Of the seven Liberal Arts & Sciences Rhetoric holds a special place because of its devices. Why is this so, you may ask? Well let’s look at a simple need that we all have at some point; persuading someone that your point of view or course of action is correct. Rhetoric is actually a great way to persuade someone to your point of view but more than persuade, the use of rhetorical devices to provide information in a formal manner is good form!
Rhetoric gives you the tools to bring to a group of people a current situation or opportunity that you believe should be acted on or taken advantage of and then use the provided tools to prove your position.
Understanding Rhetoric and rhetorical devices will also help you to participate in discussions and actually persuade people to your point of view, without ever having to dictate or force your point of view.
Here is a list of rhetorical devices: https://quizlet.com/1563381/ap-english-rhetorical-devices-flash-cards/ one of my favorite devices is Argumentation, I like this because it uses reason alone to examine all sides of an argument in order to persuade.
One device to look out for and to avoid is the Ad Hominem device. The device is a logical fallacy and it is often used by someone who knows that their argument is very weak and when they have concluded they cannot win by Argumentation, instead they use this the method of attacking the person, character or motive of the same person versus the persons argument. This is actually very common – any user of Facebook knows this device or anyone following politics can attest to having witnessing this device. This sort of rhetoric device can be very harmful and it is best to avoid it unless you have exhausted all other devices.
In the end understanding rhetorical devices can increase harmony and fellowship in any lodge through respect, enlightenment and reason. I like this quote from the bible:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, 1 John 1:17
In closing, rhetorical devices can also help you in your workplace and all parts of your life! The Teaching Company offers a great course on Argumentation (a rhetorical device) and at this time they are offering a free 30 day trial of their online steaming, Great Courses Plus: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgcplus1 . In one month you could easily complete this lecture series and more.