I. Rhetorical Situation

A. The Writer

1. One can judge the researcher’s background by the facts and arguments that are brought forward. Judging by the ideas of Dan Gilbert, one can assume with dead certainty that he is a scholar with background knowledge in psychology and philosophy. Thus, he presents an academic viewpoint regarding the issue under consideration.

2. In spite of the fact that Dan Gilbert’s position is mainly based on scientific facts, as a speaker, he succeeds in making his lecture credible, intelligible, convincing, and relatable to the audience.

3. Judging from the structure of the lecture, as well as the facts and arguments that are brought forward by Dan Gilbert, it is possible to assume that as a lecturer and a researcher he has no preconceptions about the subject under his consideration.

B. The Writer’s Purpose

1. The writer states his purpose directly. Moreover, he stresses upon the fact that his purpose is explicit for a few times.

2. Dan Gilbert’s goal is to convince the audience that happiness is not merely an ethical-philosophical entity, but a matter of psychology as well. Dan Gilbert’s indirect purpose, however, may be as follows: he is attempting to encourage people to recapture the happiness within themselves. By so doing, he urges them to become a little happier.

3. Dan Gilbert relies primarily on logic.

4. Dan Gilbert’s lecture The Surprising Science of Happiness does not seem to have any hidden agenda.

C. The Writer’s Audience

1. The intended audience in case of Dan Gilbert’s lecture is not specified. Therefore, it is possible to assume that the lecture will be interesting for all those, who a) have a proper education to understand the entities being discussed and analyze the information of the lecture, and b) might be interested in the subject matter of the lecture itself.

2. The writer sees the vast majority of the audience as prepared and informed, however, he explains his statements and examples in order to prevent any implied meanings and to be as convincing, credible, and intelligible as possible.

3. The speaker sees his audience as either neutral or friendly.

4. Judging from the very subject of the lecture, it is possible to presume that the speaker considers his audience holding happiness as one of the highest values.

5. The speaker seems to assume that the audience seeks a) to learn something new from his lecture, and b) has the general idea of happiness from the ethical and philosophical perspectives.

6. The reaction of the audience is mostly positive. However, there is no particular feedback. Therefore, it does not seem possible to understand on what points both the speaker and audience agree or disagree.

D. The Topic

1. The topic of the lecture rests upon the essence of happiness, perspectives on its contemplating, and means of its achieving.

2. The choice of the subject of the lecture is dictated by its topicality and the fact that it is relatable to mainstream audience.

3. Having studied the video podcast of the lecture thoroughly, it is possible to assume that the speaker has managed to develop the topic.


E. The Context

1. Evolution of mind and evolution of perception of happiness itself set the stage for the argument.

2. What triggers the argument in this particular case is the keen interest in the issue of the essence of happiness.

3. Cases of Jim Wright (a politician, the chairman of the House of Representatives), Newt Gingrich (a politician, a Republican who confronted Jim Wright), Moreese Bickham (a man who was accused of the crime he had never committed), Harry S. Langerman (a first person to whom the idea of selling hamburgers belonged), Ray Kroc (a person, who, actually, brought this idea to life), and Pete Best (the first drummer to the Beatles band) are considered the historical references to situate the argument.

II. Means of Persuasion

Logos positions itself as the speaker’s means of persuasion.

III. Rhetorical Strategies

A. Thesis: Dan Gilbert advocates the position that happiness is a) a matter of psychology, and b) happiness rests upon one’s own mindset.

B. The speaker arranges his ideas in a logical and intelligible way.

C. Speaker’s opinions rest upon facts and observations he brings forward. Speaker’s facts and observations, concerning the cases of men aforementioned.

D. Assuming the lecture manifests itself through logical means of persuasion, as well as by deploying scholarly arguments, one can assert that the lecture is deprived of any stylistic devices.

IV. The rhetoric strategies that the lecturer uses create a clear and persuasive argument.

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