Philosopher on Attack Week 3

After reading the Ramus article, I feel many of the rhetoricians we have read share one quality, attack. Ramus’ approach on arguing his ideas is charged with insulting words and persuasive appeal to the audience to hate Quintilian’s ideas.  He asks his audience to accept his ideas by rejecting Quintilian’s ideas. At first he gains his audiences admirations by praising Aristotle and Socrates for being prestigious philosophers, but then he begins to attack Quintilian. His use of words like “stupid” and “worthless” reminded me of children bullying each other on the playground. His argumentative techniques make him appear insecure. Can Ramus articulate his own arguments or does he need to attack Quintilian to make himself feel powerful?

Ramus’ rhetorical strategy can be defined as a power struggle. He struggles to attack Quintilian on the basis of overpowering him.  He wants to show his reader who is the boss, gaining or maintaining control of the argument by attacking his subject. Its effective because the argument is forceful, but it also angered me at points because he didn’t formulate his own ideas just attacked Quintilian.

Ramus’ rhetorical strategy mirrors many present day politicians. When Governor Palin attacked President Obama’s campaign she used words like, “bogus” and “ridiculous”, which made her appear uneducated. Her use of “common day lingo” gave her the soccor mom image, but also hurt her campaign. I feel Ramus’ use of foul language hurt his argument in the same way.

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