98 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2013
    1. He says, for example, "I am rich," when the proper designation for his condition would be "poor." He misuses fixed conventions by means of arbitrary substitutions or even reversals of names. If he does this in a selfish and moreover harmful manner, society will cease to trust him and will thereby exclude him.

      This seems like a punishment, but we are looking at it with our moral lens.

    2. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions- they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins.

      Money was originally precious metals, and then signs for precious metals (paper money), and then signs for the signs for precious metals (debit/credit cards), and is now turning into signs for the signs for the signs for precious metals (apps that represent debit/credit cards). Just as money underwent this transition, so did truth. We now take truth to mean something fixed, but we have just forgotten that truth is a sign for a social illusion.

    3. This peace treaty brings in its wake something which appears to be the first step toward acquiring that puzzling truth drive: to wit, that which shall count as "truth" from now on is established. That is to say, a uniformly valid and binding designation is invented for things, and this legislation of language likewise establishes the first laws of truth.

      Truth without morality. Truth because of social conventions.

    4. What men avoid by excluding the liar is not so much being defrauded as it is being harmed by means of fraud. Thus, even at this stage, what they hate is basically not deception itself, but rather the unpleasant, hated consequences of certain sorts of deception.

      We think we dislike deception, but we really hate the consequences of that choice. It has not yet gained the moral distinction.

    1. Like any other discipline, the theory of invention and arrangement must be practiced in two ways: first, in order that by its means we should through external examples learn common sense from argument, judgment from the manner of conclusion, and complete prudence from the method of arrangement and order; secondly, that by means of the same art we should devise similar examples in speech and writing.

      Learn rhetoric through analyzing others and practicing what you've learned.

    2. The whole of the following sixth book is taken up with the arts for stirring the emotions and causing delight; here nothing is the property of dialectic or of rhetoric. Since rhetoric and di-alectic are general arts, they should therefore be explained in a general fashion, the one in respect to style and delivery, the other in respect to in-vention and arrangement.

      I disagree. The arts of "stirring the emotions" show how to produce this effect in style and delivery. In the end, good rhetoric should "stir the emotions," no matter what the subject or emotion.

    3. In the third chapter rhetoric is separated into five parts: invention, arrangement, style, mem-ory, delivery. I am now not at all surprised that Quintilian is so bereft of dialectic in this division, for he was unable to recognize that here he h is confused dialectic itself with rhetoric, since in-vention, arrangement, and memory belong to di-alectic and only style and delivery to rhetoric. Indeed, Quintilian's reason for dividing rhetoric into these five parts derived from the same single source of error as did the causes of the previous confusion. The orator, says Quintilian, cannot be perfected without virtue, without grammar, with-out mathematics, and without philosophy. There-fore, one must define the nature of the orator from all these subjects. The grammarian, the same man says, cannot be complete without mu-sic, astrology, philosophy, rhetoric, and history. Consequently there are two parts of grammar, methodology and literary interpretation. As a re-sult Quintilian now finally reasons that rhetoric cannot exist unless the subject matter is first of all discovered, next arranged, then embellished ' and finally committed to memory and delivered. Thus these are the five parts of rhetoric.

      Grammar may be necessary to use in rhetoric and virtue may be an important part of a good orator, but rhetoric is not about grammar or virtue. Rhetoric is about style and delivery.

  2. Oct 2013
    1. It is sufficiently clear, I think, that this eloquence calls passionately upon women to avoid tampering with their appearance by deceitful arts, and to cultivate modesty and fear.

      I find this interesting that he chose this passage because earlier Saint Augustine explained that using appealing rhetoric was necessary to get ones point across. Could this not be true of women to?

    2. I do not think it of so much importance as to wish men who have arrived at mature age to spend time in learning it. It is enough that boys should give attention to it; and even of these, not all who are to be fitted for usefulness in the Church, but only those who are not yet engaged in any occupation of more urgent necessity, or which ought evidently to take precedence of it.

