Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekly Writing Seven

Weekly Writing Seven
Part I:
Using the issue you've chosen for your Major Analysis Project (or a new issue, if you choose), map out the ways in which you think YOU would be most credible or authoritative on the issue. For this project, start by listing how YOU might demonstrate Good Sense, Good Character, and Good Will, based on the ways these concepts are defined in the ARCS textbook.

Part II:
Write a review of an online community forum such as a discussion group or interactive blog related to your MAP issue. Online newspapers and news forums are a great way to find diverse "online communities." Identify a rhetor or a series of posts that forum members find persuasive. What rhetorical features do these posts share? What makes them effective for this audience? What specifically does the rhetor do to engage the readers' or viewers' emotions?

Due: February 26, 2010

Notes for February 23

Stasis Theory: Asking the Right Questions

I. Stasis theory: getting at the “heart of an argument” or finding where an argument “rests.”

A. Stasis is another Greek and Roman heuristic; it provides a way to understand an issue through definition, division, comparison, and contrast.

B. What is important to remember is that stasis includes an association of concepts: how we define a problem is related to the solutions designed to solve the problem and then how we weigh the costs and benefits.

C. Stasis stems from the canon of invention, which has to do with the way we invent or construct ideas based on the ambiguities that exist in any moment.

D. Stasis derives from a Greek word meaning “to stand.”

E. To discover the point of stasis we have to find ways to listen to what people are saying, reserving judgment rather than moving too hastily to a conclusion; stasis is ultimately about how participants “share worlds” through symbolic forms.

F. Stasis “marks the place where two opposing forces come together, where they rest or stand in agreement on what is at issue (hence, the appropriateness of the Latin term for stasis, constitutio, which can be translated as a ‘costanding or a ‘standing together’)” (Crowley and Hawhee 72).

G. In order to locate stasis we have to consider all the available arguments; “Rhetors who do take the time to find all the available arguments can be assured both that their position is defensible and that they have found the best evidence to support it” (72).

H. Using the rhetorical tool of stasis enables a process:

1. Clarifies thinking about the point in dispute.

2. Forces one to think about the assumptions and values shared by members of their targeted audience.

3. Establishes areas in which more research needs to be done.

4. Suggests which proofs are crucial to the case.

5. Perhaps even points the way toward the most effective arrangement of these proofs.

I. 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the case to exclude women’s ski jumping as a new event: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1963447,00.html; http://www.wsj2010.com/
~Write about where you think the arguments “rest.”

II. Stasis and contrary arguments; different ways to find key arguments.

A. What arguments are available to us on any issue?

B. When we start to explore the available arguments on an issue we confront what the Sophists called dissoi logoi or “countervailing arguments”; for every claim there is a counterclaim.

C. One of the ways to work with dissoi logoi is through comparison of theoretical and practical questions.

1. A theoretical question addresses the “origins and natures of things” (75):

a. “What are the essential differences between men and women?”
b. “Are women biologically unable to compete in ski jumping?” (Raises questions for contemplation and discussion rather than action.)

2. Practical questions always concern what people should do (75):

a. Should women be included in sporting events?
b. Should women be included in Vancouver 2010 ski jumping event?
c. Impacts how we act; what are the consequences of a decided course of action?

3. This is where stasis questions are helpful as they help us to get at a range of issues, from general theoretical principles to practical application of these principles.

D. Two ways to think of stasis: defining an issue and discovering key arguments.

E. We move forward in our attempts to define the issue and agree on different dimensions to the issue; though sometimes we may find ourselves stuck in the process.

1. Conjecture: does it exist? Did it happen? Questions of fact, “guess,” or “inference” (87).

Does the thing exist or is it true?
What is its origin?
What cause produced it?
What changes can be made in it?

2. Definition: division and partition: topics that help to divide up the discourse.

What kind of thing or event is it?
To what larger class of things does it belong?
What are its parts? How are they related?

