallacies

sri 2 years ago
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POWER through PERSUASION rather than force = HEGEMONY.

sri 2 years ago
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History Of Rhetoric

This is the second in a series on classical rhetoric. In this post, we lay the foundation of our study of rhetoric by taking a look at its history. While this post is in no way a comprehensive history of rhetoric, it should give you enough background information to understand the context of the principles we’ll be discussing over the next few months.

Humans have studied and praised rhetoric since the early days of the written word. The Mesopotamians and Ancient Egyptians both valued the ability to speak with eloquence and wisdom. However, it wasn’t until the rise of Greek democracy that rhetoric became a high art that was studied and developed systematically.

Rhetoric in Ancient Greece: The Sophists

Many historians credit the ancient city-state of Athens as the birthplace of classical rhetoric. Because Athenian democracy marshaled every free male into politics, every Athenian man had to be ready to stand in the Assembly and speak to persuade his countrymen to vote for or against a particular piece of legislation. A man’s success and influence in ancient Athens depended on his rhetorical ability. Consequently, small schools dedicated to teaching rhetoric began to form. The first of these schools began in the 5th century B.C. among an itinerant group of teachers called the Sophists.

The Sophists would travel from polis to polis teaching young men in public spaces how to speak and debate. The most famous of the Sophists schools were led by Gorgias and Isocrates. Because rhetoric and public speaking were essential for success in political life, students were willing to pay Sophist teachers great sums of money in exchange for tutoring. A typical Sophist curriculum consisted of analyzing poetry, defining parts of speech, and instruction on argumentation styles. They taught their students how to make a weak argument stronger and a strong argument weak.

Sophists prided themselves on their ability to win any debate on any subject even if they had no prior knowledge of the topic through the use of confusing analogies, flowery metaphors, and clever wordplay. In short, the Sophists focused on style and presentation even at the expense of truth.

The negative connotation that we have with the word “sophist” today began in ancient Greece. For the ancient Greeks, a “sophist” was a man who manipulated the truth for financial gain. It had such a pejorative meaning that Socrates was executed by the Athenians on the charge of being a Sophist. Both Plato and Aristotle condemned Sophists for relying solely on emotion to persuade an audience and for their disregard for truth. Despite criticism from their contemporaries, the Sophists had a huge influence on developing the study and teaching of rhetoric.

Rhetoric in Ancient Greece: Aristotle and The Art of Rhetoric

While the great philosopher Aristotle criticized the Sophists’ misuse of rhetoric, he did see it as a useful tool in helping audiences see and understand truth. In his treatise, The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle established a system of understanding and teaching rhetoric.

In The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle defines rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” While Aristotle favored persuasion through reason alone, he recognized that at times an audience would not be sophisticated enough to follow arguments based solely on scientific and logical principles. In those instances, persuasive language and techniques were necessary for truth to be taught. Moreover, rhetoric armed a man with the necessary weapons to refute demagogues and those who used rhetoric for evil purposes. According to Aristotle, sometimes you had to fight fire with fire.

After establishing the need for rhetorical knowledge, Aristotle sets forth his system for effectively applying rhetoric:

Three Means of Persuasion (logos, pathos, and ethos) Three Genres of Rhetoric (deliberative, forensic, and epideictic) Rhetorical topics Parts of speech Effective use of style The Art of Rhetoric had a tremendous influence on the development of the study of rhetoric for the next 2,000 years. Roman rhetoricians Cicero and Quintilian frequently referred to Aristotle’s work, and universities required students to study The Art of Rhetoric during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Rhetoric in Ancient Rome: Cicero

Rhetoric was slow to develop in ancient Rome, but it started to flourish when that empire conquered Greece and began to be influenced by its traditions. While ancient Romans incorporated many of the rhetorical elements established by the Greeks, they diverged from the Grecian tradition in many ways. For example, orators and writers in ancient Rome depended more on stylistic flourishes, riveting stories, and compelling metaphors and less on logical reasoning than their ancient Greek counterparts.

The first master rhetorician Rome produced was the great statesman Cicero. During his career he wrote several treatises on the subject including On Invention, On Oration, and Topics. His writings on rhetoric guided schools on the subject well into Renaissance.

