In this book, Marina McCoy explores Plato’s treatment of the rhetoric of philosophers and sophists through a thematic treatment of six different Platonic dialogues, including Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist, and Phaedras. She argues that Plato presents the philosopher and the sophist as difficult to distinguish, insofar as both use rhetoric as part of their arguments. Plato does not present philosophy as rhetoric-free, but rather shows that rhetoric is an integral part of the practice of philosophy.
This volume explores Science & Technology Studies (STS) and its role in redrawing disciplinary boundaries. For scholars/grad students in rhetoric of science, science studies, philosophy & comm, English, sociology & knowledge mgmt.
Benardete here interprets and, for the first time, pairs two important Platonic dialogues, the Gorgias and the Phaedrus . In linking these dialogues, he places Socrates' notion of rhetoric in a new light and illuminates the way in which Plato gives morality and eros a place in the human soul.
In a career of over seventy years, Kenneth Burke has produced a body of challenging and fascinating theoretical work. This work has had a bigger reputation than it has had a readership. Burke has been hailed not only as a strong precursor of the work of Fredric Jameson, Frank Lentriccia, and others, but also as a powerful original thinker whose writings have yet to be grappled with. Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric and Ideology is a lucid and accessible introduction to a (...) major twentieth-century thinker whose ideas have influenced fields as diverse as literary criticism, philosophy, linguistics, politics, anthropology and sociology. Stephen Bygrade explores the content of Burke's vast output, theorizing the cultural and philosophical implications of his work. Bygrave's rigorous arguments focus around Burke's preoccupation with the relationship between language, ideology, and action. This book traces Burke's "rhetorical strategies" and argues that they form a bridge between "action" and "symbolic action." By considering Burke as a reader and writer of narratives and systems, Bygrade examines the inadequacies of earlier readings of Burke and enfolds his thought within current debates on Anglo-American cultural theory. By reinstating Burke into contemporary cultural theory, this book offers a way of reading his ideas, as well as introducing students of literature and cultural studies to the range of ideas found in his work. (shrink)
Originally published in English in 1980, Rhetoric as Philosophy has been out of print for some time. The reviews of that English edition attest to the importance of Ernesto Grassi’s work. By going back to the Italian humanist tradition and aspects of earlier Greek and Latin thought, Ernesto Grassi develops a conception of rhetoric as the basis of philosophy. Grassi explores the sense in which the first principles of rational thought come from the metaphorical power of the word. (...) He finds the basis for his conception in the last great thinker of the Italian humanist tradition, Giambattista Vico (1668–1744). He concentrates on Vico’s understanding of imagination and the sense of human ingenuity contained in metaphor. For Grassi, rhetorical activity is the essence and inner life of thought when connected to the metaphorical power of the word. (shrink)
Ramon Llull (1232-1316), born on Majorca, was one of the most remarkable lay intellectuals of the thirteenth century. He devoted much of his life to promoting missions among unbelievers, the reform of Western Christian society, and personal spiritual perfection. He wrote over 200 philosophical and theological works in Catalan, Latin, and Arabic. Many of these expound on his "Great Universal Art of Finding Truth," an idiosyncratic dialectical system that he thought capable of proving Catholic beliefs to non-believers. This study offers (...) the first full-length analysis of his theories about rhetoric and preaching, which were central to his evangelizing activities. It explains how Llull attempted to synthesize commonplace advice about courtly speech and techniques of popular sermons into a single program for secular and sacred eloquence that would necessarily promote love of God and neighbor. Llull's work is remarkable testimony to the diffusion of clerical culture among educated lay-people of his era, and to their enthusiasm for applying that knowledge in the pursuit of learning and piety. This book should find a place on the shelf of every scholar of medieval history, religion, and rhetoric. (shrink)
The author presents a novel interpretation of Peirce's ‘speculative rhetoric’ (the third and culminating branch of his general theory of signs), then draws out the most important implications of Peircean rhetoric for understanding our educational practices and, more generally, human learning. Improvisation and the unanticipated emergence of novel purposes are herein stressed.
