Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French philosopher and mathematician, tries to impose a mathematical formula to rhetorical skills in today's selection from his essay "The Art of Persuasion."
While there is a process, I don't think it can be easily boiled down to a formula. However, he doesn't discount the human element, and the universal need to be pleased. Pascal also believes that this is less apt to be reduced to a formula; that persuasion is as much pleasing as it is convincing. That much is undoubtedly true.