Mudcat Café message #1033702 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63595   Message #1033702
Posted By: GUEST
11-Oct-03 - 11:18 AM
Thread Name: BS: Fighting fair in arguments
Subject: RE: BS: Fighting fair in arguments
(Debate mode on!) I can't agree that the ancient Greeks "discovered" the rules of fair fighting, just because they cleverly devised a system now known as rhetoric. I took up the study of logic and rhetoric in my 30s, because all the college educated people I knew were so insistent that one must know rhetoric in order to debate properly. I'm glad I did study it, because I now know and understand the language and system used by college educated people who use that particular set of rules to argue/debate.

That said, I don't think the invented Greek system known as rhetoric is the be all/end all the college educated who embrace it think it is. And it certainly isn't necessary to know logic and rhetoric to be a very effective and fair arguer/debater. You don't need to know the phrase "ad hominem" to know that it isn't fair to attack the person rather than debate the ideas/opinions in an argument, to use your example, Robin. I agree with you that it can be useful to use the rules of rhetoric when everyone knows them. But rhetoric has it's limits too.