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How to use rhetoric to get what you want - Camille A. Langston


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How do you get what you want, using just your words? Aristotle set out to answer exactly that question over two thousand years ago with a treatise on rhetoric. Camille A. Langston describes the fundamentals of deliberative rhetoric and shares some tips for appealing to an audience’s ethos, logos, and pathos in your next speech.

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Aristotle, the student of Plato, taught first in Plato’s Academy and then tutored Alexander the Great, and finally established his Athenian philosophical school the Lyceum. The Lyceum is an amazing place to visit. Watch this video to learn more about the its remains here.

In the fourth century BC, Aristotle compiled several of his lectures, two of which he wrote when he taught in Plato’s Academy and two later when teaching in his Lyceum, into the treatise, Rhetoric, which he used as a text. His teaching method differed from others; Aristotle was a peripatetic lecturer, which means he walked around as he spoke with his students instead of standing in the front of a room. He is accredited with developing the peripatetic teaching style.

Aristotle was not born in Athens and was not an orator like the sophists, and one of the most famous orators of the age, Cicero, were. Rather, he was a teacher and focused on the craft of teaching others how to use rhetoric; thus, politics and law are rarely mentioned in Rhetoric. Only men born in Athens were allowed in the Assembly, where important legislative decisions were made. Living in Athens and not being Athenian had its drawbacks. Aristotle, who had deep Macedonian connections, mostly because he tutored Alexander the Great, fled Athens in his later life after the death of Alexander due to anti-Macedonian sentiments.

On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse (1991), translated by George Kennedy, is the authoritative text of Aristotle’s treatise.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Camille A. Langston
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Director Hector Herrera
  • Producer Pazit Cahlon
  • Sound Designer Nick Sewell
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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