Rhetoric, in the modern political sense, is the art of verbal manipulation to convince others of a predetermined conclusion. It typically consists of appeals to emotion packaged in memorable wording, often backed by logically fallacious reasoning.
While rhetoric can be used positively, as a tool to convey difficult new ideas and get past existing cognitive bias in situations where a rational argument may be ineffective, but unfortunately it is more commonly used antiepistemically – i.e. to induce erroneous beliefs in others. When amplified by the memetic power of the mainstream media (either explicitly – paid advertising – or complicity, in support of the plutocratic agenda of the mainstream media's consolidated ownership) this often leads to popular support for extremely harmful actions.
- Rhetorical manipulation is the negative use of rhetoric, i.e. to promote false beliefs
- Rhetorical distortion is where a rhetorical argument is based on distorted truth
- Rhetorical deceptions are specific techniques used for rhetorical distortion
- rhetorical spin
- interpretive framing
dKosopediano equivalent page as of 2010-07-15; see Religious Political Rhetoric
SourceWatchno equivalent page as of 2010-07-15; see Empty rhetoric
- LessWrong Wiki (as of 2010-07-15) redirects to Dark arts, which refers to the negative uses of rhetoric: "...rhetorical techniques crafted to exploit human cognitive biases in order to persuade, deceive, or otherwise manipulate a person into irrationally accepting [predetermined] beliefs"