3. Quality: determine the worth of an issue by comparing with other issues or contrasting ideas; how much does the community desire it? (90)

a. Is it a good or bad thing?
b. Is it better or worse than some alternative?
c. Is it more or less honorable or base than some alternative?
d. Questions of quality help us to get at competing values and attitudes surrounding an issue, allowing us to define the urgency, immediacy, and power dynamics in a situation.

4. Questions of policy: rhetor proposes that some action be taken or regulated (or not) by means of policy or law.

a. Should action be taken?
b. How will the proposed actions change the current state of affairs?
c. How will the proposed changes make things better or worse?
d. We might also ask forensic questions (based on what exists); should some state of affairs be regulated by some formalized policy?
e. What policies can be implemented? Which cannot? What are the merits of competing proposals? What are their defects?
f. How is my proposal better than others?

F. We can also find stasis through what are called stock issues: soup metaphor.

1. What is the ill: women are not being allowed into the Olympic ski jumping competition.

a. Quantity: who does this problem impact—130 women from 16 nations capable of competing in ski competition and future competitors.
b. Quality: problem is severe in that ski jumping excludes present and future female competitors.

2. Who is to blame for the problem?

a. The system might be to blame: IOC rules are antiquated and need reform; sport might be to blame, not enough world championship competitions.
b. Attitudes might be to blame: popularity of the sport; belief in essential differences between men and women.

3. Cure: what is the solution? Allow women to compete, finding ways to build up the sport and bring more top competitors.

4. Cost: what will it cost? What is the cost of including women in 2010 Olympics, funding ski jumping as part of each national team, and running sports that include women jumpers?

1. Build up the sport?
2. Build a following?
3. There may be initial costs in the beginning, but once there is integration of women the benefits will outweigh the costs.

G. As you think about this process in relation to your project try to find where arguments rest.

1. First, move through process to discover where you think arguments rest in relation to your issue.
2. Consider the theoretical and practical questions to get at broad as well as specific concerns.
3. Compose a letter to the editor considering what are the most important and timely elements of your case.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Notes for February 18


I. Pathos, for ancient rhetoricians, had simply to do with “the arousal or expression of emotions” (Crowley and Hawhee 246).

A. Emotional appeals in the persuasive context are different from “appetites, such as pleasure and pain” (246).

B. Emotion is not the counterpart to reason; we cannot separate the head from the heart.

C. Ancient rhetoricians argued that emotions were ways of knowing or markers that helped a speaker or author know how to reason with an audience.

II. Aristotle argues that to use pathos as rhetorical proof (1) “we must understand the state of mind of people who are angry, joyful, or indignant; (2), we must know who (and how) can excite these emotions in people; (3) we must understand the reasons for which people become emotional” (251).

A. Crowley and Hawhee argue that we do not enter the state of mind called “anger” without a reason (251).

B. If there is a clear association in space and time between emotion and the object of one’s emotion then emotions intensify.

C. The relation of spatial proximity to emotional intensity also has to do with social hierarchy; Aristotle: “People think they are entitled to be treated with respect by those inferior in birth, in power, in virtue, and generally in whatever they themselves have much of” (252).

D. We also know that emotions may be more intensely felt if they are shared with others (252); we might be caught up in the emotions of an event through a “sharing of worlds.”

E. Second, we must know who (and how we) can excite these emotions in people; Aristotle suggests that we study the people making up our audiences (255).

1. We get to know our audience and their willingness to change through emotion by identifying ranges of attitudes: from hostility to indifference to acceptance.

2. Muzafer Sherif and Social Judgment Theory (1961).

III. Composing passionate proofs

A. “Rhetors who can imagine the emotions evoked by a scene may stimulate similar emotions in their audiences by deploying the power of enargeia, a figure in which rhetors picture events so vividly that they seem actually to be taking place before the audience” (258).

1. Narrating a story in order to encourage the audience to engage our world: describing tastes, smells, sounds, and actions.

