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If public speaking is to be taught, as noted in the call for this colloquy, "In a manner that reflects rhetoric's origin as a liberal art," we should be using course materials that best reflect that origin, namely, primary works from the classical tradition. Such texts offer a powerful articulation of the relationship between rhetoric and public life while addressing significant and enduring questions about rhetoric (e.g., Is it an art? Can it be taught? What kind of knowledge is required of orators? Why study it?). Although any number of ancient readings would be useful in a classically oriented public speaking course, this paper mainly address liberal education, generally.
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