Abstract

The tekhnē of spoken discourse is a critical tool for particular communications and is a substantial means to transform good knowledge . It is an objective tekhnē with an ergon, which is man-made. As such, it may be implemented for political, religious, social or educational purposes. Thus, understanding the implications of spoken discourse and establishing a shared understanding between the rhētōr and his listeners is not just an option in this context. On the contrary, both elements are the mind/soul/heart of the discourse. For what is the value of a discourse if its implications and representations are not well perceived by its listeners? Why do we care to convey knowledge of the good, if we cannot construct an intellectual connection between the listeners and us? I believe it would be impossible to attain any tangible outcomes from such an experience without initiating a discourse that contains these two elements. On the other hand, these two elements involve two concurrent prerequisites, which are: (1) the knowledge of the good, and (2) the good knowledge of the tekhnē. Consequently, converting the knowledge of the good using the good knowledge of the tekhnē are other central elements of the spoken discourse. Any rhētōr must exert all possible efforts to craft his argument using a reasonable form of rhetorical reasoning. Any proficient rhētōr can convey his particular knowledge to his listeners through this exclusive medium. His acquisition of the three skills , namely: (1) ēthos, (2) logos, and (3) pathos, are his means to reach the minds of his listeners in their various states. Furthermore, probability in rhetorical reasoning is not at all an enemy to strict logic. It also does not deconstruct universality. The natural capability of the human mind to use common opinions or common sense to perceive and infer the self-evident is not against logic, reason, knowledge and truth. Chaïm Perelman explains this further by affirming that: "It is the idea of self-evidence as characteristic of reason, which we must assail, if we are to make place for a theory of argumentation that will acknowledge the use of reason in directing our own actions and influencing those of others. Self-evidence is conceived both as a force to which every normal mind must yield and as a sign of the truth of that which imposes itself because it is self-evident. The self-evident would connect the psychological with the logical and allow passage back and forth between these two levels. All proof would be reduction to the self-evident and what is self-evident would have no need of proof" (The New Rhetoric: A Treatise of Argumentation 1969, 3-4). Correspondingly, intensifying the emotional states of the mind – pathos – using rhetorical spoken discourse has its power; and it is reasonable too. Our faculties of the mind are our means to rationally cognize the cultural environment we exist in – including the emotion states that we experience. Moreover, according to several recently developed theories of the faculties of the mind, there is an intelligible connection between the faculty of reason, the faculty of judgement and the faculty of emotions. The meaningful emotional behaviors and their potential institution of beliefs and actions are quite remarkable. The exemplary developments presented earlier in this research through a theological perspective , a rational perspective , and a social perspective assert and amplify the important role of pathos for exerting a potential change in the status-quo of the listeners by means of reason. Finally, it is apparent from the discussed reflections on the first and the second objectives of this thesis that a knowledgeable spoken discourse cannot afford to delete the emotional appeal – pathos – from its situational circumstances. Although reason and emotional appeal appear to be mutually exclusive, they support each other. The emotional appeal addresses the human mind in its particular states. In addition, the emotional appeal is one of the critical tools to potentially motivate both: change and action through any objective rhetorical spoken discourse.

Department

Philosophy Department

Degree Name

MA in Philosophy

Date of Award

2-1-2015

Online Submission Date

December 2015

First Advisor

Stelzer, Professor Steffen

Committee Member 1

Switzer, Dr. Robert

Committee Member 2

Wolf-Gazo, Professor Ernest

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

105 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

Comments

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my thesis’ advisor, Professor Steffen Stelzer, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, and my mentor and tutor since my undergraduate studies at The American University in Cairo. His continuous scholarly encouragement of my MA study and the related research have been immense. His knowledge, experience, patience and motivation are behind many of the accomplishments I have made, academically as well as professionally. His guidance helped me at all times. Starting with the preliminary stage of the thesis proposal, and continuing during the research duration well into the writing phase of this thesis, his academic recommendations and understanding of my way of thinking and ideas allowed me to challenge myself and exert as much effort as possible to learn and to apply what I learned. Besides my thesis advisor, I would like to thank the members of my thesis committee: Dr. Robert Switzer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Professor Ernest Wolf-Gazo, Department of Philosophy, The American University in Cairo. Their insightful comments, their willingness to advise and their intellectual stimulation encouraged me to widen my research. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude goes to my father, Mohamed Adel Farid, who unceasingly provided me with his time, care and deliberation. And, though in the beginning of my study, he persistently inquired why I chose such a demanding intellectual study, the more we spoke about the topics I studied during the two years and a half, the more my father became convinced of how critical and substantial this study is. From the first day and up to the day of the defense of my MA thesis, my father never stopped listening attentively (days and nights) to the developments of thoughts and ideas in this research. He even contributed with his own perceptions that intrigued my intuition. I am also indebted to my sister, Sherine Adel Farid and her family, for their persistent backing and advice during the good times and the hard times. Their background is economics and medical; however, they gladly enjoyed discussing the topic and gave me the chance to explore further. I am genuinely grateful to their presence in my life. I acknowledge the thought-provoking consultations with Dr. Beate Ulrike La Sala, Researcher, Department of Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin. We had an enormous amount of long-distance conversations. Speaking together and debating concepts before and after deadlines were certainly significant. I would like to thank her for the intellectual conversations we have had, particularly during the last two and half years. Thanks are also due to Dr. Andrea Emanuel, Assistant Professor, SAPE Department, The American University in Cairo. Not only did my Community Psychology classes with her expand the perceptions of my research, but her advice as an instructor and as a friend supported me academically and spiritually throughout my MA study and thesis research.

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