The History of Rhetoric

I really liked this episode of Engines of our Ingenuity about rhetoric.  It discussed the history of rhetoric as a skill of persuasion taught by the Sophists in the fifth century BC.

“Sophist rhetoric was attacked by Plato, who believed in arguments based on logic. To Plato, logical arguments led to truth, a far nobler goal than simply winning an argument.”

Today most people would agree that you must be good at both discerning the truth and persuading others of it. I believe that there is much more training available on how to persuade than to discern truth. Are we a group of people eloquently persuading others of false truths? I think it’s time to learn from the past and look up some Plato and Aristotle.

Have you received more training in using persuasion or finding truth?