How Do Our Disagreements Go?

Rhetoric has a bad reputation as exemplified in the slick politician or huckster manipulating others for personal gain.

Rhetoric as practiced and studied for centuries, though, encourages us to reflect on and work toward more responsible and productive communication with each other.

Image of woman presenting to people seated at conference table.
Photo by Christina Morillo on

Yet, even if rhetoric is not simply deceptive manipulation, its practice is not untroubled. Our disagreements routinely go awry in ways both obvious and not-so-obvious.

We can do better.

And questions of how to define rhetorical good practices and how to implement those practices are a driving force in both my professional practice and learning.

I also address these questions in occasional blog posts about our conversations with each other, starting with “Why ‘From the Rostra’?”

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