      Rhetoric is helpful, but to Saint Augustine, not as important as "knowledge."

    3. who will dare to say that truth in the person of its defenders is to take its stand unarmed against falsehood?

      For one that does not intend to give a treatise on rhetoric, he sure gives a very strong point as to why rhetoric is important.


      Ironic, since that's how we're using it.

    5. Indeed, I think there are scarcely any who can do both things--that is, speak well, and; in order to do this, think of the rules of speaking while they are speaking.

      Is that not the point? That it takes skill to learn to do both things at once? So rhetorical strategy should not be used because few can speak well and remember strategy?

    6. everything that we say is important;

      This is what makes rhetorical strategy so important. Everything said makes an impact, knowing how to peak well is vital to getting across what you want to.

    7. though there is no one who does not praise Him in some measure


    1. Correction must therefore have its limits, for there are some who return to whatever they compose as if they presumed it to be incorrect.

      Correction has it's limits. Knowing when a work is complete is an important skill.

    1. Therefore, the first consideration for the student is to understand what he proposes to imitate and why it is excellent.

      Imitation is important and students must choose the best to imitate.

    1. It is a remark constantly made by some that an orator must be skilled in all arts if he is to speak upon all subjects. I might reply to this in the words of Cicero, in whom I find this passage: "In my opinion, no man can become a thoroughly accomplished orator unless he shall have attained a knowledge of every subject of importance and of all the liberal arts," but for my argument, it is sufficient that an orator be acquainted with the subject on which he has to speak.

      So the orator does not have to have mastery over that which he speaks, but have thoroughly researched it.

    1. In the meantime, I would not have young men think themselves sufficiently accomplished if they have learned by art some one of those little books on rhetoric, which are commonly handed about, and fancy that they are thus safe under the decrees of theory. The art of speaking depends on great labor, constant study, varied exercise, repeated trials, the deepest sagacity, and the readiest judgment.

      Rhetoric cannot be learned by memorizing rules, just as basketball cannot be learned by knowing the playbook.

    1. THESE remarks I have made, as briefly as I could, upon grammar, not so as to examine and speak of everything, which would be an infinite task, but merely of the most essential points.

      Only the most basic parts of grammar are necessary. Rhetoric is much more than that.

    1. As birds are born to fly, horses to run, and wild beasts to show fierceness, so to us peculiarly belong activity and sagacity of understanding; hence the origin of the mind is thought to be from heaven.

      Although are all birds as good as flying as the others and horses at running? There has to be some variance, and not from lack of repetition. In the same line of reasoning, even if all men were born to "activity and sagacity of understanding," some must have more innate gifts with it. The rest of this paragraph seems to credit persistence with progress, but nature does play at least some sort of role. After all, we can't all be basketball players, no matter how hard we try.

    1. The Epilogue has four parts. You must (1) make the audience well-disposed towards yourself and ill-disposed towards your opponent (2) magnify or minimize the leading facts, (3) excite the required state of emotion in your hearers, and (4) refresh their memories.
    1. As to jests. These are supposed to be of some service in controversy. Gorgias said that you should kill your opponents' earnestness with jesting and their jesting with earnestness; in which he was right. Jests have been classified in the Poetics. Some are becoming to a gentleman, others are not; see that you choose such as become you.
    2. Next as to Interrogation. The best moment to a employ this is [1419a] when your opponent has so answered one question that the putting of just one more lands him in absurdity.
    1. Since a given action can be done from many motives, the former must try to disparage it by selecting the worse motive of two, the latter to put the better construction on it.

      This whole section just seemed super deceptive to me.

