rhetological
Posted: 21 October 2012 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Someone sent me this very interesting graphic

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/

Rhetological fallacies: errors and manipulations of rhetoric and logical thinking

That’s great, but is rhetological a word?

I realise it’s not a ham sandwich but I haven’t encountered it before, can’t find it in dictionaries.

Is it just something the author made up for this chart?

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Posted: 21 October 2012 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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These seem to be more commonly known as rhetorical fallacies.

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Posted: 21 October 2012 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That’s great, but is rhetological a word?

Retrologically, “rhetological” may be a word. I would have preferred “rhetorological”.

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Posted: 21 October 2012 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Frankly, my dear…

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Posted: 22 October 2012 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Apparently the word “rhetorology” was coined by Wayne C Booth in 1998 or so:

I’ve been learning the kind of rhetorical practice that these days I risk labeling with a neologism, “rhetorology”: not rhetorical persuasion but rather a systematic, ecumenical probing of the essentials shared by rival rhetorics in any dispute--whether about religion or about other important matters. Though rhetorology shares many features with other “dialogical” efforts, what it perhaps most resembles is political diplomacy. But unlike skillful diplomats, rhetorologists do not just try to discover the rival basic commitments and then “bargain.” Nor do they just tolerate, in a spirit of benign relativism. Instead, they search together for true grounds then labor to decide how those grounds dictate a change of mind about more superficial beliefs.

[ Edited: 22 October 2012 12:40 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 22 October 2012 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Frankly, my dear…

Before a draft of wind wafts this little tidbit, unheralded, into the archives....... nice one, OPT.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The items on that page are more frequently described as logical fallacies, which is a more apt term. Rhetoric is a much broader category that encompasses not only the logic of the argument, but the framing and description of the argument, which are the larger and more important parts of rhetoric.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I found this example of rhetological in google books, which may just be a typo:

This is the rhetological model ... - 1961.

Rhetology/ical are words that I can happily live without.  So, it seems, can everyone except informationisbeautiful.net.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Looking at Eliza’s find in context, it is certainly a typo for “rheological”, rheology being the study of fluid flow.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Surely, at least in Leftpondia, rhetological should more properly mean ‘pertaining to the study of central and eastern Switzerland’?

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Posted: 22 October 2012 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 22 October 2012 12:34 PM

Surely, at least in Leftpondia, rhetological should more properly mean ‘pertaining to the study of central and eastern Switzerland’?

Love it!

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Posted: 23 October 2012 04:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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For those souls more timid than, or as ill-informed as I am, who had to google the connection in the joke, it refers to the Rhaetian Alps, an area that extends over eastern Switzerland, northern Italy and western Austria (where we toured a couple of years ago, and I still didn’t get the connection).  The rest of you, ignore me.

JFYI.

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Posted: 23 October 2012 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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To partially quote OPT: “Frankly, my dear SL, I think that your Swiss twist is reaching a little.” It gave ElizaD (and others I’m sure) an unnecessary amount of angst and work, as well as cluttering up the legitimate trade of the internet.  The real truth is that “rhetologic(al)” is the subject taught at Britain’s schools for gentlemen’s gentlemen. So, let’s have no further rebuttles!

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Posted: 23 October 2012 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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No problem, skibs, angst and hard work is what brings me back to this forum and drives me on to expound my own particular brand of retrologic.

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Posted: 23 October 2012 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I think the designer(s) of the chart were trying to coin a term with a broader applicability than “logical fallacy”, and used an (awkward) variation on “rhetorical” to try to key up the idea that the chart covers bogus argument forms that are rhetorically sneaky but that don’t necessarily contain a logical fallacy.  However, if that’s what they were trying to do, I don’t think they succeeded (and maybe i’m giving them too much credit by assuming they were trying to accomplish such a thing). 

And, in any event, I think “rhetorical” (let alone “rhetological") and “fallacy” make for an awkward fit: I know just enough about formal logic to be dangerous, but ISTM that an argument that is valid in form but presented in a sneaky, manipulative, or otherwise underhanded manner (i.e., wih a rhetorical sleight of hand if some sort) doesn’t really contain a “fallacy”: the problem is that it is weaselish, not that it is fallacious.  OTOH, an argument that is invalid in form almost certainly (certainly?) does contain a logical fallacy.  It may, or may not, be presented in a rhetorically sneaky way that is designed to obscure the fallacy, but, even if it is, the fallacy is a logical one, and the sneaky use of rhetoric is an accessory to the crime but it is not the fallacy itself.

[edit; it occurs to me that my post invites “frankly my dear"-style mockery, so here is my perhaps futile attempt to steal the thunder of such jabs.]

[ Edited: 23 October 2012 09:04 AM by Svinyard118 ]
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