Plato~It is all in the truth of those crazy peoples

Pattie Crider

WRT 305

Response 4

September 11, 2013


He loved the cray cray peeps.

He loved the cray cray peeps.

True Rhetoric and the Characteristics According to Plato

            Plato believed that true rhetoric was more than verbally exchanging thoughts and ideas to hash out a particular human discourse. It was not an art to use for self-promotion or to seek praise of others. Plato believed true rhetoric advanced students in knowledge, not just flattered them with false praise.

The main characteristic of rhetoric based on Plato’s writings would be truth.  Plato believed humans could achieve absolute knowledge and that rhetoric could assist in this achievement. Those who shared good rhetoric were believed to be touched by a higher power, whether a god, goddess or God. This “madness” was divine inspiration and only achievable by those moved by a higher power.  All of this truthfulness was based on the love the speaker had for the higher power, a platonic relationship, one that can never sour.

Plato’s interest was not in producing politicians through his teaching, but elevating those worthy of having love for true rhetoric, that inspired by God.  This fascinates me because I often wonder if an orator would come forward (or anyone, for that matter) and declare to have knowledge directly from the God, would anyone believe such to be true? Most likely the person would be declared insane and scorned for his love of God and attempt to share what he has learned as truth.

Phaedrus and Socrates’ dialogue within the text allows me to believe that people did in fact, speak publicly, guided by God.  People were speaking, whether divinely inspired or driven by money, and others were listening. I wonder what has changed that makes those in love with God and speaking only to promote the truth, be viewed differently now than through-out history. Has society hardened to the point that no one dares believe a man (or woman) could be possessed by a higher power and inspired to share the truth with those who will never reach such success? My personal answer is yes. Plato would say those who know true rhetoric–good rhetoric–will recognize the soul is immortal and in doing so, achieve absolute knowledge.

My absolute knowledge, is more than questionable. 😉 ~P.

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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