    1. It follows, then, that the only necessary parts of a speech are the Statement and the Argument. These are the essential features of a speech; and it cannot in any case have more than Introduction, Statement, Argument, and Epilogue.
    1. Again, style will be made agreeable by the elements mentioned, namely by a good blending of ordinary and unusual words, by the rhythm, and by-the persuasiveness that springs from appropriateness.
    2. The written style is the more finished: the spoken better admits of dramatic delivery -- like the kind of oratory that reflects character and the kind that reflects emotion.
    1. Your language will be appropriate if it expresses emotion and character, and if it corresponds to its subject. "Correspondence to subject" means that we must neither speak casually about weighty matters, nor solemnly about trivial ones; nor must we add ornamental epithets to commonplace nouns, or the effect will be comic, as in the works of Cleophon, who can use phrases as absurd as "O queenly fig-tree." To express emotion, you will employ the language of anger in speaking of outrage; the language of disgust and discreet reluctance to utter a word when speaking of impiety or foulness; the language of exultation for a tale of glory, and that of humiliation for a tale of and so in all other cases.
    1. Obscurity is also caused if, when you intend to insert a number of details, you do not first make your meaning clear; for instance, if you say, "I meant, after telling him this, that and the other thing, to set out," rather than something of this kind "I meant to set out after telling him; then this, that, and the other thing occurred."

      This is so different from prose writing that I'm used to. I tend to embed clauses and who knows what it labyrinths of punctuation, but it makes sense that speeches need to be more straightforward. I was listening to a book that was completely confusing me, I could not follow it. I soon realized that this book could probably be easily read, but not easy to follow when listened to because we listen differently than we read.

    2. The foundation of good style is correctness of language, which falls under five heads. (1) First, the proper use of connecting words, and the arrangement of them in the natural sequence which some of them require. For instance, the connective "men" (e.g. ego men) requires the correlative "de" (e.g. o de). The answering word must be brought in before the first has been forgotten, and not be widely separated from it; nor, except in the few cases where this is appropriate, is another connective to be introduced before the one required. Consider the sentence, "But as soon as he told me (for Cleon had come begging and praying), took them along and set out." In this sentence many connecting words are inserted in front of the one required to complete the sense; and if there is a long interval before "set out," the result is obscurity. One merit, then, of good style lies in the right use of connecting words. (2) The second lies in calling things by their own special names and not by vague general ones. (3) The third is to avoid ambiguities; unless, indeed, you definitely desire to be ambiguous, as those do who have nothing to say but are pretending to mean something. Such people are apt to put that sort of thing into verse.

      What is really important is clarity.

    1. The Simile also is a metaphor; the difference is but slight. When the poet says of Achilles that he Leapt on the foe as a lion, this is a simile; when he says of him 'the lion leapt', it is a metaphor -- here, since both are courageous, he has transferred to Achilles the name of 'lion'. Similes are useful in prose as well as in verse; but not often, since they are of the nature of poetry. They are to be employed just as metaphors are employed, since they are really the same thing except for the difference mentioned.

      I think it's interesting that Aristotle is teaching the functional difference between simile and metaphor. Instead of saying similes use "like" or "as," he has to give examples. I'm glad teachers teach it differently today.

    1. The address of Gorgias to the swallow, when she had let her droppings fall on him as she flew overhead, is in the best tragic manner. He said, "Nay, shame, O Philomela." Considering her as a bird, you could not call her act shameful; considering her as a girl, you could; and so it was a good gibe to address her as what she was once and not as what she is.

      The specificity of the chosen metaphor is important. If chosen correctly, it can create a vivid image, but if chosen badly can confuse the audience.

    1. We can now see that a writer must disguise his art and give the impression of speaking naturally and not artificially. Naturalness is persuasive, artificiality is the contrary; for our hearers are prejudiced and think we have some design against them, as if we were mixing their wines for them.

      It is an interesting contradiction that naturalness is persuasive and artificiality contrary, but the rhetorician must use artificiality to create the naturalness that will persuade.

