Separates rhetoric and dialectic Limits rhetoric to style and delivery Learn rhetoric by imitation alone.
18 th Century Responses to Rhetorical Tradition 1.Uncritical acceptance of ancient doctrines 2.Focus exclusively on delivery (elocutionists) 3.Unite rhetoric with belles lettres 4.Ground all human knowledge in human nature
Blair, Campbell’s Response 1.Culled classical rhetoric for useful ideas. 2.Emphasized delivery, but not to excess. 3.Blair saw value in belles lettres and going beyond clarity, simplicity, etc. (breaking norms can lead to sublimity). 4.Arguments must appeal to passions and imagination as well as to reason and will.
John Locke Tabula Rasa Knowledge exists independent of language. Clarity essential.
Blair’s Rhetoric Produce good people who speak and write well Take advantage of psychology Emphasize poetical features
Blair on Sentence Style 1.Any words that do not add some importance to the meaning of a sentence always spoil it. 2.Take care with copulatives, relatives, and all the particles employed for transition and connection. 3.Place the capital word, or words, where they will make the fullest impression. 4.Make [sentence] members go on rising and growing in their important over one another [building to a climax]. 5.Avoid concluding with adverb, preposition, or any inconsiderable word.
Sentence Harmony As long as sounds are the vehicle of conveyance for our ideas, there will be always a very considerable connection between the idea which is conveyed, and the nature of the sound which conveys it.
Group Questions for Introduction 1.According to Blair, what is the value of speaking and writing? 2.Why should we strive to make our writing and speaking more eloquent? 3.What is the relationship between rhetoric and belles lettres? 4.What role does nature and nurture play in cultivating eloquence? 5.Why should we cultivate good taste?
Group Questions for Taste 1.What is taste? (discuss) 2.Why and to what extent do individuals differ in taste? 3.How do we cultivate good taste? 4.What is the difference between delicacy and correctness in regards to taste? 5.Why do some works (such as Homer’s Iliad) withstand the test of time, whereas others turn out to be mere fads?
Figurative Language 1.What are figures of speech? (discuss) 2.What roles do they play in language? 3.How do tropes or figures make style more beautiful and graceful? 4.What are tropes and which ones does Blair define and classify?