Cicero’s approach to rhetoric emphasized the importance of a liberal education. According to Cicero, to be persuasive a man needed knowledge in history, politics, art, literature, ethics, law, and medicine. By being liberally educated, a man would be able to connect with any audience he addressed.

Rhetoric in Ancient Rome: Quintilian

The second Roman to leave his mark on the study of rhetoric was Quintilian. After honing his rhetorical skills for years in the Roman courts, Quintilian opened a public school of rhetoric. There he developed a study system that took a student through different stages of intense rhetorical training. In 95 AD, Quintilian immortalized his rhetorical education system in a twelve-volume textbook entitled Institutio Oratoria.

Institutio Oratoria covers all aspects of the art of rhetoric. While Quintilian focuses primarily on the technical aspects of effective rhetoric, he also spends a considerable amount of time setting forth a curriculum he believes should serve as the foundation of every man’s education. In fact, Quintilian’s rhetorical education ideally begins as soon as a baby is born. For example, he counsels parents to find their sons nurses that are articulate and well-versed in philosophy.

Quintilian devotes much of his treatise to fleshing out and explaining the Five Canons of Rhetoric. First seen in Cicero’s De Inventione, the Five Canons provide a guide on creating a powerful speech. The Five Canons are:

inventio (invention): The process of developing and refining your arguments. dispositio (arrangement): The process of arranging and organizing your arguments for maximum impact. elocutio (style): The process of determining how you present your arguments using figures of speech and other rhetorical techniques. memoria (memory): The process of learning and memorizing your speech so you can deliver it without the use of notes. Memory-work not only consisted of memorizing the words of a specific speech, but also storing up famous quotes, literary references, and other facts that could be used in impromptu speeches. actio (delivery): The process of practicing how you deliver your speech using gestures, pronunciation, and tone of voice. If you’ve taken a public speaking class, you were probably taught a version of the Five Canons. We’ll be revisiting these in more detail in a later post.

Rhetoric in Medieval Times and the Renaissance

During the Middle Ages, rhetoric shifted from political to religious discourse. Instead of being a tool to lead the state, rhetoric was seen as a means to save souls. Church Fathers, like St. Augustine, explored how they could use the “pagan” art of rhetoric to better spread the gospel to the unconverted and preach to the believers.

During the latter part of the Medieval period, universities began forming in France, Italy, and England where students took classes on grammar, logic, and (you guessed it) rhetoric. Medieval students poured over texts written by Aristotle to learn rhetorical theory and spent hours repeating rote exercises in Greek and Latin to improve their rhetorical skill. Despite the emphasis on a rhetorical education, however, Medieval thinkers and writers made few new contributions to the study of rhetoric.

Like the arts and sciences, the study of rhetoric experienced a re-birth during the Renaissance period. Texts by Cicero and Quintilian were rediscovered and utilized in courses of study; for example, Quintilian’s De Inventione quickly became a standard rhetoric textbook at European universities. Renaissance scholars began producing new treatises and books on rhetoric, many of them emphasizing applying rhetorical skill in one’s own vernacular as opposed to Latin or ancient Greek.

Rhetoric in the Modern Day

The rejuvenation of rhetoric continued through the Enlightenment. As democratic ideals spread throughout Europe and the American colonies, rhetoric shifted back from religious to political discourse. Political philosophers and revolutionaries used rhetoric as a weapon in their campaign to spread liberty and freedom.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, universities in both Europe and America began devoting entire departments to the study of rhetoric. One of the most influential books on rhetoric that came out during this time was Hugh Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres. Published in 1783, Blair’s book remained a standard text on rhetoric at universities across Europe and America for over a hundred years.

The proliferation of mass media in the 20th century caused another shift in the study of rhetoric. Images in photography, film, and TV have become powerful tools of persuasion. In response, rhetoricians have expanded their repertoire to include not only mastery of the written and spoken word, but a grasp of the visual arts as well.

sri 2 years ago
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You're all sheep.

sri 2 years ago
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MACHIAVELLI: what IS vs what OUGHT to be

sri 2 years ago
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It's All One Huge Ontology