    1. We have shown that these are three in number; what they are; and why there are only these three: for we have shown that persuasion must in every case be effected either (1) by working on the emotions of the judges themselves, (2) by giving them the right impression of the speakers' character, or (3) by proving the truth of the statements made.
    1. Chapter 13 (1414b) (B) Arrangement. A speech has two essential parts: statement and proof. To these may be added introduction and epilogue. Chapter 14 (1415a, 1415b, 1416a) Introduction. The introduction corresponds to the prologue in poetry and the prelude in flute-music. The most essential function and distinctive property of the introduction is to indicate the aim of the speech. An introduction may (1) excite or ally prejudice; (2) exalt or depreciate. In a political speech an introduction is seldom found, for the subject is usually familiar to the audience.

      Not much has changed.

    2. Chapter 7 (1408b) Appropriateness. An appropriate style will adapt itself to (1) the emotions of the hearers, (2) the character of the speaker, (3) the nature of the subject. Tact and judgement are needed in all varieties of oratory.
    3. Chapter 5 (1407b) The foundation of good style is correctness of language, which is discussed under five heads: (1) right use of connecting words; (2) use of special, and not vague general, terms; (3) avoidance of ambiguity; (4) observance of gender; (5) correct indication of grammatical number. A composition should be easy to read and therefore easy to deliver; it should avoid (1) uncertainties as to puntuation, (2) zeugma, (3) parenthesis.
    1. Those in power are more ambitious and more manly in character than the wealthy, because they aspire to do the great deeds that their power permits them to do. Responsibility makes them more serious: they have to keep paying attention to the duties their position involves. They are dignified rather than arrogant, for the respect in which they are held inspires them with dignity and therefore with moderation -- dignity being a mild and becoming form of arrogance. If they wrong others, they wrong them not on a small but on a great scale.
    1. To put it generally, all the valuable qualities that youth and age divide between them are united in the prime of life, while all their excesses or defects are replaced by moderation and fitness. The body is in its prime from thirty to five-and-thirty; the mind about forty-nine.
    1. The fact is that anger makes us confident -- that anger is excited by our knowledge that we are not the wrongers but the wronged, and that the divine power is always supposed to be on the side of the wronged.

      It is pretty true. We aren't objective when we are angry.

    1. It is plain from all this that we can prove people to be friends or enemies; if they are not, we can make them out to be so; if they claim to be so, we can refute their claim; and if it is disputed whether an action was due to anger or to hatred, we can attribute it to whichever of these we prefer.

      Rhetoric can make anything sound good or right.

    2. And we also feel friendly towards those who praise such good qualities as we possess, and especially if they praise the good qualities that we are not too sure we do possess.

      I don't know about Aristotle, but this can often cause jealousy. He can't necessarily prove this blanket statement.

    1. Again, we feel no anger, or comparatively little, with those who have done what they did through anger: we do not feel that they have done it from a wish to slight us, for no one slights people when angry with them, since slighting is painless, [1380b] and anger is painful.

      I disagree. Even if I have no ill feelings toward someone who does something through anger and am myself in perfect disposition, their words can still hurt.

    1. Clearly the orator will have to speak so as to bring his hearers into a frame of mind that will dispose them to anger, and to represent his adversaries as open to such charges and possessed of such qualities as do make people angry.
    2. It must be felt because the other has done or intended to do something to him or one of his friends. It must always be attended by a certain pleasure -- that which arises from the expectation of revenge. For since nobody aims at what he thinks he cannot attain, the angry man is aiming at what he can attain, and the belief that you will attain your aim is pleasant.
    1. good sense, good moral character, and goodwill.

      perceived good sense, etc.

    2. But since rhetoric exists to affect the giving of decisions -- the hearers decide between one political speaker and another, and a legal verdict is a decision -- the orator must not only try to make the argument of his speech demonstrative and worthy of belief; he must also make his own character look right and put his hearers, who are to decide, into the right frame of mind.
    1. arguments put side by side are clearer to the audience;

      Of course they are, it is a very effective rhetorical strategy for the rhetorician. But are they clearer for the audience or do they make the rhetorician's point seem more clear? The arguments are side by side for a reason, to get the audience to believe.

