Rhetoric and Philosophy

Is rhetoric (and exposition) inherently philosophical in nature?

First off, I definitely think it’s important to consider that rhetoric and exposition provide two different purposes – should everything that applies to rhetoric also apply to exposition? Certainly not, as rhetoric persuades and exposition explains. While I agree that rhetoric forms much basis in philosophy, I believe it is important to consider the political roots of rhetoric as well. Speakers in the Greek forum certainly employed a lot of rhetoric to further their political agendas, which leads me to a question of my own: is there a distinction between using rhetoric to promote the search of enlightenment (a particular philosophy) and using rhetoric to satisfy a personal goal (say a country taking over land)? Throughout history leaders and orators alike have invoked the latter with the former as justification. They seek to satisfy a personal goal because they believe it is the one true course of action. Also, it seems possible that exposition itself can be tweaked to persuade through its exposition rather than simply inform.

Something to think about.


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