Consider, then, these definitions of rhetoric (remember, rhetoric = persuasion/argumentation) from 20th and 21st-century scholars and substitute “rhetoric” for “social media”.
“Rhetoric is that which creates an informed appetite for the good.” (Richard Weaver, 1948)
“Rhetoric is rooted in an essential function of language itself, a function that is wholly realistic and continually born anew: the use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in being that by nature respond to symbols” (Kenneth Burke, 1950).
“Rhetoric is the art of discovering warrantable beliefs and improving those beliefs in shared discourse… the art of probing what we believe we ought to believe, rather than proving what is true according to abstract methods” (Wayne Booth, 1964).
“Rhetoric is a mode of altering reality, not by the direct application of energy to objects, but by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action” (Lloyd Bitzer, 1968).
“We should not neglect rhetoric’s importance, as if it were simply a formal superstructure or technique exterior to the essential activity. Rhetoric is something decisive in society… [T]here are no politics, there is no society without rhetoric, without the force of rhetoric” (Jacques Derrida, 1990).
“Rhetoric is the art, practice, and study of [all] human communication” (Andrea Lunsford, 1995).
“Rhetoric appears as the connective tissue peculiar to civil society and to its proper fatalities, happiness and political peace hie et nunc” (Marc Fumaroli, 1999).
For your discussion, then, pick one quotation from those above and replace “rhetoric” with “social media.” Considering these quotations, how does Lanier’s book hold up when viewed through contemporary scholarship?
For your discussion below, you’ll want to develop your response using 1 outside source in a response of approximately 250 – 500 words. If you’re struggling to develop your discussion, you may find guidance on this page useful: Writing Toolkit: Developing Your Discussions.
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