Respond to at least one of the following questions in 500 words or more (total for all responses). Your replies to fellow students’ responses will also count toward this total.
1. In the Plato PowerPoint, I mentioned how important the concept of resemblance was to Plato’s rhetoric
. In the Phaedrus, Plato has Socrates use several forms of resemblance, such as allegory, metaphor, simile, and analogy. When explaining the difference between true and false rhetoric, he compares rhetoricians to doctors. Explain in your own words Socrates’ argument that rhetoric is like medicine. Give one specific example of recent political discourse that reveals the speaker to be a rhetorical “quack.”
2. An enchantment is a magical spell, an illusion. At one point, Socrates defines oratory (rhetoric) as the “art of enchanting the soul.” Magic tends to act by misdirection. It keeps your attention on one thing so that the magician can does something that you do not notice. Socrates implies that rhetoric, although illusion, can be either good or evil. Give one example of a speaker’s or writer’s use of a rhetorical “trick” that leads to audience towards the truth or the good, and one that leads the audience towards error or evil.
3. The prophecy given Socrates by the oracle of Delphi implies that the wisest people are those who know when they do not know something, and fools are those who think they know something when they really don’t. Nevertheless, Socrates’ says that a good speaker must know the truth, but knowing the truth is not sufficient to being a good speaker. Give an example from current events or your personal experience of a speaker or writer who told the truth but few accepted it, and give an explanation for why few people accepted it. Give an example of a speaker or writer who lied and many people believed the lie, and give an explanation for why so many believed the lie.