This article examines the disciplinary status and experiential underpinnings of C. S. Peirce's philosophical rhetoric. The first part explores the relationship between grammar and rhetoric in the context of Peirce's theory of signs. Next, a possible tension in Peirce's conception of the scope and function of rhetoric is identified, and a resolution is proposed. The field of rhetorical research is then provisionally characterised as spanning philosophical studies of communication, learning, and methods of inquiry. Rather than being a (...) secondary application that the grammarian can ignore, the complex rhetorical field can be meaningfully construed as both the pre-theoretical starting point and the principal theoretical end of philosophical semeiotic. In the final part of the article, it is argued that the aim of Peirce's pursuit of rhetoric ought to be the improvement of semiotic habits, and this goal is construed as the third and highest conception of learning furnished by his philosophy. Further, it is contended that Peircean rhetoric can provide means for reflexive investigations into our processes and methods of inquiry, communication, and learning—that is, higher-order conceptual tools with which to imaginatively describe, control, and transform educational habits in view of personal and social ideals. (shrink)
This important volume explores alternative ways in which those involved in the field of speech communication have attempted to find a philosophical grounding for rhetoric. Recognizing that rhetoric can be supported in a wide variety of ways, this text examines eight different philosophies of rhetoric: realism, relativism, rationalism, idealism, materialism, existentialism, deconstructionism, and pragmatism. The value of this book lies in its pluralistic and comparative approach to rhetorical theory. Although rhetoric may be the more difficult road (...) to philosophy, the fact that it is being traversed by a group of authors largely from speech communication demonstrates important growth in this field. Ultimately, there is recognition that if different thinkers can have solid reasons to adhere to disparate philosophies, serious communication problems can be eliminated. Rhetoric and Philosophy will assist scholars in choosing from among the many philosphical starting places for rhetoric. (shrink)
Devin Stauffer demonstrates the complex unity of Plato's Gorgias, through a careful analysis of the dialogue's three main sections, including Socrates' famous argumentative duel with Callicles, a passionate critic of justice and philosophy. He reveals how the seemingly disparate themes of rhetoric, justice, and the philosophic life are woven together into a coherent whole. Stauffer's interpretation of the Gorgias sheds new light on Plato's thought, indicating that Plato and Socrates had a more favorable view of rhetoric than is (...) supposed, and challenges some of Socrates' most famous claims about justice. (shrink)
My aim in this article is to examine ways of designing a new ‘educational rhetoric’ based on C.S. Peirce's speculative rhetoric, the ‘doctrine of the general conditions of the reference of Symbols and other Signs to the Interpretants which they aim to determine’ (CP 2.93). This analysis is based on a general idea that has been investigated by several educators, teachers and researchers mainly within the context of critical pedagogy and educational semiotics: school life is regulated by what (...) may be called a classical dispositio, which is a certain way of organising speech in the classroom.My analysis of dispositio is based on the ‘rhetorical turn’ that Colapietro sees in Peirce's later semiotics and pragmaticism and defines as an integrated analysis of signs' effects. This ‘rhetorical turn’ offers educators resources that allow them to rethink how students' epistemological activity, understood as a series of semiosic events, leads them to develop new knowledge and modes of conduct. In this paper, I will consider the way such an integrated analysis of signs' effects may support the design of a new educational rhetoric.First, I investigate ‘ordinary’ educational rhetoric (the way semiotic resources are chosen and used) and the dispositio (the way in which speech is organised) that expresses it. More precisely, I question the way teachers ‘arrange’ their own speech, which is not only a technical issue, but also an ethical one. By ‘educational rhetoric’, I am referring to the specific organisation of discourse and speech in educational contexts, in addition to questioning the strategies implemented by teachers and students when they produce speech acts and cultural forms within the classroom.This perspective on classical educational rhetoric leads to the conclusion that a new educational rhetoric should be designed as a way of replacing ‘directive knowledge’ with a ‘dialectical mode of inquiry’. One goal of such self-reflexive rhetoric would be, among others, to develop students' critical skills and reflexivity.In this context, Peirce's rhetorical turn is a fundamental resource. Indeed, Peirce may suggest a radically new conception of teaching by stressing the function of mediation performed by signs and by undermining the dualist