ForumsWEPRAn Introduction to Rhetoric

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Maverick4
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Before reading this thread, I would suggest reading [urlhttp://armorgames.com/community/thread/6980543/an-introduction-to-logic]An Introduction to Logic[/url] by
Moegreche. Thanks.
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First, we need to understand justs what Rhetoric is. Heres a quick definition:

Rhetoric: [Noun] The usage of language to please or persuade.

Rhetoric, delivered by Rhetorical Devices, is the fleeting impressions or influences that a word, or group of words, has on a person. The use of such devices' influence may occur beneath the very level of conciousness. The Positive or Negative impressions made by Rhetorical Devices, while they may seem trivial, can have powerful and lasting effects.

Now that we understand what Rhetoric, and Rhetorical Devices are, lets move on to the vehicals that will deliver your Rhetoric.
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-----Euphemisms and Dysphemisms-----

Euphemisms and Dysphemisms are words or phrases that are substituted for other words or phrases to put what is being discussed in a more positive or negative light.

Euphemisms put a more positive light on a word or phrase, while a Dysphemism puts a more negative light on a word.

'She has passed away' is a Euphemism of 'She has died'. Alternately, 'She has died' is a Dysphemism of 'She has passed away'.

-----Rhetorical Comparisons-----

A Rhetorical Comparison is a way of speaking that departs positive or negative view froma fair or neutral position. Here, the problem is content, not form:

"The American Revolutionaries used tactics similar to those of the VietCong" This statement, depending on your own views, can do one of two things. Either it cast the 'American Revolutionaries' in a negative light, by comparing them with the 'VietCong', or it puts the 'VietCong' in a positive light by comparing them to the 'American Revolutionaries'.

"Religion - the opiate of the people" This definition appears to come froma fair, or neutral, stance, but it actually sheds Religion in a negative light. An opiate refers to opium, or any thing derived from opium. Opium is a drug, and this definition is suggestion that Religion 'drugs' a person, and clouds and muddies their vision and mentality.

-----Sterotype-----

A Sterotype functions as an enexamined assumption behind a premise or explanatory action. When directly expressed, it takes the form of a generalization. There are many types of Sterotypes (most famously, Racial Sterotypes), but also hide in many other forms. Observe:

"All roaches carry diseases". THis statement is a generalizaion. I am making the assumption that ALL roaches carry diseases. In order for this to be true, I would have had to meet all roaches, and confirmed that they do indeed carry diseases. I have made the assumption that all roaches are 'bad', and this is a fallicious statement.

-----Innuendo-----

An Innuendo is an indirect suggestion. Ussualy an Innuendo carries a negative impression. Innuendos can also take the guise of falso praise:

"Student X? Yes, she passed the minimum requirements of the course". This is an Innuendo, specifically, an Innuendo operating under the guise of a compliment. *Technically*, this statement is a compliment. However, it is leaving you with the suggestion that the nicest thing I could say about Student X is that they passed the minimum requirements. Therefore, you will start to make *negative* assumptions about Student X, because a Dysphemism of this same statement is: "Student X? Yes, she barely passed the course".

*A great example of Innuendos are 'Thats What She Said!' jokes.

-----Loaded Question-----

A Loaded Question is a Yes or No question, or a false dilemma. In order to answer a Loaded Question, you would be required to accept a presumption, which ussualy isn't true. For example:

"Are you openly gay, or have you just kept it a secret?" In order to answer this question, you would first have to affirm the assumption that you are indeed gay, even if you are not. Professional Politicians use this all the time. The only way to defend against such is to first recoqnize it as a Loaded Question, and then reply that you will only answer fair questions. This is an expecially nasty device, if I do say so for myself.

-----Weasler-----

A Weasler is a word or phrase that deceptively weakens a claim, though it is not to be confused with Careful Qualification. Weaslers are often used in advertising:

"Save up to 30%!" The Weasler in this sentence is the words 'up to'. The sentence leaves you with the expectation that you will save 30%, though in reality, you'll probaly save less.

