Tag Archives: rhetoric

Speaking of Rhetoric

The New York Times has just published an opinion article about public speaking and rhetoric. The article focuses on Donald Trump, but illuminates larger questions of authenticity and honesty in political speech. “Across the West,” the writer tells us, “the conventional language of politics really is undergoing a crisis of credibility.”

Horner, Establishing Credibility

Michael McNamara photo Winifred Bryan Horner of Columbia, a former English Professor at MU will receive the Conference of College Composition and Communication's Exemplar Award. She is posing in her office, where she does most of her work. dit archive/feb 2003/features/Horner, Winifred/mm
Michael McNamara photo
Winifred Bryan Horner of Columbia, a former English Professor at MU.

Winifred Horner’s short chapter on credibility is based on ancient ¬†theories of rhetoric.

According to Aristotle, a speaker’s credibility depends on three characteristics:

  • intelligence and common sense
  • virtue and good character
  • goodwill

Horner discusses these three forms of credibility (or ethos) using the example of Martin Luther King, Jr.

For Tuesday, August 29, read Horner’s short chapter (it originally appeared in a textbook for undergraduate students). The PDF is available here.