Google meets Parmenides:

an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of existence. In his prologue or proem he describes two views of existence; initially that nothing comes from nothing, and therefore existence is eternal. Consequently, our opinions about truth must often be false and deceitful. Most of western philosophy — including the fundamental concepts of falsifiability — have emerged from this view. This posits that existence is what may be conceived of by thought, created, or possessed. Hence, there may be neither void nor vacuum; and true reality neither may come into being nor vanish from existence. Rather, the entirety of creation is eternal, uniform, and immutable, though not infinite (he characterized its shape as that of a perfect sphere). Parmenides thus posits that change, as perceived in everyday experience, is illusory. Everything that may be apprehended is but one part of a single entity. This idea somewhat anticipates the modern concept of an ultimate grand unification theory that finally describes all of existence in terms of one inter-related sub-atomic reality which applies to everything

sri 2 years ago
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Elements of linguistic hegemony

  • Inability to ask questions
  • Inability to set the topic of a conversation
  • General shyness; inability to break the ice, or come to deep agreements
  • Inability to discern issues of common interest
  • Inability to create pro-con decision frameworks
  • Inability to play games with reality so as to actually win those games
  • Lack of reasons-why = irrationality
  • Inability to start or create topics
  • Inability to guide conversations towards desired outcomes via topics
  • False consciousness that you're a master of the English language just because you can write and read - you think you are equals with the true masters
  • Ignorance of the deep power of the English language to guide minds towards topics of interest and benefit to the speaker
  • False resistance: "oh, i just ignore the advertising", without recognizing the hegemony of programming
  • Hunger to be programmed
  • Unquestioning loyalty to programming sources (news, politics, entertainment)
  • Ignorance of own goals, so as to remain easily programmed towards hegemonic goals
sri 2 years ago
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Principal questions of ONTOLOGY

"What can be said to exist?" "What is a thing?"[2] "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?" "What are the meanings of being?" "What are the various modes of being of entities?" Various philosophers have provided different answers to these questions. One common approach involves dividing the extant subjects and predicates into groups called categories. Of course, such lists of categories differ widely from one another, and it is through the co-ordination of different categorical schemes that ontology relates to such fields as library science and artificial intelligence. Such an understanding of ontological categories, however, is merely taxonomic, classificatory. Aristotle's categories are the ways in which a being may be addressed simply as a being, such as:

what it is (its 'whatness', quidditas or essence) how it is (its 'howness' or qualitativeness) how much it is (quantitativeness) where it is, its relatedness to other beings[3] Further examples of ontological questions include:[citation needed]

What is existence, i.e. what does it mean for a being to be? Is existence a property? Is existence a genus or general class that is simply divided up by specific differences? Which entities, if any, are fundamental? Are all entities objects? How do the properties of an object relate to the object itself? Do physical properties actually exist? What features are the essential, as opposed to merely accidental attributes of a given object? How many levels of existence or ontological levels are there? And what constitutes a "level"? What is a physical object? Can one give an account of what it means to say that a physical object exists? Can one give an account of what it means to say that a non-physical entity exists? What constitutes the identity of an object? When does an object go out of existence, as opposed to merely changing?

Do beings exist other than in the modes of objectivity and subjectivity, i.e. is the subject/object split of modern philosophy inevitable?

sri 2 years ago
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Without TOPOS CONTROL

You do not really EXIST.

sri 2 years ago
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what is HEGEMONY?

Marx described the oppressive hierarchy of hegemonic group(s) dominating negative reference groups, in his examples the bourgeoisie (owning class) dominate the proletariat (working class) by controlling capital (the means of domination).

sri 2 years ago
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what is metaphysics?

metaphysics constitutes "the science of what is beyond the physical"

sri 2 years ago
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no TOPOS? no EXISTENCE!!!!

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist, and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical realm is academic in the sense that it is inseparable from each thinker's epistemology, it has practical application in information science and information technology.

sri 2 years ago
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TANGENT!

sri 2 years ago
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metaphysics book THETA

Theta sets out to define potentiality and actuality. Chapters 1–5 discuss potentiality. We learn that this term indicates the potential (δύναμις, dunamis) of something to change: potentiality is "a principle of change in another thing or in the thing itself qua other" (1046a9). In chapter 6 Aristotle turns to actuality. We can only know actuality through observation or "analogy;" thus "as that which builds is to that which is capable of building, so is that which is awake to that which is asleep...or that which is separated from matter to matter itself" (1048b1–4). Actuality is the completed state of something that had the potential to be completed. The relationship between actuality and potentiality can be thought of as the relationship between form and matter, but with the added aspect of time. Actuality and potentiality are diachronic (across time) distinctions, whereas form and matter are synchronic (at one time) distinctions.

