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Copy of "The Rhetorical Situation" by Lloyd F. Bitzer

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Danielle Sautter

on 16 September 2010

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Transcript of Copy of "The Rhetorical Situation" by Lloyd F. Bitzer

Constraints A complex of persons events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence with can be completely or partially resolved if discourse, introduced to the situation, can so constrain human decision in action to being about significant modification of the exigence. Exigence: imperfection marked by urgency. Audience: consists of people who are capable of being influenced by discourse and of being mediators of change. Constraints: persons, events, objects, and relations which are parts of the situation because they have the power to constrain decision and action needed to modify the exigence. Beliefs
Motvies 1. Rhetorical discourse is called into existence by situation; the situation which the rhetor percieves amounts to an invitation to create and present discourse. 2. A rhetorical situation invites a fitting response. 3. A situation which is strong and clear dictates the purpose, theme, matter, and style of the response. 4. The parts of the situation are located in reality and are therefore available for scrutiny. 5. Rhetorical situations exhibit structures which are simple or complex and more or less organized. 6. Rhetorical situations come into existence then either mature and decay, or mature and persist- concieveably some persist indefinitely. Bitzer, Lloyd. “The Rhetorical Situation.” Philosophy and Rhetoric 1 (1968): 1-14. By: Ryan Blank, Ashley McIntosh, and Danielle Sautter 6 Features: JFK Assasination Linclon's Gettysburg Address Inaguration Speech Reality? Franklin D. Roosevelt's Declaration of War Speech
Longevity of a situation
Discourse into existence
Speech is given rhetorical significance
A rhetorical situation is in existence
Questions are unanswered, problems unresolved
Discourse changes a situations reality
Discourse functions as a response to a situation
Question is to answer as situation is to rhetoric To say that rhetoric is situational means... THe rhetorical situation is, by Bitzer's Definition: "This essay, therefore, should be understood as an attempt to revive the notion of rhetorical situation, to provide at least the outline of an adequate conception of it, and to establish it as a controlling and fundamental concern of rhetorical theory" (p. 3). Discuss:
"Every audience at any moment is capable of being changed in some way by speech" (Bitzer, p. 3). The idea of audience in relation to the rhetorical situation. DISCUSS: "In the best of all possible worlds, there would be communication perhaps, but no rhetoric -- since exigences would not arise" (Bitzer, p. 13). DISCUSS: How does Bitzer's own use of fictive musing affect his essay? Open discussion! "Since rhetorical discourse produces change by influencing the decision and action of persons who function as mediators of change, it follows that rhetoric always requires an audience" (Bitzer, p. 7). What are some real world examples of the rhetorical situation in our everyday lives? DISCUSS: Did Bitzer succeed in the goal established in his thesis?

How is the rhetorical situation perceived today?
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