2. John Lucaites and Robert Hariman in their article, “Visual Rhetoric, Photojournalism, and Democratic Public Culture” argue that public images, which we often find in the news, function in different kinds of ways:

a. reflect social knowledge and dominant ideologies.
b. shape and mediate understanding of specific events and periods in history.
c. influence political behavior and identity.
d. provide inventional resources for subsequent kinds of action.

3. Take for example different iconic imagery from the civil rights movement: http://grumpyvegan.com/images/blog/civil-rights-dogs.jpg.

B. Another way to create emotional intensity is through honorific or pejorative language, reflecting value judgments.

a. Honorific language treats people and things respectfully.

b. Pejorative language disparages and downplays people and things.

C. Write a movie review, incorporating discussions on ethos, pathos, and writing about creative work.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Notes for February 16

Ethos: Developing voice

I. The concept of ethos or ethical proof: how do we argue from character and what does it mean to create voice?

A. Writing about a creative work: narrative based texts for analysis and evaluation.

B. In writing about creative work, we want to move through five steps.

1. Have a clear thesis about the work.

2. Textual support for your assertions: point to specific evidence in the work that provides support for your claims; make sure there is sufficient context to understand your interpretation.

3. Attention to the elements of work: creating dramatic scenes.

a. We look at characters: who is the story about? Who does what? How? Why?

b. Setting: what is the context for action?

c. Plot: the sequence of events in a story: what happens?

d. Themes: what the story means, the general statements that the story makes about life.

e. Style: what stylistic devices are used to create a particular tone?

f. Figures of speech/imagery can help to create a tone and meaning related to a theme.

II. “Ancient rhetoricians knew that good arguments were available to them from other sources than logos or reason” (Crowley and Hawhee 195).

A. Woodward and Denton in their book Persuasion and Influence in American Life argue that there is a difference between argumentation and persuasion; argumentation is about public interest and persuasion is about personal interest.

B. So the task in making arguments work is to think about what Roderick Hart calls the logic of persuasion.

There are six principles:

1. In persuasion, everything is rational to the behaver at the time of behavior.

2. The logic of persuasion is always saliency-driven: this is the principle that the listener will always find what is most important and immediate to be the most reasonable.

a. Salience has to also do with how close the issue runs to our own lives.

3. The logic of persuasion is audience-dependent; arguments don’t have merit unless they somehow connect to the audience.

4. The logic of persuasion is a logic of association; we reason based on how we associate different elements.

5. The logic of persuasion is often a logic of emotion; we don’t separate the head and the heart, logic and emotion.

a. F.G. Bailey argues in The Tactical Uses of Passion that the logic of emotion in persuasive arguments occurs through relationship between display of emotion and our own feelings in response to this display.

b. Emotional authenticity (Does one experience the emotion he/she says he/she is feeling?).

c. Emotional integrity (Does the person’s background give him or her the right to be this emotional on the matter?).

d. Emotional register of an argument (Is the speaker’s state of arousal too high or too low for the matter being discussed? We make judgments based on the level of control displayed by the speaker).

III. The logic of persuasion is always credibility-driven; there is no way to hear, read, or see a message without making some assessment of the speaker or author.

A. Defining some of the principles connected to ethos:

1. The notion of competence: letting audiences know that you are an expert on an issue or have relevant experience related to an issue.

2. We also talk about ethos in terms of “good judgment” or moral and emotional health; so an audience will determine that we have good judgment in the way we talk about a situation.

3. We also talk about ethos in terms of charisma, dynamism, or likability; there are some people that have a commanding presence, we want to listen to them, or we “sense” that there is something special about them.

4. Character is about great speakers putting into words what an audience cannot fully articulate.

5. Character may also be used by advocacy groups to gain legitimacy.

6. Character may be about rhetorical/social status: how we attempt to “save face” if our reputation is at risk.

B. What is important to recognize in relation to these different elements of ethos is the interplay between our personal voice and our public voice, crafted in relation to an audience.

