Deliberative rhetoric

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Deliberative rhetoric (sometimes, called political rhetoric, deliberative discourse, or legislative oratory) is a rhetorical genre used to convince an audience to complete or not complete an action.[1] Deliberative rhetoric differs from deliberation in that deliberation occurs as a process (often within deliberative rhetoric) when people weigh alternative options prior to a decision such as voting. Also subject to confusion is the term deliberative democracy, a form of governmental discourse and set of institutions that prioritize public debate in the contexts of plurality, citizen access, and majority rule. Such a form often gets explained in theories of the public sphere as spaces where people can freely and openly discuss potential action.

Categories of Deliberative Rhetoric[edit]

Aristotle's Rhetoric outlines three genres, placing deliberative rhetoric alongside forensic rhetoric and epideictic discourse.[2] Deliberative rhetoric focuses on the future. "The political orator is concerned with the future: it is about things to be done hereafter that he advises, for or against."[2] Speakers and writers use deliberative rhetoric to make a decision regarding future goals of the people involved in the debate, or represented in government. Ultimately, the end goal of deliberative rhetoric is to come to a decision that will profit the audience in the future. It is the role of the political orator to lead the public to a beneficial outcome. A reputable political orator "aims at establishing the expediency or the harmfulness of a proposed course of action; if he urges its acceptance, he does so on the ground that it will do good; if he urges its rejection, he does so on the ground that it will do harm."[2]

G. Thomas Goodnight organizes contemporary civil argumentation, placing deliberative discourse within three spheres: public, technical, and private. These spheres of argument are "branches of activity—the grounds upon which arguments are built and the authorities to which arguers appeal."[3] The personal sphere is an informal space for private arguments to take place. The technical sphere contains argumentation by professionals with a greater knowledge of the subject matter debate an argument. The public sphere is the "argument sphere that exists to handle disagreements transcending personal and technical disputes."[4] Deliberative rhetoric works within these three spheres so that an argument is heard and then those people actively involved in the argument make a decision. Goodnight’s stance is that in each public deliberative argument, the end goal should be to determine what is best for the common good.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Forest of Rhetoric". Silva Rhetoricae. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Aristotle. Aristotle on Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. p. 6. 
  3. ^ Paleczewski, Catherine Helen, Richard Ice, and John Fritch (2012). Rhetoric in Civic Life. State College, PA: Strata Publishers. p. 108. 
  4. ^ Paleczewski, Catherine Helen, Richard Ice, and John Fritch (2012). Rhetoric in Civic Life. State College, PA: Strata Publishers. p. 110.