conception of cognition; speculative rhetoric is a useful analytical tool when one is trying to instil semiotic consciousness in the classroom, because it makes the relationship between meaning-making and knowledge-making explicit.Finally, I consider ‘Institutional Pedagogy’ to be an instance of this new dispositio, a pragmaticist one, which meets certain conditions, such as the following: the existence in the classroom of particular communication patterns; the use of multimodal semiotic resources; and a set of semiotic tools and functions, which are organised along the lines of a specific structure. I emphasise the part played by such a dispositio in the semiotic life of a classroom on a macro level (organising experience, crisis and inquiry), on a meso level (referring to cultural forms, speech acts and rituals) and on a micro level (concerning the relations between teachers and students). (shrink)
The anti-sceptical relativism and self-conscious rhetoric of the pragmatist tradition, which began with the Older Sophists of Ancient Greece and developed through an American tradition including William James and John Dewey has attracted new attention in the context of late twentieth-century postmodernist thought. At the same time there has been a more general renewal of interest across a wide range of humanistic and social science disciplines in rhetoric itself: language use, writing and speaking, persuasion, figurative language, and the (...) effect of texts. This book, written by leading scholars, explores the various ways in which rhetoric, sophistry and pragmatism overlap in their current theoretical and political implications, and demonstrates how they contribute both to a rethinking of the human sciences within the academy and to larger debates over cultural politics. (shrink)
Although John Dewey has had the most profound effect on education, less is known about the philosophy of education of the original founder of pragmatism, Charles Peirce. Using Peirce's theory of formal rhetoric, I try to show that Peirce's philosophy of education, when fully understood, is aligned with Dewey's pedagogy of experiential learning, and can provide a justification for the promotion of active learning in the classroom. Peirce's rhetoric, as one part of his logical or semiotic theory, argues (...) that reasoning alone is not sufficient to gain knowledge, but that it must be embedded within a community of inquiry, of a certain sort. Applying this to the classroom, I argue that we, as teachers, should endeavor to create the features of a proper community of inquiry in the classroom, one that emphasizes engagement of the students in doing research rather than passively receiving information about its results. (shrink)
Over the past thirty years or so, theoretical work in such fields as legal semiotics and law and literature has argued that the legal process is profoundly rhetorical. At the same time, a number of communication-based disciplines such as semiotics, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology have provided, particularly in interdisciplinary combination with law, a wealth of empirical evidence on, and insight into, the micro-contexts of language and communication in the legal process. However, while these invaluable nitty-gritty analyses provide empirical support for (...) a rhetorical thesis, work in these areas has tended to ignore rhetoric as an explanatory principle. This article introduces an overarching rhetorical framework for the discursive construction and management of cases in contemporary Anglo-American legal processes. Taking ‘forensic’ as relating to the conduct of cases and ‘discourse’ as semiosis-in-practice, I argue that the practices within which forensic discourse is embedded are not, as the received legal view would have it, aimed at revealing an impartial truth but are deeply rhetorical practices aimed at persuading decision-makers to provide a remedy for a claimed wrong. By looking across forensic texts and contexts, I identify common elements of forensic discourse that can be found both in classical forensic orations and throughout the modern legal process and consider how these intersect with critical forces of agency and structure and the particularities of semiosis in situated context. An awareness of commonalities across forensic discourse can help sharpen our focus on the critical causes and consequences of individual and structural difference and point to consequential suggestions for reform. (shrink)
Kenneth Burke, arguably the most important American literary theorist of the twentieth century, helped define the theoretical terrain for contemporary literary and cultural studies. His perspectives were literary and linguistic, but his influences ranged across history, philosophy, and the social sciences. In this important and original study Robert Wess traces the trajectory of Burke's long career and situates his work in relation to postmodernity. His study is both an examination of contemporary theories of rhetoric, ideology, and the subject, and (...) an explanation of why Burke failed to complete his Motives trilogy. Burke's own critique of the 'isolated unique individual' led him to question the possibility of unique individuation, a strategy which anticipated important elements of postmodern concepts of subjectivity. Robert Wess's study is both a timely and judicious exposition of Burke's massive oeuvre, and a crucial intervention in current debates on rhetoric and human agency. (shrink)