C. We can make sense of this relationship between the personal and the public through Edwin Black’s notion of the Second Persona, a concept Black develops in 1970 in relation to rhetorical criticism and more specifically, the concept of public address.

1. Edwin Black pioneered his idea of an implied audience; a speaker meets an actual audience and in the process attempts to move, to teach, and to please.

2. Black argues that together we create this second (and perhaps even third) persona through discourse—symbolic interaction.

3. The Second Persona thus defines how we “share worlds” through symbols.

4. Michael J. Hyde argues that ethos is thus literally a place where we “dwell.”

5. Ethos, for Hyde, thus defines an “essential relationship that exists among the self, communal existence, discourse,” and even notions of the Divine (xiv).

6. How do we encourage an audience to “dwell” with us; or how do we create “dwelling places” that people will want to enter and consider what we have to offer?

D. These questions have to do with narrative “voice,” and specifically our writing “voice.”

E There are different ways to create voice, involving levels of intimacy or distance depending on the “grammatical person” of the author.

1. First- and Second-Person discourse “are ordinarily used in speech when small groups of people are conversing” (Crowley and Hawhee 217).

2. This personal tone helps to establish intimacy or bring an audience closer to an author; using “I language” and in plural form: “we.”

a. Personal narrative helps to situate meaning in the lived context: I feel this and think this and know this.

b. Personal narrative makes the private public, which has the power to potentially unmask things we feel, think or believe, but can’t yet articulate.

3. Another voice is the second person, which is “you” language; “you should” do this” or “take this course of action.”

4. Finally, the third person objective voice functions to deflect attention away from the personal life of the author or the audience, and focus attention on the argument.

5 Often we see a combination of voices used in arguments depending on the forum; personal and objective intersect to keep an audience engaged and listening to arguments.

6. Take a look at an article published in O Magazine last Fall 2009; http://www.oprah.com/world/Susan-Klebolds-O-Magazine-Essay-I-Will-Never-Know-Why/2.

7. She moves from first and second person to third person at times; evaluate how she uses her voice and what you believe she has the authority talk about.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sample Thesis Statements

State your goal for your analysis: thesis, main claim, or research question.

1. The issue of low income housing in Seattle takes shape through different definitions of community.

2. We can understand arguments surrounding Barack Obama’s health care plan by considering the needs of different audiences.

3. We know that the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl through a strong defense and strategic savvy.

You can also state your thesis/main claim as a question:

1. What is the relationship between art and fashion?

2. How do advocate’s solutions to end sex trafficking shape how people understand the problem of sex trafficking?

3. How are free speech debates developing in relation to the growing phenomena of hate speech on the Internet?

*Your paper is then an answer to the above questions, or in the first set of examples, your paper is support for your main claim.

Peer Review

Questions to consider as you read your peer's paper:

1. Section 1 - Intro:
Has my peer (1) effectively introduced the issue/topic, (2) concisely summarized key author's basic arguments, and (3) included a clear thesis (a claim concerning the original argument's overall effectiveness with supporting reasons)? (4) another way to think of a thesis is through a research question: what are you attempting to discover through your analysis? For example: “How do authors view the “think before you speak campaign?” Your thesis might also be a response to this question: “Advocates for GLBTQ rights view the Think Before You Speak campaign in different ways."

2. Section 2 - Audience:
(1) Who are potential audiences for this issue (consider the kinds on page 296); (2) Has my peer effectively described an intended audience, providing various kinds of evidence (from the texts and the publications) to support his/her description? (3) Justification for discussion: why is there a need to discuss this issue; in other words, for whom are these discussions salient?

3. Section 3 – History and Context:
Has my peer effectively described and analyzed (1) the ethos of authors—competence to be speaking on an issue, ideological biases, concern for others regarding outcome of issue, (2) summarized progression of issue over time, and key arguments in current discussions, (3) think about templates for “they say,” starting with what others are saying and “putting yourself in their shoes,” the art of summarizing and writing as a “believer” (Graff and Birkenstein, chapters 1 and 2), (4) Is the summary adequate to understand the issue? Is the summary balanced in relation to the stated thesis—objectives for the paper?

