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A provisional answer to such questions would suggest that much depends on the context of argumentation and what expectations are alive in that context. Charities who solicit support through mass marketing campaigns, who mail requests to large numbers of households, consider their efforts successful if only a small percentage of people respond as low as 2 percent on some readings. Whereas activists encouraging community responses to local government high-density building plans would consider their campaign a massive failure if so few people reacted posi- tively.

What counts as a good argument, then, is an issue that will stand in the background of many of the discussions that are to follow. In particular, the arguments raised by Govier against using a concept of audience at all because of the nebulous ideas involved, and the web of concerns over identity and persuasion associated with the issue of complex audiences need serious attention and response.

The tools for doing so, I believe, lie in recent philosophical treatments of core ideas integral to understanding the nature of social argumentation. These are the ideas concerning meaning, testimony as a principal form of evidence , emotion, and agency. Each of these ideas bears in some central way on how people interact argumenta- tively, and several of them, like those involved with meaning and agency, impact the kinds of understanding that emerge. I explore these ideas in Chapters 6 to 9 with a view to abstracting points relevant to constructing a philosophical rather than psychological understanding of audiences.

Under his theory of meaning , for a speaker to mean something she must intend the audience to produce a certain response and for the audience to recognize this intention and respond on the basis of this recognition. Problems arise when Grice suggests there are utterances by which a speaker could be said to have meant something but where no actual audience is being addressed Grice — The monological focuses on the commitments of one individual, expressed in premises and conclu- sions. But dialogical reasoning involves assessments of what follows from the social perspectives of several individuals with different background commitments In defending an assertion, a speaker lends her authority to the asserted content, licensing others to undertake a corresponding commitment Brandom This is one of the ways in which testimony becomes a fundamental source of evidence in social contexts.

Chapter 7 explores recent work in the epistemology of testimony and focuses on challenges to traditional views of testimony that are transmissive and non-generative Fricker ; Adler , No new knowledge emerges. By contrast, work by Jennifer Lackey , and to some extent Paul Faulkner , challenges this view. Importantly, the epistemic work is shared between speaker and audience. An associated aspect of the recent work on testimony is the central importance given to trust Govier , ; Hardin , ; Johnstone Focusing on trust further contrib- utes to shifting attention from the testifier to the audience who weighs testimony as a form of evidence.

The earlier examinations of Aristotle and Perelman emphasize the important role played by the emotions in any understanding of audience response. His integration of emotion and cognition is a base from which to explore the situated nature of the emotions and their role in audience responses. Chapter 9 involves an exploration of recent material relevant to the primary questions of group and individual identity that drive the project.

In the final chapters of the book 10 to 12 , the relevant ideas and insights gleaned from these studies are taken and integrated with recent work on rhetorical argumentation in providing a sense of audience that addresses the earlier problems. In these chapters, several claims are devel- oped and defended.

Among these is the claim that attention to audience commitments in the giving and receiving of reasons expands the cogni- tive environments in which audiences operate and helps fix identities in terms of the belief systems present. Secondly, an emerging distinction between audiences and addressees helps us understand how people may experience the reception of argumentation in a way more conducive to moving from the stage of conviction to that of persuasion.

Overall, the studies developed here aspire to open up an area of argu- mentation theory that needs more attention. None of the solutions offered to the problems of audience is definitive, but through the shift of focus that attending to audience involves, each sheds new light on the study of argumentation itself. The task of this chapter is to explore the importance of audience in the rhetorical theory.

These texts address ways by which ideas are received by hearers or spectators. When it is asked whether tragedy should be judged in itself or in relation to an audience Poetics 4 , the answer given is ambiguous. Clearly, there is a sense in which any object must meet specific criteria internal to its nature in order to be an exemplary instance of that object. But among those criteria sits the telos or final end of the object, and in the case of tragedy that must be audi- ence oriented. The balance between text and audience permeates the discussion, with an importance over character, diction, song, and thought given throughout to the structure of incidents in the plot 6.

The core goal of arousing pity and fear in the audience however this is to be understood is best accomplished even though the spectacle can also suffice by the inner structure of the piece And incidents must always be treated from the same points of view as dramatic speeches.