    2. This is especially important in a deliberative assembly. In the law courts it is especially important that he should be able to influence the emotions, or moral affections, of the jury who try the case.
    1. The worse of two acts of wrong done to others is that which is prompted by the worse disposition. Hence the most trifling acts may be the worst ones;

      But how would anyone know what kind of disposition the doer really possessed? This seems something that only an all-knowing God or gods would know, that is why our justice system works off of the crime committed. You get into difficult judgement calls when you start at the root of why someone did something. Like when people plead mental illness for why they committed a crime. I'm not making a judgement call on whether this is right. I'm only stating that if we start going that route, when do we stop? Do we scan everyone's brain for why they did it and blame it all on mental instability? What about when our technology gets so good that we can see each area of their brain that has been affected by abuse? There most likely is something funky going on in everyone's brain who does something terrible... so should we judge them on their actions or the reasons behind them?

    1. But it may here be said that people think that they can themselves most easily do wrong to others without being punished for it if they possess eloquence, or practical ability, or much legal experience, or a large body of friends, or a great deal of money.

      Which is often really true, in our society and I'm sure in Aristotle's.

    1. Appetite is the cause of all actions that appear pleasant. Habit, whether acquired by mere familiarity or by effort, belongs to the class of pleasant things, for there are many actions not naturally pleasant which men perform with pleasure, once they have become used to them. To sum up then, all actions due to ourselves either are or seem to be either good or pleasant. Moreover, as all actions due to ourselves are done voluntarily and actions not due to ourselves are done involuntarily, it follows that all voluntary actions must either be or seem to be either good or pleasant; for I reckon among goods escape from evils or apparent evils and the exchange of a greater evil for a less (since these things are in a sense positively desirable), and likewise I count among pleasures escape from painful or apparently painful things and the exchange of a greater pain for a less.

      At odds with Socrates (Plato's "Gorgias") again, however Aristotle's view of things sounds much more realistic.

    1. it helps a speaker to convince us, if we believe that he has certain qualities himself, namely, goodness, or goodwill towards us,

      The audience does not seem to care if the speaker really has good will toward them, only if they seem to. This seems deceptive to me, but of course productive for the rhetorician.

    2. The most important and effective qualification for success in persuading audiences and speaking well on public affairs is to understand all the forms of government and to discriminate their respective customs, institutions, and interests.

      Is this then the realm that rhetoricians should be well versed in? Aristotle said earlier, or so I thought, that it is no longer rhetoric if the said person knows too much about another subject because they need know only how to argue. So it would seem that law and government are the rhetorician's realm, which makes sense when it comes to cases regarding law. However, that is not all that rhetoricians do.

    1. For all advice to do things or not to do them is concerned with happiness and with the things that make for or against it; whatever creates or increases happiness or some part of happiness, we ought to do; whatever destroys or hampers happiness, or gives rise to its opposite, we ought not to do.

      This reminds me of Socrates in Plato's "Gorgias." Except that he advised people to only partake in things that make them happy because they are good or beneficial and not to partake in things good/beneficial because they make the person happy (or something along those lines).

    1. The truth is, as indeed we have said already, that rhetoric is a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics; and it is partly like dialectic, partly like sophistical reasoning.
    1. Rhetoric falls into three divisions, determined by the three classes of listeners to speeches. For of the three elements in speech-making -- speaker, subject, and person addressed -- it is the last one, the hearer, that determines the speech's end and object. [1358b] The hearer must be either a judge, with a decision to make about things past or future, or an observer. A member of the assembly decides about future events, a juryman about past events: while those who merely decide on the orator's skill are observers. From this it follows that there are three divisions of oratory-(1) political, (2) forensic, and (3) the ceremonial oratory of display.
    1. The general Lines of Argument have no special subject-matter, and therefore will not increase our understanding of any particular class of things. On the other hand, the better the selection one makes of propositions suitable for special Lines of Argument, the nearer one comes, unconsciously, to setting up a science that is distinct from dialectic and rhetoric. One may succeed in stating the required principles, but one's science will be no longer dialectic or rhetoric, but the science to which the principles thus discovered belong.
    2. Missing this distinction, people fail to notice that the more correctly they handle their particular subject the further they are getting away from pure rhetoric or dialectic.

