Archive for January 5th, 2016

January 5, 2016


speak truth to power

In rhetoric, parrhesia [puh-reez-ee-uh] refers to speaking candidly or asking forgiveness for so speaking. Its nominal form, is translated from Latin to ‘free speech.’ The term first appears in Greek literature in the tragic plays of ‘Euripides.’ The term is borrowed from the Greek word meaning ‘to speak everything’ and by extension ‘to speak freely,’ ‘to speak boldly,’ or ‘boldness.’ It implies not only freedom of speech, but the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at personal risk.

In Ancient Greece, rhetoric and parrhesia were understood to be in opposition of each other through the dialogues written by Plato. There are two major philosophies during this time one being Sophistry and one being Dialectic. Sophistry is most commonly associated with the uses of rhetoric or means of persuasion to teach or persuade an audience. In its opposition is the practice of dialectic, supported by Plato and his mentor Socrates, which practices using dialogue to break apart complex issues in search of absolute truth or knowledge.

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