Rhetoric Quotes

Quotes tagged as "rhetoric" Showing 1-30 of 333
Robert A. Heinlein
“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100/Methuselah's Children

Peter Hitchens
“Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?”
Peter Hitchens

Oscar Wilde
“I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won't argue with you. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Robert M. Pirsig
“As a result of his experiments he concluded that imitation was a real evil that had to be broken before real rhetoric teaching could begin. This imitation seemed to be an external compulsion. Little children didn’t have it. It seemed to come later on, possibly as a result of school itself.

That sounded right, and the more he thought about it the more right it sounded. Schools teach you to imitate. If you don’t imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A’s. Originality on the other hand could get you anything – from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Francis Bacon
“Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.”
Francis Bacon, The Collected Works of Sir Francis Bacon (Unexpurgated Edition)

Hannah Arendt
“There is hardly a better way to avoid discussion than by releasing an argument from the control of the present and by saying that only the future will reveal its merits.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Thomas Henry Huxley
“[Responding to the Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce's question whether he traced his descent from an ape on his mother's or his father's side]

A man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man—a man of restless and versatile intellect—who … plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.”
Thomas Huxley

Anna Deavere Smith
“We spend so much time bantering about the words when the real open conversations might very well be our actions. I worry about our rhetoric.”
Anna Deavere Smith

H.L. Mencken
“One horse-laugh is worth ten-thousand syllogisms.”
H.L. Mencken

“History never repeats itself, historians do.”
Lee Benson, The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case

George Sand
“Ce n'est pas la première fois que je remarque combien, en France particulièrement, les mots ont plus d’empire que les idées."

("It's not the first time I've noticed how much more power words have than ideas, particularly in France.")
George Sand, Indiana

Marcus Porcius Cato
“The words of the Greeks are born on their lips, but those of the Romans in their hearts.”

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