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Rhetoric

7 Secrets Within Obama's UN Address

Peter Paskale | Posted 09.24.2014 | Politics
Peter Paskale

Powerful speeches contain powerful content. For that content to shine though, it must be mounted into a powerful structure. Barack Obama's speech today at the UN General Assembly contained both.

A Cure for Microwave Spectrum Disorder

Stephen Whittaker | Posted 08.31.2014 | College
Stephen Whittaker

When challenged about the effect on their psyches of what I generically dub anti-social media, students assure me that they are fully social, but their integration and communication is with a society other than the one in the room.

Brevity and Eloquence -- Lessons From Calvin

Peter W. Wood | Posted 07.23.2014 | College
Peter W. Wood

On May 1, the U.S. Mint released the latest of its presidential commemorative dollar coins, this one celebrating our famously taciturn 30th preside...

We Don't Need Debates; We Need Conversations

Matt Bieber | Posted 04.13.2014 | Politics
Matt Bieber

Josh Weinstein thinks about rhetoric and argumentation with more nuance and subtlety than anyone I know. At the moment, he's developing Argmaps, a web-based platform for structured inquiry into really hard questions.

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Lisa Longo | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Lisa Longo

Some insurance companies are canceling policies, so therefore our president must have lied. Nope. Not true. It is a handy talking point for the opposition, but it is in fact, just another logical fallacy. Once you start listening for them, you'll find them everywhere.

Love Thy Economy as Thyself

Anat Shenker-Osorio | Posted 11.27.2013 | Politics
Anat Shenker-Osorio

The economy doesn't actually have needs, desires or preferences - we do. If our elected representatives, now working on the economy's behalf, want to screw us, we at least deserve dinner first. Something a little nicer than you can purchase with food stamps.

Trayvon, Morsi and B.S.

Sherman A. Jackson | Posted 09.21.2013 | Religion
Sherman A. Jackson

The whole point of providing reasons to justify privilege is to raise it beyond critique, take it out of the realm of politics and place it in the realm of nature, where it can be seen as normal, "nobody's fault," as natural as morning dew or death.

Romans 1.26-7: The Bible 'Says' Homosexuality Is a Sin?

Joel L. Watts | Posted 09.18.2013 | Religion
Joel L. Watts

Jesus may not have spoken directly about homosexuality, but Paul did, we are assured. However, this passage is not about condemning homosexuality, but about condemning those who condemn others.

The Vaudevillian Rhetoric of Friedman and Brooks

Barton Kunstler, Ph.D. | Posted 08.12.2013 | Media
Barton Kunstler, Ph.D.

New York Times columnists David Brooks and Thomas Friedman's columns highly critical of whistleblower Edward Snowden share the same deceptive rhetorical tricks intended to muddle our understanding of the issues involved.

My Hero, Chris Christie

Robin Lakoff | Posted 07.10.2013 | Politics
Robin Lakoff

I cannot imagine a circumstance in which he would get my vote. (Well, maybe I can -- if for instance he were running against Ted Cruz.) But there are things about the man himself that I greatly admire.

Rhetoric -- Ours or Theirs?

John R. Burbank | Posted 07.05.2013 | Politics
John R. Burbank

"Reform" is a word we have lost and conservatives have taken over. Reform has become a code word for decreasing Social Security and Medicare benefits, for commodifying, marketizing, and privatizing public education, de-funding public higher education and insuring that no rich child is left behind.

Persuasion Tips From Jesus, MLK, Lincoln And Lady Gaga

Rev. Michael Dowd | Posted 06.19.2013 | Religion
Rev. Michael Dowd

If you want to learn from the world's great orators and become a more compelling, memorable writer and speaker, Joe Romm's "Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion From Jesus, Shakesphere, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga" is the place to start.

What I Learned in College

Sarah Barness | Posted 02.24.2014 | Comedy
Sarah Barness

In college I double majored in Media Studies and Rhetoric. When the word "rhetoric" is mentioned, somebody inevitably says, "Oh, so you majored in bullshit."

A Plea for Philosophy

John Corvino | Posted 06.10.2013 | Gay Voices
John Corvino

I reject the premise that rational argument on gay rights has outlived its usefulness. Watching the rapid shift in public support lately -- a recent poll suggests that 58% of Americans favor marriage equality -- it's easy to forget that plenty aren't there yet.

Science, Rhetoric And The Creation of Preferred Realities

Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D. | Posted 06.05.2013 | TED Weekends
Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgMost writers, including myself, present a preferred reality to their readers. It is only natural for a writer to selectively choose or cherry pick outcomes in order to portray a certain image.

Creation, Destruction, and the Paradox of Existence

The Chopra Well | Posted 04.30.2013 | Healthy Living
The Chopra Well

Perhaps the most obvious -- and most troubling -- example of contradiction in our universe is the constant tension between creation and destruction.

Rhetoric of Rape

Barbara Holm | Posted 04.01.2013 | Politics
Barbara Holm

The way we talk about rape in the media often illustrates the crime as a violent crime that occurs in dark alleys (which it is) but this neglects the idea it can happen at a party, or a date, or at a friend's house. Our words affect how people perceive issues.

Negative Ads vs. Toulmin

Jonathan Haber | Posted 02.17.2013 | Politics
Jonathan Haber

In recent years, a host of new logical systems have emerged which allow us to do things Aristotle's system cannot.

Negative Ads vs. Aristotle

Jonathan Haber | Posted 02.12.2013 | Politics
Jonathan Haber

Proving that an argument is invalid (ideally by showing that it ends in a logical contradiction) is one of the most effective ways to destroy an opponent's case.

Why I Like Negative Ads

Jonathan Haber | Posted 02.08.2013 | Media
Jonathan Haber

I actually like negative ads. I know this might seem counterintuitive, given that negative ads suffer from so many shortcomings critical thinking-wise. But negative ads at least present an argument.

Campaign Finance -- Solved!

Jonathan Haber | Posted 02.04.2013 | Politics
Jonathan Haber

No one in his or her right mind would spend over a billion to win an election unless the value of victory was much higher than that, which in the case of winning the presidency includes influence over trillions in spending (not to mention the other extraordinary powers and perks of office).

Critical Thinking: How Long Does it Take?

Jonathan Haber | Posted 01.29.2013 | Education
Jonathan Haber

Far from being some form of esoteric knowledge, critical thinking turns out to be one of the more easy-to-learn and pragmatic skills available to all. Or at least all those willing to put in the reasonable amount of work needed to achieve success.

How to Never Win Another Election

Robin Lakoff | Posted 01.27.2013 | Politics
Robin Lakoff

Why would members of a political party repeatedly antagonize potential voters? One reason: in their hearts they really do not believe that members of these groups are, or have any right to be, included as active participants in the political conversation of this country.

Talk to the Women!

Robin Lakoff | Posted 01.08.2013 | Women
Robin Lakoff

Occasionally, candidates for electoral office seem even less aware than the rest of the populace about what "democracy" means or ought to mean. Once in a while -- not often enough -- they pay a price at the polls for their obtuseness. This election was one such time.

Learning to Speak:The Rhetorical Education of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

Andre E. Johnson | Posted 12.24.2012 | Black Voices
Andre E. Johnson

While Turner benefited from both the storytelling and singing to help shape his oratory, it was primarily the oratorical style of black preaching that gave his rhetoric its power.