      Rhetoricians specialize in rhetoric, not what they use rhetoric to talk about.

    3. Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. This is not a function of any other art. Every other art can instruct or persuade about its own particular subject-matter; for instance, medicine about what is healthy and unhealthy, geometry about the properties of magnitudes, arithmetic about numbers, and the same is true of the other arts and sciences. But rhetoric we look upon as the power of observing the means of persuasion on almost any subject presented to us; and that is why we say that, in its technical character, it is not concerned with any special or definite class of subjects.
    1. Rhetoric is useful (1) because things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites, so that if the decisions of judges are not what they ought to be, the defeat must be due to the speakers themselves, and they must be blamed accordingly.

      That completely absolves judges and juries of making bad decisions charges rhetoricians with fault when maybe they did their best and the hearers were not receptive to their argument even if it was at no fault of their own. The law is not black and white, that is why there are judges to "judge."

  3. Sep 2013
    1. The worse of two acts of wrong done to others is that which is prompted by the worse disposition.

      So it's not the crime committed, but the state-of-mind that produced the crime?

    2. A wrongdoer must either understand and intend the action, or not understand and intend it. In the former case, he must be acting either from deliberate choice or from passion. It is deliberate purpose that constitutes wickedness and criminal guilt.

      Is not acting on one's passions a choice?

    3. Chapter 8 (1366a) The political speaker will find his powers of persuasion most of all enhanced by a knowledge of the four sorts of government -- democracy, oligarchy, aristocracy, monarchy, and their characteristic customs, institutions, and interests. Definition of the four sorts severally. Ends of each. Chapter 9 (1366b, 1367a, 1367b, 1368a) The Epideictic speaker is concerned with virtue and vice, praising the one and censuring the other. The forms of virtue. Which are the greatest virtues? Some rhetoric devices used by the epideictic speaker: "amplification," especially. Amplification is particularly appropriate to epideictic oratory; examples, to political; enthymemes, to forensic. Chapter 10 (1368b, 1369a, 1369b) The Forensic speaker should have studied wrongdoing -- its motives, its perpetrators, and its victims. Definitions of wrongdoing as injury voluntary inflicted contrary to law. Law is either (a) special, viz. that written law which regulates the life of a particular community, or (b) general, viz. all those unwritten principles which are supposed to be acknowledged everywhere. Enumeration and elucidation of the seven causes of human action, viz. three involuntary, (1) chance, (2) nature, (3) compulsion; and four voluntary, viz. (4) habit, (5) reasoning, (6) anger, (7) appetite. All voluntary actions are good or apparently good, pleasant or apparently pleasant. The good (or expedient) has been discussed under political oratory. The pleasant has yet to be considered.
    4. The Epideictic speaker is concerned with virtue and vice, praising the one and censuring the other. The forms of virtue. Which are the greatest virtues?
    5. There are three kinds of rhetoric: A. political (deliberative), B. forensic (legal), and C. epideictic (the ceremonial oratory of display). Their (1) divisions, (2) times, and (3) ends are as follows: A. Political (1) exhortation and dehortation, (2) future, (3) expediency and inexpediency; B. Forensic (1) accusation and defence, (2) past, (3) justice and injustice; C. Epideictic (1) praise and censure, (2) present, (3) honour and dishonour.
    6. enthymeme

      An argument in which one premise is not explicitly stated (from the dictionary... because I wasn't sure what it meant).

