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PHIL 259 Rhetorical Devices.docx

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PHIL 158

Rhetorical Device Definition Example/Hint Euphemism An agreeable or inoffensive expression “Pre-owned car” that is substituted for an expression that may offend the hearer or suggest something unpleasant Dysphemism Used to produce a negative effect on a “Terrorist” listener’s or reader’s attitude toward something or tone down the positive associations it may have Rhetorical Definition Use emotively charged language to “Murder of an unborn child” express or elicit an attitude about something Rhetorical Explanation An explanation intended to influence “He lost the fight because he’s attitudes or affect behaviour lost his nerve” Stereotype Thought or image about a group of people Labelling groups with “the” based on little or no evidence Innuendo Getting a point across without explicitly “Yes, this time” committing oneself to it Significant A passing over with brief mention so as to “Ladies and gentleman, I am Mention/paralipsis emphasize the suggestiveness of what is proof that there is at least one omitted candidate in this race who does not have a drinking problem” Loaded Questions Rests on one or more unwarranted or “Have you stopped beating your unjustified assumptions wife?” Weaselers Linguistic methods of hedging a bet; help “Three out of four dentists protect a claim from criticism by watering surveyed recommend sugarless it down somewhat, weakening it, and gum for their patients who chew giving the claim’s author a way out in case gum” the claim is challenged Downplayers An attempt to make someone or “so-called”, use of quotation something look less important or less marks, “mere”, “merely”, “just significant another” Horse Laugh Use of ridicule of all kinds Laugh outright, tell an unrelated joke, use sarcastic language, or simply laugh at the person making the point Hyperbole Extravagant overstatement Describing hangnails as serious injuries Proof Surrogates An expression used to suggest that there “every reason to believe”, is evidence or authority for a claim “informed sources say”, “it’s without actually citing such evidence or obvious that”, “studies show” authority Rhetorical Analogies Comparison of two things or a likening of “like”, “as”, metaphors, one thing to another in order to make one comparisons of them appear better or worse than it might be “Argument” from Inflammatory words or thoughts following “!” Outrage by a “conclusion” of some sort Scapegoating Blaming a certain group of people, or i.e. George W. Bush even a single person, for all life’s problems Scare Tactics Trying to scare people into doing Dangling a frightening picture in something or accepting a position front of someone “Argument” by Force Threatening a person “Argument” from Pity When feeling sorry for someone drives us “We have a job needed done, to a position on an unrelated matter Helen can barely support her children” “Argument” from Envy When we find fault with a person because “Well, he may have a lot of of envy money, but he certainly has bad manners” Apple Polishing Flattery is disguised as a reason for “An unusually discerning jury” accepting a claim Guilt Trip Eliciting feelings of guilt to get other to d“How could you not invite or not to do something, or to accept the Jennifer? She would’ve invited view that they should or should not do it you” Wishful Thinking When we accept or urge acceptance (or Believing in god because we rejection) or a claim simply because it be have a desire for an afterlife pleasant (or unpleasant) if it were true Peer Pressure Threatened with rejection by your friends, “Come on George, the river is “Argument” relatives, etc. if you don’t accept a certainwaiting and everyone is going to claim be there. What will people think if you don’t go? Groupthink Fallacy Substituting pride of membership in a Nationalism group for reason and deliberation in arriving at a position on an issue Rationalizing When we use a false pretext to satisfy our “Yes, I have indeed accepted own desires or interests money in donations from power companies. But as I stand here I can guarantee you that none of it has affected my decisions. I make decisions based on data, not on donors” “Argument” from When we urge someone to accept a claim “Everyone knows…” Popularity simply on the grounds that all or most of some substantial number of people believe it “Argument” from Trying to justify or defend an action or “Everyone cheats on their taxes, Common Practice practice on the grounds that it is common so I don’t see why I shouldn’t” “Argument” from People do things because that’s the way i.e. teaching kids about Santa Tradition things have always been done, and t
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