Considered the most original thinker in the Italian philosophical tradition, Giambattista Vico has been the object of much scholarly attention but little consensus. In this new interpretation, David L. Marshall examines the entirety of Vico's oeuvre and situates him in the political context of early modern Naples. He demonstrates Vico's significance as a theorist who adapted the discipline of rhetoric to modern conditions. Marshall presents Vico's work as an effort to resolve a contradiction. As a professor of rhetoric (...) at the University of Naples, Vico had a deep investment in the explanatory power of classical rhetorical thought, especially that of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. Yet as a historian of the failure of Naples as a self-determining political community, he had no illusions about the possibility or worth of democratic and republican systems of government in the post-classical world. As Marshall demonstrates, by jettisoning the assumption that rhetoric only illuminates direct, face-to-face interactions between orator and auditor, Vico reinvented rhetoric for a modern world in which the Greek polis and the Roman res publica are no longer paradigmatic for political thought. (shrink)
Johnstone, H. W., Jr. Rhetoric and communication in philosophy.--Smith, C. R. and Douglas, D. G. Philosophical principles in the traditional and emerging views of rhetoric.--Wallace, K. R. Bacon's conception of rhetoric.--Thonssen, L. W. Thomas Hobbes's philosophy of speech.--Walter, O. M., Jr. Descartes on reasoning.--Douglas, D. G. Spinoza and the methodology of reflective knowledge in persuasion.--Howell, W. S. John Locke and the new rhetoric.--Doering, J. F. David Hume on oratory.--Douglas, D. G. A neo-Kantian approach to the epistomology (...) of judgment in criticism.--Bevilacqua, V. M. Lord Kames's theory of rhetoric.--Brockriede, W. E. Bentham's philosophy of rhetoric.--Anderson, R. E. Kierkegaard's theory of communication.--Macksoud, S. J. Ludwig Wittgenstein, radical operationism and rhetorical stance.--Stewart, J. J. L. Austin's speech act analysis.--Torrence, D. L. A philosophy of rhetoric from Bertrand Russell.--Clark, A. Martin Buber, dialogue, and the philosophy of rhetoric.--Bennett, W. Kenneth Burke--a philosophy in defense of un-reason.--Dearin, R. D. The philosophical basis of Chaim Perelman's theory of rhetoric. (shrink)
Presenting the entire German text of Nietzsche's lectures on rhetoric and language and his notes for them, as well as facing page English translations, this book fills an important gap in the philosopher's corpus. Until now unavailable or existing only in fragmentary form, the lectures represent a major portion of Nietzsche's achievement. Included are an extensive editors' introduction on the background of Nietzsche's understanding of rhetoric, and critical notes identifying his sources and independent contributions.
The role of science rhetoric in the global village -- Scientific English in the postmodern age -- Problematizing the rhetoric of contemporary science -- A contrastive rhetoric approach to science dissemination -- Disciplinary practices and procedures within research sites -- Triangulating procedures, practices and texts in scientific discourse -- ELF and a more complex sociolinguistic landscape -- Re-defining the rhetoric of science.
One of Plato’s aims in the Phaedrus seems to be to outline an ‘ideal’ form of rhetoric. But it is unclear exactly what the ‘true’ rhetorician really looks like, and what exactly his methods are. More broadly, just how does Plato see the relation between rhetoric and philosophy? I argue, in light of Plato’s epistemology, that the “true craft (techne) of rhetoric” which he describes in the Phaedrus is a regulative, but also an unattainable ideal. Consequently, the (...) mythical palinode in the dialogue is not (as some have claimed) an example of the true techne—and indeed it could not be. But neither is dialectic. Rather, dialectic is the closest approximation of the true techne of rhetoric which can be had; that is to say, dialectic is the best and highest kind of psychagogia (a ‘leading of the soul through words’). Plato’s purpose in describing the “true techne of rhetoric”, then, is not to reform or to rehabilitate rhetoric, but to urge us to abandon it in favor of the philosophical life. One implication of this is that Plato is just as hostile toward rhetoric as he is in the Gorgias. (shrink)
Deirdre McCloskey is rightly one of the most recognizable names in economics. She views economics as a language that uses all the rhetorical devices of everyday conversation and therefore it should be judged by aesthetic and literary standards and not the criteria of mathematical rigor that is espoused by the mainstream. This controversial standpoint has been hugely influential and this examination of the methodological and philosophical consequences of her work is overdue, and very welcome.