sri 2 years ago
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a topic ONTOLOGY

Topic ontology is a set of topics connected with different types of relations. Each topic includes a set of related documents. Construction of such an ontology from a given corpus can be a very time consuming task for the user. In order to get a feeling on what the topics in the corpus are, what the relations between topics are and, at the end, to assign each document to some certain topics, the user has to go through all the documents. We tried to overcame this by building a special tool which helps the user by suggesting the possible new topics and visualizing the topic ontology created so far - all in real time. This tool in combination with the corpus visualization tools [8] aims at assisting the user in a fast semi-automatic construction of the topic ontology from a large document collection

sri 2 years ago
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you need ATTENTION and WELL-DISPOSITION

sri 2 years ago
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the SUBJECT note?

Maybe we ought to replace email by calling it the SUBJECT note?

Internet email messages consist of two major sections, the message header and the message body. The header is structured into fields such as From, To, CC, Subject, Date, and other information about the email. The body contains the message, as unstructured text, sometimes containing a signature block at the end. The header is separated from the body by a blank line.

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Language as a FORCE.

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META

Meta (from the Greek preposition and prefix meta- (μετά-) meaning "after", or "beyond") is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.

In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category). For example, metadata are data about data (who has produced them, when, what format the data are in and so on). In database metadata are also data about data stored in a data dictionary and describes information (data) about database tables such as the table name, table owner, details about columns, – essentially describes the table. Also, metamemory in psychology means an individual's knowledge about whether or not they would remember something if they concentrated on recalling it. The modern sense of "an X about X" has given rise to concepts like "meta-cognition" (i.e. cognition about cognition), "meta-emotion" (i.e. emotion about emotion), "meta-discussion" (i.e. discussion about discussion), "meta-joke" (i.e. joke about jokes), and "metaprogramming" (i.e. writing programs that manipulate programs).[citation needed]

In a rule-based system, a metarule is a rule that governs the application of other rules.[1]

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use TOPICS to PRAISE others.

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SUBJECT

The concept of topics and topic shifting as a powerful persuasion skill.

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definition

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MEMORY BOXES??!?

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Progymnasmata?!??

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Like a TIME CAPSULE!!!

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FIAT LUX!

fiat is from fieri and where we get the passive form of the verb facere, which is "to make" or "to do."

We are the ones who are charged with the God given task of bringing light to this world of darkness by what we create. Nothing more and nothing less. Yes, we are the light bearers who are the morning stars (Lucifers) and our jobs are to make this world a more beautiful place with the illumination of our creations via fiat lux.

Saint John the Scot explains how the creation of man, though placed last, has the priority over all, and is implied in the fiat lux, since all things are created in man, who is the image of God, by the identification of the Logos with human nature 1200 years ago; In dealing with the third class Scotus follows the narrative in Genesis, interpreting it, of course, in a figurative sense throughout, as many of the Fathers, whom he cites at great length, had done before him, though his interpretations are often his own. Thus the fiat lux means the procession of the primordial causes into form and species such as are capable of recognition by the intelligence1. The gathering together of land and water is the imparting of form to unstable matter. The creation of man, though placed last, has the priority over all, and is implied in the fiat lux, since all things are created in man, who is the image of God, by the identification of the Logos with human nature. In its simplest form, fiat lux is what man creates using his mind and or hands, and that without man, these "creations" would not see the light of day. The most important point to understand what this means, is that "ALL THINGS" that are created by humans. Yes, even the most darkest and evil creations are considered fiat lux. Yes, even the dark business that we know as the he Church of Satan™ is made of God and the light, but they are our adversary that this Lucifer hopes to turn uprite their Baphomet that they have basically highjacked from the Brotherhood in order to cash in on it by turning it upside down and then trademarking it under the Church of Satan™. What else would you expect from our adversaries who we all know as those sneaky lil devilish Bastards of Satan. Let it be said that even the darkest of man made creations will always burn in the lake of fire when the true shining sons of the light illuminate the truth in order to educate those Satanists who have given their souls to the dark. These are now the days of Lucifer who has come to destroy this dark matter in order to bring on the light of heavenly kingdom promised to us that has no place for Satan's workers. I would assume they didn't figure that someday we Saints would come back marching in and Lord, we are in that number!

sri 2 years ago
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THESIS = Do you want to X with me?

