The aim of this course is to develop the basic skills necessary to engage in high level philosophical persuasion. Whereas many philosophers have a fairly narrow understanding of what the act of persuasion involves, our approach will be at the same time broader in scope yet more traditional in nature. Following the Greek Philosopher Aristotle, our understanding of philosophical persuasion will include all of the means of persuasion that are treated under the umbrella of “rhetoric.” This includes not only persuasion by means of argument (the narrow understanding of philosophical persuasion), but also persuasion by means of appeals to emotion and character as well.
The object of this course will be to study the theories of philosophical persuasion developed by the greatest thinkers in ancient world (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and Augustine) and to see how these theories might apply in contemporary situations where persuasion is often employed—for example, in the realms of business, advertising, politics, and even religion.
Please be advised that this is not an open course, and is restricted to registered students. Those who are registered may access course content by using their college email address and password.