    7. The former kind he must provide himself; and it has three divisions -- (1) the speaker's power of evincing a personal character which will make his speech credible (ethos ); (2) his power of stirring the emotions of his hearers (pathos ); (3) his power of proving a truth, or an apparent truth, by means of persuasive arguments (logos ). Hence rhetoric may be regarded as an offshoot of dialectic, and also of ethical (or political) studies.
    8. The argumentative modes of persuasion are the essence of the art of rhetoric: appeals to the emotions warp the judgement.

      Does that mean that rhetoric warps the judgement? Is that how rhetoric succeeds?

    1. Those states in which an occasional citizen is put to death without a trial we condemn as unfit to live in, yet are blind to the fact that we are in the same case when we do not hear with equal good will both sides of the contest.

      He cries hypocrisy here, a strong rhetorical device. Although I'm not sure whether this would make the jury rethink their impressions or make them more biased against him.

    2. For I know that I have spoken with so just and clear a conscience both towards the city and our ancestors, and above all towards the gods, that if it be true that the gods concern themselves at all with human affairs I am sure that they are not indifferent to my present situation.

      Now that is some self-confidence.

    3. Most men see in such studies nothing but empty talk and hair-splitting; for none of these disciplines has any useful application either to private or to public affairs; nay, they are not even remembered for any length of time after they are learned because they do not attend us through life nor do they lend aid in what we do, but are wholly divorced from our necessities.

      This reminds me of how underpaid and under-appreciated teachers are. I realize they are completely different situations (and I believe teaching is one of the most important professions!), but the language is similar to the debate about teachers. Everyone agrees they are important, but it's difficult to get good teachers because of the terrible pay. The difference here of course is that many people decry the Sophists as not important. But what the people say about Sophists feels like how teachers are actually treated in our educational system.

    4. I want neither to descend to the level of men whom envy has made blind nor to censure men who, although they do no actual harm to their pupils are less able to benefit them than are other teachers. I shall, however, say a few words about them, first because they also have paid their compliments to me; second, in order that you, being better informed as to their powers, may estimate us justly in relation to each other; and, furthermore, that I may show you clearly that we who are occupied with political discourse and whom they call contentious are more considerate than they; for although they are always saying disparaging things of me, I shall not answer them in kind but shall confine myself to the simple truth.

      Truth... but with an agenda. Although I recognize it is impossible to not have an agenda when defending oneself.

    5. Accordingly, I am going to lay bare to you the thoughts which have now come into my mind.

      I recognize that this is a persuasive rhetorical strategy, but it feels slimy to me. Isocrates is clearly not just laying bear his mind or he wouldn't have put so much effort into such an elaborate speech.

    6. my lack of experience in contests of this kind

      Except that he's a rhetorician. Aren't they supposed to be skilled at talking on any topic?

    7. he expected that if he won in the debate with me, whom he calls the teacher of other men, everyone would regard his power as irresistible.

      Isn't that what Isocrates is doing? Why else defend yourself in a mock trial other than to prove your superior rhetorical skill?

    8. But when my eyes were opened, as I have said, to the fact that a greater number than I supposed had mistaken ideas about me, I began to ponder how I could show to them and to posterity the truth about my character, my life, and the education to which I am devoted, and not suffer myself to be condemned on these issues without a trial nor to remain, as I had just been, at the mercy of my habitual calumniators.
    1. And yet those who desire to follow the true precepts of this discipline may, if they will, be helped more speedily towards honesty of character(24) than towards facility in oratory.

      This presupposes an inherent truth.

    2. For I hold that to obtain a knowledge of the elements out of which we make and compose all discourses is not so very difficult if anyone entrusts himself, not to those who make rash promises, but to those who have some knowledge of these things.

      How do we know that all Sophists lack experience and are full of only empty promises?

    3. I think all intelligent people will agree with me

      rhetorical device

    4. But men who inculcate virtue and sobriety--is it not absurd if they do not trust in their own students before all others?

      Why? Who's to say their students have learned the lessons they tried to teach them?

    1. Cannot you finish without my help, either talking straight on, or questioning and answering yourself?

      Maybe there is a limit to rhetoric...?

