Black Lives Matter and the Rhetoric of Revolution

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In classical Greece, the sophists were practitioners of the art of rhetoric. They took pride in their ability to persuade audiences to embrace any position. They could, as one boasted, “make the weaker argument appear the stronger.” Ancient sophists employed their rhetorical skills to dominate others rather than lead them to truth.
Modern sophists, Hannah Arendt argued, take this a step further: “The most striking difference between ancient and modern sophists is that the ancients were satisfied with a passing victory of the argument at the expense of truth, whereas the moderns want a more…



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