Links to rhetorical tools:

Here are links to the rhetorical tools used in this class:

Schemes & Tropes -- Perelman & Olbrechts-Tyteca -- Fallacies

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Perleman's Arguments in 'How to Make ESP Work for You"

Argument Types
Example in the Text
“Great thinkers have left their marks upon civilization, contributing ideas and enlightenment which have continued to serve mankind.” Pg.23
First we have the argument type is a cause-and-effect argument. This section is saying that because these great thinkers have left this mark upon civilization, their ideas have continued to serve mankind and make the world better. The premise of it being supposed facts/truth is based on the fact that this is probable data. At this point in the book, we have no way of really knowing whether these “great thinkers” have make that much of an impact.
Comparison- Enthusiastic Present
Facts/Truth- Observed
“Followers of spiritual leaders such as Zoroaster, Lao-tse, Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Moses, Christ, and others, have been led to believe that they cannot individually attain the inspired enlightenment and nature of their teachers. This feeling of disparity between the leader and his followers has been a most tragic deterrent to spiritual development and advancement.” Pg. 23
The argument type, enthusiastic present by comparison is especially apparent because Sherman is saying that all of these past spiritual leaders have given off the wrong message to their followers about not individually attaining the enlightenment of their teachers. According to Sherman, this is why the spiritual development segment has been lacking. This is the observed premise because noticing a difference in the advancement of spirituality proves that it had to come from somewhere.
Illustration- Presence
Presence- Metabole
“Those who understand the laws of mind know this to be true because, in the realm of mind, LIKE ALWAYS ATTRACTS LIKE. Reduced to one emphatic statement: HATE ALWAYS ATTRACTS HATE, AND LOVE ALWAYS ATTRACTS LOVE. Every spiritual leader throughout all time has declared the power of love and warned against the exercise of hate. As human creatures we have refused to take these admonitions to heart. Were this not so, the world, centuries ago, would have become a harmonious abode for all life upon it.” Pg. 24
The argument type, presence by means of illustration is painting the imaginary picture of someone who misunderstands the laws of mind in the realm of mind. Because of the admonitions of “like always attracts like”, and the fact that nobody has listened to that, we have missed out on a harmonious life. The premise of metabole through presence, is using synonymous expressions, which is being done with “hate always attracts hate” and “love always attracts love”. This is being done to prove the point of the realm of mind and the effect on us.


  1. You can probably argue something along the lines of the author wanting people to act on their consciousness and explore their minds a bit more and how the author makes it an important topic.

  2. You could argue that, while the author seems to draw on religion and certain unifying principles (like choosing love over hate) they conveniently seem to neglect how other aspects of those same religions can be contradictory to one another. How does this effect how the author's argument is perceived? Does this attempt to unify theses systems of belief come off as laughably unrealistic or possible to the majority of readers?

  3. Plausible arguments, I would include a column with the definition of each argument type and ect.. to help the reader better understand what you're trying to argue.