-----Sarcasm/Horse Laugh/Ridicule-----

Sarcasm weakens an arguments credibility by ridiculing it. Sarcasm often gives off the appearence that the user holds a higher position, or is mocking the argument. Behold:

"Our debt is only 14 trillion" The verbal stress would be on the word 'only'. This is sarcastic because its making a mockery of the US' National Debt. Most people know what Sarcasm is, and its easier to observe than explain, so I won't delve into it too much further.

-----Hyperbole-----

Hyperbole is the use of an exaggertaion to make an impression of greater importance or deviate from expectations. Often shows up in other forms, such as Slippery Slopes.

"I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse" This is a Hyperbole, because its an unreal exaggertion of just how hungry you really are. Yes, you are hungry, but you can't physically eat an entire horse.

-----Proof Surrogate-----

Proof Surrogates are assumptions or strong suggestions that give evidence that exist somewhere out of reach to support a claim. They make use of listed, but unchecked, unverified references. On the internet and in advertising, these are expecially common:

"4 out of 5 dentist agree, ACME Toothbrushes are the best!" This leaves much to be desired. For starters, which dentist, and where? These dentist could have been payed, or live in a location where ACME Toothbrushes are prefered.

"Well, according to my Mom..." Seriously? Pops up so often on the internet. You could get your Mom to say anything, and we have no idea if you're being truthful or not.
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And thats just about it for the major Rhetorical Devices. I hope this helps a lot of people out there, and makes debate in the WEPR much more lively and entertaining.

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FishPreferred
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By quoting a few lines from the previous person's post and typing a few remarks (usually sarcastic and horridly tainted with bias), this person of great logical wisdom and learned insight will "refute" what that person has said for the sole purpose of justifying their own neurotic personal beliefs.

That's the rhetoric of this forum, boys and girls. Enjoy!


Did you actually read this thread? You've got the terms all mixed up. Refuting a claim is not rhetoric, nor need it even contain rhetoric, nor is rhetoric in any way related to logic, nor is the word 'logic' commonly used in rhetoric.

You've made a similar statement in the logic thread, but I have yet to see so much as a hypothetical example of this rampant epidemic. I'd like to know just how many times (as well as when and by whom) your arguments have been refuted by somebody saying "Your opinion is wrong, because logic".
09philj
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@themastaplaya

See above post, which I accidentally @ linked to the wrong account.

SportShark
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09philj...stop these freaking US vs UK bs comments! I made no mention at all of the US or the UK in my previous posts, so why do you keep bringing it up? You did nothing to refute my statements in my previous post. You only attempted to distract everyone by making an arbitrary post which contained a quote with offensive (and distracting) content. If your rhetorical skills lay on the level of "Yeah, but at least...hey, hey! look how bad Americans are!", go back to your cramped flat and stop using the internet to post ridiculous, senseless comments on website's forums.

Bty, Fish, I can refute all that you said with these words: Not all presumed logic is such, but rather a wolf in sheep's clothing if you understand.

FishPreferred
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Bty, Fish, I can refute all that you said with these words: Not all presumed logic is such, but rather a wolf in sheep's clothing if you understand.


I see rhetoric, but no refutation. Not even so much as an answer to my closing statement.
09philj
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@themastaplaya

I see rhetoric, but no refutation. Not even so much as an answer to my closing statement.


Yes, show us the evidence of this happening. When you show us examples we will accept that it is the case.

09philj...stop these freaking US vs UK bs comments! I made no mention at all of the US or the UK in my previous posts, so why do you keep bringing it up? You did nothing to refute my statements in my previous post. You only attempted to distract everyone by making an arbitrary post which contained a quote with offensive (and distracting) content. If your rhetorical skills lay on the level of "Yeah, but at least...hey, hey! look how bad Americans are!"


On the one hand, you're right. Sorry for going off topic. On the other hand, I never claimed UK politicians were better. They're just different. US politicians promise nothing and deliver that. UK politicians promise a lot that they fail to deliver.

go back to your cramped flat

Pathetic. Truly pathetic. Just because I happen to harbour some disdain towards US politics, and the US in general, it does not mean that I cannot make enough money to live in anything other than a "cramped flat." I happen to live in very pleasant detached house, where I will continue to live until I leave home to go to university. I will most likely live in a cramped flat at that point, but that will be down to being a student.
SportShark
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go back to your cramped flat

Yes, I see that that was uncalled for. Sorry.
If you would like to discuss US politicians vs UK ones, I'd be happy to do so on our comments.