Theme or argument is "a logical examination of a subject under investigation" and could be political or theoretical in nature. It is the first exercise to introduce arguing on two sides of a given question. Typical subjects for political themes include matters one would debate in a deliberative body such as, Should the city be walled? and general social issues such as "Should one marry?". Speculative or theoretical themes included such questions as "Is the heaven spherical?" As opposed to the hypothesis (see declamation), the thesis was not applied to a specific individual or a given pragmatic concern, but argued generally (as the Commonplace progymnasmata exercise, from which it borrows its headings).

Directions for Composition Examine a political or speculative question from both sides (thesis and antithesis):

Begin with an exordium Add narratio , if appropriate Present confirmatory arguments (proof) Rebut opposition (refutation) Conclude with epilogue. In proceeding, consider arguments based on legality justice expediency practicability decency consequences

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Exordium?

In Western classical rhetoric, the exordium (/ɛɡˈzɔrdɪəm/; meaning "beginning" in Latin; from exordiri "to begin") was the introductory portion of an oration. The term is Latin and the Greek equivalent was called the proem or prooimion.

The exordium is one of six parts of a discourse that an orator would develop as part of the rhetorical discipline known as dispositio — the arrangement of the arguments in an oration. In the exordium, the orator laid out the purpose of the discourse. In doing this, he would need to consider several things:

What kind of cause is he presenting? For instance, is it an honorable cause (defense of a hero) or a dishonorable one (defense of a murderer)?

Should a direct opening be favoured, or should the opening be more subtle and indirect?

In what manner ought the speaker to proceed (e.g., light-heartedly or seriously)? The speaker should introduce their own character or credentials, so as to make the audience predisposed to believing their arguments. If required, or possible, the speaker might also call into question the character or credentials of his opponent. Lastly, the speaker must avoid certain faults in the introduction.

For example, this excerpt from the Rhetorica ad Herennium lists several faults: "In the Introduction of a cause we must make sure that our style is temperate and that the words are in current use, so that the discourse seems unprepared. An Introduction is faulty if it can be applied as well to a number of causes; that is called a banal Introduction. Again, an Introduction which the adversary can use no less well is faulty, and that is called a common Introduction. That Introduction, again, is faulty which the opponent can turn to his own use against you. And again that is faulty which has been composed in too laboured a style, or is too long; and that which does not appear to have grown out of the cause itself in such a way to have an intimate connection with the Statement of Facts; and, finally, that which fails to make the hearer well disposed or receptive or attentive." (Rhetorica ad Herennium, I. vii, 11, trans. Harry Caplan, Loeb Classical Library, 1954.)

In short, the exordium was the portion of the discourse in which the orator would prepare the audience to hear his arguments in a favorable frame of mind.

sri 2 years ago
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calling it a MASSACRE for propaganda purposes?

sri 2 years ago
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the DREAM as a TOPOS

"I had a dream about you..."

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naturally divine.

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On the Sublime.

On the Sublime is both a treatise on aesthetics and a work of literary criticism. It is written in an epistolary form and the final part, possibly dealing with public speaking, has been lost.

The treatise is dedicated to Posthumius Terentianus, a cultured Roman and public figure, though little else is known of him. On the Sublime is a compendium of literary exemplars, with about 50 authors spanning 1,000 years mentioned or quoted.[5] Along with the expected examples from Homer and other figures of Greek culture, Longinus refers to a passage from Genesis, which is quite unusual for the 1st century:

A similar effect was achieved by the lawgiver of the Jews—no mean genius, for he both understood and gave expression to the power of the divinity as it deserved—when he wrote at the very beginning of his laws, and I quote his words: "God said,"—what was it?—"Let there be light, and there was. Let there be earth, and there was."

