Aristotle listed four reasons that rhetoric is useful. The 3rd reason is quoted below.
“[W]e must be able to employ persuasion, just as strict reasoning can be employed, on opposite sides of a question, not in order that we may in practice employ it in both ways (for we must not make people believe what is wrong), but in order that we may see clearly what the facts are, and that, if another man argues unfairly, we on our part may be able to confute him.”
Aristotle goes on to say that the true side of the argument will always be easier to argue.
“Nevertheless, the underlying facts do not lend themselves equally well to the contrary views. No; things that are true and things that are better are, by their nature, practically always easier to prove and easier to believe in.”
Quotes are from The Rhetoric and Poetics of Aristotle, p. 23 (from The Modern Library College Editions)
“What we need is to turn out of our colleges young men with ardent convictions on the side of the right; not young men who can make a good argument for either right or wrong as their interest bids them.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
From Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography
(On the topic of college debate contests.)
After a little bit of thought, I’m not sure how much sense this makes from a pedagogical point of view. Stay tuned for a comment from Aristotle next week.
But for now,
Which one is he?
And, one of my husband’s favorite photos.
Teddy Roosevelt would have some suh-weet instagrams.
“Souffle’ for dessert– that always means a party.”
– Julia Child, in Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes From a Lifetime of Cooking
“Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
The Coasters’ had a different attitude toward the ol’ man.