Joshua Butcher Jul 18, 2018

Last June I enjoyed the great delight of attending my first Society for Classical Learning Conference, which was held in Dallas, Texas. There were a number of excellent plenaries and presentations, some of which have continued to spark conversation. I also had the privilege of speaking on formal rhetoric curriculum. In hindsight I tried to pack far too much detail into the time, and as a result my presentation suffered from a lack of helpful, clarifying examples. (Thankfully there were fewer than ten folks in the room who had to suffer through the abstraction!)

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Andrew Kern Dec 14, 2016

Among the most profound mistakes of our era, I am convinced we would have to list the shift from the liberal arts to subjects in our schools. 

If you teach subjects, one of the many unfortunate things that happens is that students quickly catch on that there is content (i.e. information to be remembered) in this subject. If they like it, they will pay attention, if not, you need something else to get them to do so. 

Tests will do, thank you very much. But that's only one of the myriad ways teachers are taught to manipulate the students affections and minds. 

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Matthew Bianco Dec 2, 2016

What is rhetoric? You’ve probably heard or thought of rhetoric as the art of persuasion. Fans of Aristotle will probably think of it as the art of finding the available means of persuasion. If you follow in the vein of Quintilian, you will probably think of it as the art of persuasion toward truth (and goodness and beauty). For those of you who have heard Andrew Kern speak on the topic, you’ve probably picked up something along the lines of rhetoric being the art of decision-making in community. One of these is decidedly not like the others.

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Andrew Seeley Feb 26, 2014

A friend who is teaching up-and-coming teachers about the liberal arts forwarded this question to me from one of his students:

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Joshua Leland Dec 11, 2013

As rhetoric and arguments tend to come up in the classes that I teach, we invariably spend some time talking about enthymemes. An enthymeme is a specific type of logical argument--a syllogism--in which either a premise or the conclusion is left implied or unspoken. So, for example, the statement, "Josh is a good husband because he does the dishes for his wife" is an enthymeme with one given premise (Josh does the dishes for his wife), one given conclusion (Josh is a good husband), and an implied premise (Men who do the dishes for their wives are good husbands).

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