When I think of the definition of rhetoric, I always think back to Aristotle’s definition of “the art or discovering the available means or persuasion.” While this definition can seem problematic due mostly to the word “persuasion” it is one of the most straightforward definitions in my opinion. We perform acts of rhetoric all of the time without sitting down to write out the cannons and applying academic methods of rhetoric.
I dress a certain way because I want to be perceived a certain way. When I go to work, I wear business attire so that that I will be taken seriously in a business setting. Although no words are exchanged, I feel that I am persuading individuals that I come in contact with that I mean business. Similarly to an individual who’s wardrobe consist primarily of athletic apparel. This individual could be seen as someone who wants the world to know that he or she is active and lives a “healthy” life style. In order to understand rhetoric we must understand that it is indeed a method of persuasion. The type or persuasion could be as simple as dressing a certain was or as direct as creating a nonprofit organization. These actions all have in impact on the way that others view us and ultimately persuade them to treat us in a certain manner.