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Introduction

The stasis theory was first developed in the Classical Greek era as an approach of reconciling two contradictory sides of an argument using specific stock issues as the foundation. As such, the statis theory opined that in every rhetorical argument there should exist sufficient support for every claim and that a definite style should be used to show these evidences. The stasis theory advocates that every rhetorical problem should first be classified as a conjecture, definition, or quality problem. For example, the conjecture rhetorical problem has three main sides: the prosecutor, defendant, and the jury who decide the fate of the first two groups.

Models under the Stasis Theory:

The Simple model of stasis theory illustrates a rhetorical problem where there are two parties in which one party is saying another party did an act while the second party is stating that they did not do the act.

The complex model raises a different reasoning in the argument above whereby the defendant concedes that they did the act, but with the reasoning that they were justified to do it. In this case, the jury role is to decide whether the act was truly justified. The complex model leads to secondary problem in which a second round of conflicting propositions. For instance, a boy who kills his father because the dad killed the mom. There is justification for the act, but there is also concerns that the boy should have reported his father and let the police take action.

Stasis Theory Process:

Various intellectuals who have studied the stasis theory propose three major stases that apply when using the model: questions of fact, value, and the resultant policy. Other models include two other factors, that is, definition and the cause/effect factor.

The fact denotes the actual happenings or the subject causing an argument. The definition denotes the classification of the actions and subject accused of doing an act. The cause-effect denotes causal factors that led to the current situation as well as the possible consequences from any decision that will be made. The value denotes the moral argument of the act or subject being either right or wrong. The policy refers to the decision criteria that should be followed regarding the rhetorical problem, the reasoning behind the action that will be undertaken to resolve the problem.

Application of Stasis Theory

Following the stasis theory can help resolve most of the society’s rhetorical problems but it the ability to reach a solution greatly depends on the position of the problem in the levels of the stasis. This means that the lower a problem is situated in the stasis theory, then the harder it is to reach a viable solution. For instance, the argument on abortion is a recurring debate because the contrary groups cannot feasibly agree on the definition of when a fertilized egg can be considered a human being. Arguments on capital punishment and euthanasia are divided on the issue of value: the morality of the problem. 

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