    2. CALLICLES: Yes; that is what I mean, and that is what I conceive to be natural justice—that the better and wiser should rule and have more than the inferior.
    3. I make any impression on you, and are you coming over to the opinion that the orderly are happier than the intemperate?
    4. And I say that if a rhetorician and a physician were to go to any city, and had there to argue in the Ecclesia or any other assembly as to which of them should be elected state-physician, the physician would have no chance; but he who could speak would be chosen if he wished; and in a contest with a man of any other profession the rhetorician more than any one would have the power of getting himself chosen, for he can speak more persuasively to the multitude than any of them, and on any subject. Such is the nature and power of the art of rhetoric!

      Okay, the rhetorician is a better orator, but what about medical knowledge? Sure, the rhetorician could win over people unfamiliar with the medical field, but I doubt he would do so well with physicians.

    5. GORGIAS: What is there greater than the word which persuades the judges in the courts, or the senators in the council, or the citizens in the assembly, or at any other political meeting?—if you have the power of uttering this word, you will have the physician your slave, and the trainer your slave, and the money-maker of whom you talk will be found to gather treasures, not for himself, but for you who are able to speak and to persuade the multitude.

      He makes rhetoric sound so sinister.

    1. He who persuaded (as constrainer) did wrong; while she who was persuaded (as one constrained by means of the discourse) is wrongly blamed.

      It's an interesting point that he makes here. He essentially absolves anyone tricked by rhetoric from any blame and puts it entirely onto the rhetorician. Doesn't this seem like too broad a generalization? For example, is every person who takes Wikipedia information as fact absolved from blame? Some may not understand it's nature, so they may not carry blame. But what about those who understand that it could be bologna and choose to believe it anyway?

    2. By means of words, inspired incantations serve as bringers-on of pleasure and takers-off of pain. For the incantation's power, communicating with the soul's opinion, enchants and persuades and changes it, by trickery. Two distinct methods of trickery and magic are to be found: errors of soul, and deceptions of opinion. Those who have persuaded and do persuade anyone about anything are shapers of lying discourse.
    3. Either by the wishes of Fortune and plans of the gods and decrees of Necessity she did what she did, or abducted by force, or persuaded by speeches, <or conquered by Love>.

      I feel like he's forgetting about logos by not even mentioning the possibility that she was a responsible agent in what happened. All of these examples show her as victim, but I feel like he could have made his argument much stronger by acknowledging her possible choice and arguing against it.

    1. And in saying this, they appear to be making a small addition, "(the) right moment" or "the wrong one," so that the situation is no longer the same.

      So things seem to be the same, but the moment differs, so they are essentially different things.

    2. From these remarks it is clear that the same statement is false at the time when falsehood is present in it and true at the time when truth is present (just the way a man is the same person when he is a child and a young man and an adult and an old man.)'

      Is this saying something about truths or falsehood with age?

    3. But to this too an opposite argument is put forward: that the just and the unjust are different things, and that as the name differs, so does the thing named. For instance, if anyone should ask those who say that unjust and just are the same whether they have yet done anything just for their parents, they will say yes. But then they have done something unjust, because they admit that unjust and just are the same thing.

      Just does not equal unjust, but a single action could be considered either.

    4. (3) Therefore from this one example it is just to tell lies and to deceive one's parents. And, in fact, to steal the belongings of one's friends and to use force against those one loves most is just. (4) For instance, if a member of the household is in some sort of grief or trouble and intends to destroy himself with a sword or a rope or some other thing, it is right, isn't it, to steal these things, if possible, and, if one should come in too late and catch the person with the thing in his hand, to take it away by force?
    5. To sum up, everything done at the right time is seemly and everything done at the wrong time is disgraceful.

      The right time, or the right place?

    6. Thus all things are the same. (4) A talent is heavier than a mina and lighter than two talents; therefore the same thing is both heavier and lighter.

      Basically, it's all relative.