About the logic thing...what I meant by what I said is that there is flawed logic just as there is sound logic. Often the twain do meet.
Salvidian
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When you first came to Armor Games you went on about how there are supposedly two different kinds of logic. I remember the lot of us tried explaining to you that there is only one kind. Apparently you don't remember.

09philj
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there is flawed logic just as there is sound logic. Often the twain do meet.


There is no such distinct thing as flawed logic. That would simply describe logical thinking, incorrectly done.

Definitions of two methods of thought:

Critical thinking (AKA Logical thinking): "the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion"

Lateral thinking: A sub-type of critical thinking, based on using reasoned thought in a non-standard, or non-linear logical, way to find a solution to a problem.
SportShark
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Let me give you an example:

Flawed logic: All frogs have four legs. Croaker is a frog, therefor croaker has four legs.
This is flawed.
Why?
The assumption is wrong! True, most frogs have four legs, but what about birth defects or injuries?
So, all frogs don't have the usual four legs. There are some that have been known to have eight legs due to mutation!

HahiHa
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There is no such thing as flawed logic, only fallacious application of logic.

The example you gave is actually correct. Under the assumption that all frogs have four legs, then Croaker, being a frog, certainly has four legs. The problem lies not in the logic, the problem here lies in the premise. As you said yourself, the assumption is wrong. But only because you consider exceptions to the general rule.

SportShark
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5 things:
In that case, logic can be used to "validate" a faulty premise.
This is how the people that I disagree with here operate.
Yes then, fallacious application.
Exceptions negate rules in my opinion.
I am beginning to think that you all would rather jump off a cliff than consider what I say might actually be right.

Anything else?

09philj
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Exceptions negate rules in my opinion.

If a rule has an exception, it should be called a generalisation, which is subject to uncertainty. Making sure this is acknowledged fixes failures of logical thinking such as the one above:

Most frogs have four legs. Croaker is probably a frog, therefore Croaker probably has four legs.

This is not flawed because it allows for an uncertainty in the number of legs Croaker has, and whether he is a frog.

It must also be learned not to jump to conclusions even if they look certain, and it is in general better to allow uncertainty in a premise, regardless of how preposterous it may seem.

Eg: Humans are usually male or female. It looks Human. Therefore it is probably male or female.

This example allows for the existence of transgender humans, and the possibility that the subject is not human.

FishPreferred
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I am beginning to think that you all would rather jump off a cliff than consider what I say might actually be right.


Why would that bear any consideration? It's been established that logic cannot be flawed, and that this topic has no relation to rhetoric, and I have yet to see anything that supports your initial claim.
Moegreche
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In that case, logic can be used to "validate" a faulty premise.


Take a peek at my Introduction to Logic thread. There, I explain that logic is merely concerned with the form of an argument. You can also look there at the definition of soundness and validity as it is used in logic. (The example you give about frogs is one that is unsound, since one of its premises is false.)

You're general point, I take it, is that the notions of logic and rhetoric are sometimes thrown around in the WEPR forum. On that point, I would say you're correct. But this isn't really an AG-specific problem, or even an internet-specific problem. People in general misuse terminology - especially terms that are especially 'jargony'.

This is why, in part, that these introductory threads were made. One thing you might find helpful is to refer someone to these threads when you feel as though they have violated a specific rule of logic or rhetoric. At the end of the day, though, people don't like being corrected about things. So an alternative approach is to give your opponent a charitable interpretation and move on.
HahiHa
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I am beginning to think that you all would rather jump off a cliff than consider what I say might actually be right.

Anything else?

We might also have considered it, and found reasons for why it is not right. Hence why we reply to your posts.

At the end of the day, though, people don't like being corrected about things. So an alternative approach is to give your opponent a charitable interpretation and move on.

I guess I'm also a bit guilty of mostly choosing the "correct people about things" path to the detriment of giving "your opponent a charitable interpretation and move on".
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