—On the Sublime 9.9 Given his positive reference to Genesis, Longinus has been assumed to be either a Hellenized Jew or readily familiar with the Jewish culture.[6] As such, Longinus emphasizes that, to be a truly great writer, authors must have "moral excellence".[1] In fact, critics speculate that Longinus avoided publication in the ancient world "either by modesty or by prudential motives".[5] Moreover, Longinus stresses that transgressive writers are not necessarily shameless fools, even if they take literary risks that seem "bold, lawless, and original".[1] As for social subjectivity, Longinus acknowledges that complete liberty promotes spirit and hope; according to Longinus, "never did a slave become an orator".[7] On the other hand, too much luxury and wealth leads to a decay in eloquence—eloquence being the goal of the sublime writer.[5]

The Sublime[edit] Longinus critically applauds and condemns certain literary works as examples of good or bad styles of writing.[5] Longinus ultimately promotes an "elevation of style"[5] and an essence of "simplicity".[8] To quote this famous author, "the first and most important source of sublimity [is] the power of forming great conceptions."[8] The concept of the sublime is generally accepted to refer to a style of writing that elevates itself "above the ordinary". Finally, Longinus sets out five sources of sublimity: "great thoughts, strong emotions, certain figures of thought and speech, noble diction, and dignified word arrangement".[6]

The effects of the Sublime are: loss of rationality, an alienation leading to identification with the creative process of the artist and a deep emotion mixed in pleasure and exaltation. An example of sublime (which the author quotes in the work) is a poem by Sappho, the so-called Ode to Jealousy, defined as a "Sublime ode". A writer's goal is not so much to express empty feelings, but to arouse emotion in his audience.[8]

In the treatise, the author asserts that "the Sublime leads the listeners not to persuasion, but to ecstasy: for what is wonderful always goes together with a sense of dismay, and prevails over what is only convincing or delightful, since persuasion, as a rule, is within everyone's grasp: whereas, the Sublime, giving to speech an invincible power and [an invincible] strength, rises above every listener".[9]

According to this statement, one could think that the sublime, for Longinus, was only a moment of evasion from reality. But on the contrary, he thought that literature could model a soul, and that a soul could pour itself out into a work of art. In this way the treatise becomes not only a text of literary inquiry, but also one of ethical dissertation, since the Sublime becomes the product of a great soul (μεγαλοφροσύνης ἀπήχημα, megalophrosunēs apēchēma). The sources of the Sublime are of two kinds: inborn sources ("aspiration to vigorous concepts" and "strong and enthusiastic passion") and acquirable sources (rhetorical devices, choice of the right lexicon, and "dignified and high composition").[8]

The ethical aspect and attention to the "great soul" broaden the dimension of the work; begun in order to disprove the arguments of a pamphlet of literary criticism, it ends by creating a new idea within the entire framework of aesthetics. The sublime, in fact, is a denominator of the greatness of the one who approaches to it, both the author's and the viewer's (or reader's). Between them an empathetic bond must arise. Then, the Sublime is a mechanism of recognition (arising from the impact of the work of art) of the greatness of a spirit, of the depth of an idea, of the power of speech. This recognition has its roots in the belief that everyone is aware of the existence of the Sublime, and that the striving towards greatness is rooted in human nature. In the wake of these considerations, the literary genre and the subject-matter chosen by the poet assume a minor importance for Longinus, who affirms that "sublimity" might be found in any or every literary work. He proves to be a very clever critic, for he excels the Apollodoreans by speaking of the critic as a form of positive "channeling" of the Genius. He passes beyond the rigid rules of the literary critics of his time, according to which only a regular (or "second-rate", as Longinus says) style could be defined as perfect.

On the other hand he admires the boldness of the Genius, which always succeeds in reaching the zenith, even if at the expense of forgivable lapses in style. Thus among examples of the Sublime may be rated (not in any order) Homer, the tragedians, Sappho, Plato, even the Bible, and a playwright like Aristophanes (since the author maintained that laughter is a jocose pathos—and therefore, "sublime", being "an emotion of pleasure"). He admires Hellenistic poets like Apollonius of Rhodes and Theocritus for their sophistication, but ranks them below authors of the classical age because they did not take risks and fought shy of the "brave disorder" without which one could not hope to attain the sublime. "Would you prefer to be Homer or Apollonius?... No sane person would give just one tragedy, the Oedipus Rex, in exchange for all Ion's dramas."[10]

The Sublime, moreover, does not manifest itself only in what is simply beautiful, but also in what is sufficiently distressing to cause bewilderment (ἔκπληξις, ekplēxis), wonder (τὸ θαυμαστόν, to thaumaston) and even fear (φόβος, phobos). It could be said that Helen of Troy may certainly have been the most beautiful woman in the world, but she was never sublime in Greek literature: however Edmund Burke cites the scene of the old men looking at Helen's "terrible" beauty on the ramparts of Troy—he regards it as an instance of the beautiful, but his imagination is captured by its sublimity. Hecuba in Euripides's The Trojan Women is certainly sublime when she expresses her endless sorrow for the terrible destiny of her children.