4. Section 4 - Lines of Reasoning:
Has my peer effectively described and analyzed (1) lines of reasoning regarding a problem (or cause), (2) lines of reasoning regarding a solution (effects), (3) evaluation: has my peer described and analyzed criteria, rules, and standards to be used in the evaluation of object, event, person, or issue? (4) use of emotional appeals? (5) use of competence and character (ethos) to gain adherence?

Supporting Material: how is supporting material used?
(1) What kinds of supporting materials are analyzed? (2) Are there problems with the research cited or biases? (3) What supporting material would make the argument more effective?

*Think about this portion of the evaluation as analysis of claims, data, and warrants.

5. Section 5 - Conclusion:
Has my peer offered a detailed final evaluation of author's arguments, weighing strengths against weaknesses (while focusing still on the intended audience)? (2) What topics of peroration (summary, emotional appeals, and enhancing ethos) are used and are they effective (see page 314)?

6. General - Analysis:
Has my peer offered sufficient analysis throughout her/his essay? Are there places where my peer offers way too much summary or way too little analysis?

7. General - Clarity:
Has my peer described the original argument effectively enough so that readers unfamiliar with the argument can understand it? If not, what seems missing or unclear?

8. General - Structure:
Is my peer’s essay well structured? If not, how might it more clearly and logically be organized?

9. General - Objectivity:
Does my peer’s analysis of the argument remain mostly objective -- that is, focused on explaining (1) the author's rhetorical choices and (2) his/her audience's possible responses to them? If my peer starts offering too much of his or her personal opinion, can I pinpoint where and how?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Notes for February 4

External Proof

I. Understanding extrinsic proof first takes us back to Crowley and Hawhee’s discussion of kairos and arrangement:

“The connections between kairos and arrangement become clear: attention to kairos in arrangement means knowing when and where to marshal particular proofs. Kairos suggests the possibility of achieving an advantage with optimal placements of arguments, propitious timing, or the combination of the two” (293).

A. Aristotle wrote that “intrinsic proofs have to be invented with the aid of rhetoric, while extrinsic proofs are situated within the circumstances of a case or issue, and have only to be used” (Crowley and Hawhee 268).

1. Invented proof emerges from our rhetorical strategies.
2. Situated proof emerges in the situation; we look to the situation for what is available to make our case; what we draw upon from the evidence available helps to make our case compelling, interesting, and even dramatic.

B. Ad Council Campaign: Think Before You Speak: http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=539

II. To elicit logical, dramatic, and rational audience processes, a writer uses evidence and reasoning.

There are two types of evidence:
A. Dramatic Evidence is used to connect audience lives to a message, author, and occasion.

1. Narratives: stories that have persuasive impact because they connect values, attitudes, and beliefs present in our own circumstances.

2. Testimony: involves eyewitness accounts of an event or an expert on a particular issue.

a. Peer testimony (proximate authority) involves those who have direct experience with an event.

b. Expert testimony (community authority) includes those who have particular studied expertise on an issue, object, or event.

3. Examples: "Aristotle's word for example was paradeigma ('model'). A rhetorical example is any particular that can be fitted under the heading of a class and that represents the distinguishing features of that class" (Crowley and Hawhee 171).

a. Brief/Serial Examples: “Adds totality to a author’s remarks by presenting, in scattered fashion, numerous instances of the same phenomenon” (Roderick Hart, Analyzing Argument 127).

b. Extended Examples: “Adds vivacity to a speaker’s remarks by presenting a detailed picture of a single event or concept” (Hart 127)

B. Rational Evidence is evidence that appeals to our logical senses in non-dramatic ways.

1. Statistics: numerical descriptions of particular phenomena.

a. Descriptive statistics: these statistics represent the actuality of what occurred.

EX: in a car of four that crashed on the highway: 3 people were injured and 1 was killed.

b. Inferential statistics: a numerical percentage based on a representative sample of people.

