Four Weaknesses Of The Neo Aristotelian Method Of Rhetorical Criticism

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Reading chapter 3, Sonja Foss, outlines four weaknesses of the neo-Aristotelian method of rhetorical criticism. She writes that this method assumes that the primary role of a rhetorical critic is that of a teacher or practitioner, this method overemphasizes the importance of the immediate, short-term effects of the selected artifact, this method overemphasizes the importance of rational appeals, and this method encourages an overly mechanical approach to criticism, in which critical concepts are applied indiscriminately to all rhetorical artifacts in cookie-cutter fashion. From analyzing Forbes Hill’s essay “Conventional Wisdom—Traditional Form: The President’s Message of November 3, 1969,” which neo-aristotelian Criticism can be found here. The first weaknesses of the neo-Aristotelian method of rhetorical criticism is that the method assumes that the primary role of a rhetorical critic is a teacher or practitioner. In his essay, Hills explains how Nixon evokes the intended response from the immediate audience by gaining support for the war. Nixon states in his speech, “tonight-to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans-I ask for your support.” Here, Nixon uses resentment in sacrifice in lives and finance, longing for some action in a marked direction were strategies used to gain support instead of “teaching.” This in turn allowed America to continue in the war which proves that he agrees with Foss for Nixon’s primary role was not that of a teacher or

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