The decay of rhetoric[edit] The author speaks also about the decay of oratory, as arising not only from absence of personal freedom but also from the corruption of morals, which together destroy that high spirit which generates the Sublime. Thus the treatise is clearly centred in the burning controversy which raged in the 1st century AD in Latin literature. If Petronius pointed out excess of rhetoric and the pompous, unnatural techniques of the schools of eloquence as the causes of decay, Tacitus was nearer to Longinus in thinking[3] that the root of this decadence was the establishment of Princedom, or Empire, which, though it brought stability and peace, also gave rise to censorship and brought an end to freedom of speech. Thus oratory became merely an exercise in style.

Misleading translations and lost data[edit] Translators have been unable to clearly interpret the text, including the title itself. The "sublime" in the title has been translated in various ways, to include senses of elevation and excellent style. The word sublime, argues Rhys Roberts, is misleading, since Longinus' objective broadly concerns "the essentials of a noble and impressive style" than anything more narrow and specific. Moreover, about one-third of the treatise is missing;[5] Longinus' segment on similes, for instance, has only a few words remaining.[1] Matters are further complicated in realizing that ancient writers, Longinus' contemporaries, do not quote or mention the treatise in any way.[5]

Limitations of the writing[edit] Despite Longinus' critical acclaim, his writing is far from perfect. Longinus' occasional enthusiasm becomes "carried away" and creates some confusion as to the meaning of his text. Furthermore, 18th-century critic Edward Burnaby Greene finds Longinus, at times, to be "too refined".[11] Greene also claims that Longinus' focus on hyperbolical descriptions is "particularly weak, and misapplied."[3] Occasionally, Longinus also falls into a sort of "tediousness" in treating his subjects.[5] The treatise is also limited in its concentration on spiritual transcendence and lack of focus on the way in which language structures determine the feelings and thoughts of writers.[6] Finally, Longinus' treatise is difficult to explain in an academic setting, given the difficulty of the text and lack of "practical rules of a teachable kind."[1]

Writing style and rhetoric[edit] Despite its faults, the treatise remains critically successful because of its "noble tone," "apt precepts," "judicious attitude," and "historical interests".[5] One of the reasons why it is so unlikely that known ancient critics wrote On the Sublime is because the treatise is composed so differently from any other literary work. Since Longinus' rhetorical formula avoids dominating his work, the literature remains "personal and fresh," unique in its originality. Longinus rebels against the popular rhetoric of the time by implicitly attacking ancient theory in its focus on a detailed criticism of words, metaphors, and figures. More explicitly, in refusing to judge tropes as entities unto themselves, Longinus promotes the appreciation of literary devices as they relate to passages as a whole.[3] Essentially, Longinus, rare for a critic of his time, focuses more on "greatness of style" than "technical rules."[5] Despite his criticism of ancient texts, Longinus remains a "master of candor and good-nature".[11] Moreover, the author invents striking images and metaphors, writing almost lyrically at times.[3] In general, Longinus appreciates, and makes use of, simple diction and bold images.[1]

As far as the language is concerned, the work is certainly an "unicum" because it is a blend of expressions of the Hellenistic Koine Greek to which are added elevated constructions, technical expressions, metaphors, classic and rare forms which produce a literary pastiche at the borders of linguistic experimentation.

Influences[edit] In reading On the Sublime, critics have determined that the ancient philosopher and writer Plato is a "great hero" to Longinus.[1] Not only does Longinus come to Plato's defense, but he also attempts to raise his literary standing in opposition to current criticisms. Another influence on the treatise can be found in Longinus' rhetorical figures, which draw from theories by a 1st-century BC writer, Caecilius of Calacte.[5]

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Striving towards Greatness.

Everyone is aware of the existence of the Sublime. The GENIUS reaches the ZENITH.

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TWO MORE!!!

JOCOS = humor

PHOBOS = fear

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Start A Cult With A Dream?

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Just Be Pure and then Obey Your Dream

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Make Her Dream About Me At Night

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