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Hold on There, Robert Samuelson! Let's Think This Through!

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In his famous treatise about civic rhetoric (or oratory), Aristotle discusses three kinds of civic rhetoric:

(1) deliberate rhetoric in legislative assemblies (such as the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives)

(2) forensic rhetoric of the courts of law (wherein somebody stands charged with a violation of the law) and

(3) epideictic rhetoric (used on ceremonial occasions such as funerals of leading generals or politicians to "evoke deep values" of the sort that Samuelson refers to).

Of course Aristotle lived in ancient Athens during the roughly two-century experiment in Athens with limited participatory democracy.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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