Rhetoric Quotes

Quotes tagged as "rhetoric" (showing 1-30 of 269)
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

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

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

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

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

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 Henry Huxley

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

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

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

Donna J. Haraway
“From this point of view, science - the real game in town - is rhetoric, a series of efforts to persuade relevant social actors that one's manufactured knowledge is a route to a desired form of very objective power.”
Donna J. Haraway

Peter Kreeft
“When I say "The good man gave his good dog a good meal," I use "good" analogically, for there is at the same time a similarity and a difference between a good man, a good dog, and a good meal. All three are desirable, but a good man is wise and moral, a good dog is tame and affectionate, and a good meal is tasty and nourishing. But a good man is not tasty and nourishing, except to a cannibal; a good dog is not wise and moral, except in cartoons, and a good meal is not tame and affectionate, unless it's alive as you eat it.”
Peter Kreeft, Socratic Logic 3.1e: Socratic Method Platonic Questions

Arthur Schopenhauer
“For an author to write as he speaks is just as reprehensible as the opposite fault, to speak as he writes; for this gives a pedantic effect to what he says, and at the same time makes him hardly intelligible”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Amit Kalantri
“All worries are less with wine.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

“History never repeats itself, historians do.”
Lee Benson, The Concept Of Jacksonian Democracy: New York As A Test Case

Aristotle
“What makes a man a 'sophist' is not his faculty, but his moral purpose. (1355b 17)”
Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric

Ben Marcus
“RHETORIC The art of making life less believable; the calculated use of language, not to alarm but to do full harm to our busy minds and properly dispose our listeners to a pain they have never dreamed of. The context of what can be known establishes that love and indifference are forms of language, but the wise addition of punctuation allows us to believe that there are other harms - the dash gives the reader the clear signal they are coming.”
Ben Marcus

Mark Haddon
“.. a simile is not a lie, unless it is a bad simile.”
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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.”
Marcus Porcius Cato

Amit Kalantri
“Be a worthy worker and work will come.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

“In the pursuit of greater equality in our education system, from K to PhD, technology access, print literacies, and verbal skill all collide as requirements for even basic participation in an information-based, technology-dependent economy and society.”
Adam J. Banks

Amit Kalantri
“Father has a strengthening character like the sun and mother has a soothing temper like the moon.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Tom Stoppard
“HANNAH: Don't let Bernard get to you. It's only performance art, you know. Rhetoric, they used to teach it in ancient times, like PT. It's not about being right, they had philosophy for that. Rhetoric was their chat show. Bernard's indignation is a sort of aerobics for when he gets on television.”
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Amit Kalantri
“Health is hearty, health is harmony, health is happiness.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

“...anyone still attempting to argue that Ebonics is a problem for black students or that it is somehow connected to a lack of intelligence or lack of desire to achieve is about as useful as a Betamax video cassette player, and it's time for those folks to be retired, be they teachers, administrators, or community leaders, so the rest of us can try to do some real work in the service of equal access for black students and all students. (15)”
Adam J. Banks, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age

Cormac McCarthy
“whoever approaches his goal dances”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

Amit Kalantri
“Great losses are great lessons.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Alexander Cockburn
“Republicans know well that a change of rhetorical pace is necessary. But efforts by their leaders to damp down the bellicosity of newly elected Tea Party types is running into the fact that the Tea Partiers have only the high volume setting on their amplifiers, just like Palin. They're like a couple having a fight at a funeral; politely sotto voce, then suddenly bursting out fortissimo with their plaints and accusations.”
Alexander Cockburn

Amit Kalantri
“In your name, the family name is at last because it's the family name that lasts.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Chaïm Perelman
“One can indeed try to obtain a particular result either by the use of violence or by speech aimed at securing the adherence of minds. It is in terms of this alternative that the opposition between spiritual freedom and constraint is most clearly seen. The use of argumentation implies that one has renounced resorting to force alone, that value is attached to gaining the adherence of one's interlocutor by means of reasoned persuasion, and that one is not regarding him as an object, but appealing to his free judgment. Recourse to argumentation assumes the establishment of a community of minds, which, while it lasts, excludes the use of violence.”
Chaïm Perelman

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