5Marketing and Sophism—A Comparison

In taking the control of attention as the focus of marketing, I have obviously constructed an understanding of the profession that makes it more amenable to a rhetorical interpretation. However, it is my aim in this section to draw enough connections between the two practices to convince the reader that we really are dealing with two sides of the same coin or, at least, two aspects of the same rich intellectual tradition.

I will start by returning once more to Plato. Much of the way that we have come to think of the pre-Aristotelian nature of rhetoric, its earliest history, schools, and tensions comes directly from Plato. In particular, our understanding of the Sophists, those charismatic fifth-century BCE ...

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