EX: In a study conducted of 100 college students 75% stated that they liked chocolate ice cream better than vanilla.

c. One key element with data: the networks of interpretation through which data are filtered (Crowley and Hawhee 281).

2. Fallacies of Missing Evidence: Question how data is gathered as well as the precision of the numbers.

a. Unrepresentative Data: drawing a conclusion from an unrepresentative or biased sample; is the sample from which the statistics are drawn a representative one?

EX: If one polls Seattle residents to describe their position on homelessness and then conclusions are drawn for the whole Pacific Northwest--the sample is unrepresentative.

EX: This year's survey includes responses from 6,209 LGBT students between the ages of 13 and 21 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ("Press Release" http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=539).

b.Biased sampling has to do with who is polled and how people are impacted by this information.

EX: If white middle class suburban folks are interviewed about the spread of HIV/AIDS and these statistics are used to create public policy for African American poor women who live in the inner city--we can assume the statistics are biased.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Notes for February 2

Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca
Value Hierarchies and The New Rhetoric

I.Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca argue for a theory of rhetorical presence: reasoning choices make present a particular world view.

A.Universal audience: ideal principles held by an audience.

B.Practical audience: values held by a particular audience.

C.For Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, reasoning is a negotiation of values in any given context and reasoning is an ordering of values in any given context.

D.What are values? “Values are our central, core ideals about how to conduct our lives. They represent what we consider to be right or wrong. As a result, values are far more stable than attitudes or beliefs. In general, we learn our value system in childhood, and it remains essentially unchanged throughout our lives” (Woodward and Denton 136).

1.Values operate in systems: “a value system is an enduring organization of beliefs concerning preferable modes of conduct or end states of existence along a continuum of relative importance (Inch and Warnick 247).

2.Values are prescriptive rather than descriptive: deeply held beliefs help us to size up the world according to how it is and how we want it to be.

3.Values are collectively held because they are learned through social interaction; “human values are deep-lying components of collective belief systems and are thus inherently resistant to change” (Inch and Warnick 248).

4.Milton Rokeach: terminal values: desirable end states of existence; instrumental values: “concerns modes of conduct or the means of fulfilling other values” (247).

II.Value Hierarchies: there are difference loci—orders of preference--that make “present” particular worldviews; value hierarchies help us to compare values in relation to an issue, event, persona, or object.

A.Loci of quantity: premised on the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

B.Loci of quality: reflects what is unique, original, individual, irreparable, and immediate.

C.Loci of the Person: ordering argument based on the value for the dignity and autonomy of the person over all else.

D.Loci of the existent: values the concrete over the possible.

E.Loci of essence: values what is at the core of a group or class rather than what is on the fringes.

III.Writing arguments to evaluate.

A.Definition: define the value object, as well as any other controversial terms related to the topic. “By defining terms, the arguer establishes his or her own views of the basic concepts on which controversy will turn” (Inch and Warnick 252).

B.Field of perspective: what is the source or context for one’s perspective?

C.Criteria are then chosen to determine how the value object will be measured; “Criteria are the measures, norms, or rules used to judge whatever is being evaluated” (Inch and Warnick 254).

D.Application: apply criteria and measure value object; make a case for criteria and how it works.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly Writing Five

Value Hierarchies
In one to two pages, using the same articles from weekly writing four, apply Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's model to the same competing arguments. Think in terms of the author’s imagined audience, the people he/she is trying to persuade.(You may or may not consider yourself part of that audience.)

What does he/she present as 1) facts or truths that his/her argument rests on? 2) What audience assumptions does he/she rely on? 3) What values does he/she, uh, value? 4) How would he/she arrange his/her hierarchy of values? 5) What loci (or locus) does he/she employ? (You might also think of this question in terms of criteria: "What are the criteria used to evaluate the 'value object'?")Do your best, here, as you work with these different concepts. The point of this essay is to try and get at the key components of each argument so you know how to enter the conversation.

Due Friday, February 5, 2010