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Less attention is focused, however — and therefore less insight into the understanding of audiences themselves — on the nature of those who are to be moved to feel pity and fear, and to learn from their appreciation of. For that we need to turn to the more developed account in the Rhetoric where, as Farrell notes, audience is required for rhetoric to even come into existence. Shortly, I will review some of the things required; but the project is quite onerous and more than a little challenging. Among the things that must be understood is the nature of rhetoric itself.

Unlike dialectic with its characteristic asking and answering of questions, rhetoric is marked by continuous speech. Beyond its character- ization, we must also be clear on its nature. And, what is available? In overlooking this component, the early writers of handbooks had missed what Aristotle takes to be core to rhetoric and so arguably could not have understood rhetoric as he did see Schiappa The concern behind the enthymeme is the audience. Additionally, this goal will be achieved with greater success if the audience already knows part of what is being put forward, if they can contribute to the argument by way of completing it Tindale What emerges is the idea of an argument in which material is suppressed because it does not need to be stated — the audience already knows what is involved.

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But there is nothing in this that restricts the enthymeme to an argument with just one expressed premise and another that is suppressed. Moreover, the unflattering view of audiences behind this conception conflicts generally with the way Aristotle develops his attention to audiences throughout the Rhetoric, just as it sits awkwardly with the idea of rhetoric being concerned with speeches alone.

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The arguer must, in some important ways, see into the mind of her audience and compose the speech accordingly. George Kennedy points to various ways this sense of enthymeme has been understood. But we need not restrict the sense to a particular thing thought within the mind, rather than understanding the focus to be on the mind generally and its way of seeing.

The Philosophy of Argument and Audience Reception

Theorizing is an internal seeing, albeit as this has application to some external state of affairs in the world. Nightingale At the least, what we should take away from this is the importance that audience considera- tions are given from the very start of the Rhetoric. Of the various features of the Aristotelian account that might provide further insight here, his introduction of the topoi would seem to be fore- most. Drawing on the geographical metaphor implied by the term, a topos is a place we might go for an argument or the essential details of an argument Rubinelli But there is considerable debate over what kinds of places are involved.

The discussion so far would encourage us to look first for internal spaces, places in the mind. Thus, Aristotle reviews the acts, conditions, personal characteris- tics, and so forth, about which people have specific opinions. All such opinions are presented as available means of persuasion. Essentially, they enhance collaboration in the argument on the part of the audience.


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An audience is moved not just by receiving an assertion, but by creatively participating in it. And, we must add, they do this because the topoi are universals in the mind; they are not just places that arguers go, but to which audiences are led to complete reasoning. The act of completing the argument oneself should contribute to the kind of self-persuasion character- istic of rhetorical argumentation; yet further aspects of persuasion may also be required.

This emphasis on common places that are internal to minds also rein- forces the egalitarian tone with which the Rhetoric begins. Rhetoric is not a separately definable art because it belongs to all people: just as everyone tests and constructs arguments, so they defend themselves and attack others i. Everyone has the basic capacity for rhetoric. Where art comes into play is in the consideration that some people are successful, while others not. This relationship between capacity and art speaks to another matter of controversy in the Aristotelian account.

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Some commentators speak only of rhetoric as an art; others regard it a capacity. The focus of this debate should be on one of the central terms in the definition of rhetoric: dunamis. According to the definition, dunamis is an individual faculty or capacity to see or discover in any case the available means of persuasion. It is fertile and unconditioned.

But on a deeper level the capacity conditions other potenti- alities to develop the ability, the art of rhetoric. In his commentary on the Rhetoric, William Grimaldi suggests the art precedes the capacity.

https://senjouin-renkai.com/wp-content/android/whatsapp-spionage-feststellen.php But as we will see, a stronger reading would root the developed art in a deeper capacity to function as rhetorical beings. Certainly, to master the art allows the rhetor to recognize rhetorical possibilities. But rhetoric itself is more than this; as a capacity it is more than this. Found in tandem with energeia actuality , dunamis, as explained in the Metaphysics, can denote either a passive or active capacity in relation to change.

And there are two basic senses that should interest us: a thing can be so constituted as to bring about change in itself; and a thing may be such that change is brought about in it by something else. In the Posterior Analytics Aristotle accounts for perception and experience being built up in the mind because the mind has a capacity to act this way [ii. By contrast, the change in a building is brought about by a cause external to it.