Advice for Writers: Truth Over Persuasion

Some of NYTer David Brooks' recent advice to high school students who might not get into Harvard applies just as well if not better to bloggers and pundits and writers -- especially the advice related to valuing truth over rhetoric:
"The worldly honors that one may win by being a good speaker ... can all too easily erode one's devotion to truth — a devotion that is critical to our integrity as persons. So rhetorical skills are dangerous, potentially soul-imperiling, gifts." Explains everything you need to know about politics and punditry.
For a free version of the column, go here.


Blogger MAC said...

I would point out that no less a figure than Aristotle rejected Plato's conclusions in The Gergias. Plato discerned that it is not rhetoric that is the problem but how it is employed. He came to the conclusion that the ethical character of the speaker is an important element in any speech, but he did not reject rhetoric out of hand. Read his book "The Rhetoric," or for that matte, re-ea "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." (signed, a proud rhetoritician).

2:50 PM  

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