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What does this definition of rhetoric mean by Plato:
the persuasion of ignorant masses within the courts and assemblies

  • English -

    The only way most people got news or ads or political information was from what they heard. Most were illiterate. So Plato meant that verbal rhetoric was the only way to teach the masses of people.

  • English -

    Thank you very much.

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    You're very welcome.

  • English -

    I am not certain this is his meaning. Plato was fighting against high sounding arguments, full of sound and fury, but meaning little. Such were the retorical arguments in the "courts" of the rich and powerful, and in the "assembilies" of the priviledged. Plato was very unhappy over these famous folks, who proclaimed "high minded" philosophy, these same people murdered Socrates, Plato's teacher. So Plato here is being derisive, about those who preach philosophy and high minded ideals, when in fact they are plotting murderers. Note Plato stated those in the courts and assemblies were "ignorant masses".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric#Plato

  • English -

    Thanks, Bob. Your answer is much better than mine.

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