Whereas previous studies have made George Berkeley (1685-1753) the object of philosophical study, Peter Walmsley assesses Berkeley as a writer, offering rhetorical and literary analyses of Berkeley's four major philosophical texts, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, Alciphron, and Siris. Berkeley emerges from this study as an accomplished stylist who builds structures of affective imagery, creates dramatic voices in his texts, and masters the range of philosophical genres--the treatise, the dialogue, and the (...) essay. (shrink)
Aristotle’s phronimos is a model of the virtues: he fuses sound practical reasoning with well formed desires. Among the skills of practical reasoning are those of finding the right words and arguments in the process of deliberation. As Aristotle puts it, virtue involves doing the right thing at the right time and for the right reason. Speaking well, saying the right thing in the right way is not limited to public oratory: it pervades practical life. Aristotle’s phronimos must acquire the (...) habits that are engaged in rhetorical persuasion. (shrink)
This major new work from Quentin Skinner presents a fundamental reappraisal of the political theory of Hobbes. Using, for the first time, the full range of manuscript as well as printed sources, it documents an entirely new view of Hobbes's intellectual development, and re-examines the shift from a humanist to a scientific culture in European moral and political thought. By examining Hobbes's philosophy against the background of his humanist education, Professor Skinner rescues this most difficult and challenging (...) of political philosophers from the intellectual isolation in which he is so often discussed. This book presents a splendid exemplification of the 'Cambridge' contextual approach to the study of intellectual history with which Professor Skinner himself is especially associated. It will be of interest and importance to a wide range of scholars in history, philosophy, politics, and literary theory. (shrink)
More than fifty years have passed since Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca published Traité de l'argumentation: La nouvelle rhétorique, and over forty have slipped by since the work was translated into English as The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation. The inversion of the title and subtitle in the French and English versions expresses well the chiasmic dynamic of the philosophy of rhetoric and the rhetoric of philosophy that defines the new rhetoric project. Its overall aim (...) is essentially philosophical: "the justification of the possibility of a human community in the sphere of action when this justification cannot be grounded in a reality or an objective truth" (1969, 514). This project is .. (shrink)
The work of Ernesto Laclau (both with and without his occasional collaborator, Chantal Mouffe) has exerted considerable influence in rhetorical studies over the past two decades. Emerging alongside the so-called epistemic and cultural turns, the project of "critical rhetoric" and cognate endeavors have found in Laclau a revision of Gramsci's hegemony thesis that places discursive—and thus, evidently, rhetorical—operations at the center of politics, culture, and social processes generally. While Raymie McKerrow's seminal essay (1989) drew on Laclau and Mouffe to (...) outline a set of tasks for rhetoric that clearly remained within the ambit of ideology critique, subsequent appropriations of what is variously called .. (shrink)
Dennett's Consciousness Explained presents, but does not demonstrate, a fully naturalized account of consciousness that manages to leave out the very consciousness he purports to explain. If he were correct, realism and methodological individualism would collapse, as would the very enterprise of giving reasons. The metaphors he deploys actually testify to the power of metaphoric imagination that can no more be identified with the metaphors it creates than minds can be identified with memes. That latter equation, of minds with meme?complexes, (...) rests for its meaning on the existence of real minds, which are not to be equated with the thoughts they have. (shrink)
In 1993, my first full year as a master’s student studying rhetoric at the University of Tennessee, the venerable George Kennedy visited campus. He was part of a star-studded interdisciplinary symposium on rhetoric (Page duBois and Thomas Cole were the other two guests), and if memory serves, the large crowd awaiting Kennedy’s talk stirred with anticipation; this event was two years after the publication of a much-needed and now indispensible translation of Aristotle’s Rhetoric. After the talk, it (...) stirred with something more like befuddlement. Kennedy’s talk, “A Hoot in the Dark,” shared a title with an essay he had published in Philosophy and Rhetoric the year prior. The subject? Animal rhetoric. I .. (shrink)
Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca founded the Brussels school of argumentation in 1958, when they published their famous Traité de l'argumentation. Even if, in Brussels, Eugène Dupréel had already set out to rehabilitate the Sophists, the intellectual atmosphere in the French-speaking world was not very propitious for rhetoric. Most French intellectuals were plunged into ideological debates linked to the intellectual monopoly of the French communist party on societal issues. Free discussion was certainly not very topical. It was only after (...) the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, five years after Perelman's death, that rhetoric began to draw increasing attention. His ideas then gained momentum in France, as .. (shrink)
The overarching theme of Michael Kochin's Five Chapters on Rhetoric seems to be that classical rhetoric is still important. With the help of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Gorgias, Callicles, Protagoras, Isocrates, Cicero, Quintilian, and others, Kochin makes the case that when thinking about rhetoric, we ought to listen to the ancients—at least most of the time. While the overarching theme deals with the classical tradition, the book's central argument is focused squarely on current rhetorical practices. The proper role (...) of rhetoric, Kochin argues, is to allow "the facts" to "speak for themselves" (164). He attempts to establish this claim by exploring five concepts that are, or ought to be, central to our .. (shrink)
Like Frege's distinction of sense and force in semantics, the central distinction of pragmatics is that between perlocutions and illocutions. All speech acts theorists offer a version of this distinction, including Habermas in his theory of communicative action. However, whether or not there is such a distinction at all remains an essentially disputed issue. In this paper I consider the importance of this distinction for analyzing both ideology and rhetoric, but in particular for analyzing one species of rhetorical speech (...) for the purpose of changing beliefs, that engaged in by the social critic. To make these substantive points, I must first consider important recent criticisms of Habermas's distinction, especially those of Erling Skjei and Allen Wood. While I agree with the core of both criticisms, I still think the distinction can be made along the lines that Strawson proposed. I argue that there is not a completely disjunctive, mutually exclusive set of properties defining each type of speech act. There are, and must be, overlapping, nontrivial features common to both. These common features are in fact crucial to the analysis of the sort of speech engaged in by social critics and emancipators. To show this, I argue for the existence of an intermediate class that I call "communicative perlocutions." This class, in turn, overcomes the traditional, Platonic enmity to rhetoric which ought not be imported unquestioned into the philosophy of language or the justification of rational social criticism. (shrink)
The essays collected by Karen Tracy, James P. McDaniel, and Bruce E. Gronbeck in The Prettier Doll: Rhetoric, Discourse, and Ordinary Democracy explore the rhetorical details and patterns of grassroots democracy as they emerged in one particular controversy in a Boulder, Colorado, school district in 2001. Attending to the specificities of the case is crucial to the editors' larger mission: to offer a radically localized alternative to the field's penchant for "grand theory," which, they suggest, too often neglects or (...) ignores "the tenacious intrusions of the nonsovereign subject speaking to neighbors and the institutions of the village, town, and city" (37).The essays all explore what, for a while, became known in .. (shrink)
The publication two decades ago of a collection of essays on the "rhetorical turn" in the natural and social sciences consolidated what had already become a peculiar academic ritual, wherein discipline after discipline discovered, or found itself confronted by, the rhetorical foundations of its own knowledge claims (Simons 1990). The discovery should not have been as shocking as it was, since a robust if often dormant or suppressed tradition dating back to the Sophists had insisted, frequently against fashion, that all (...) truth is the product of rhetorical operations. Nonetheless, the book's editor, Herbert Simons, and most of its contributors eagerly welcomed this belated but auspicious acknowledgment of rhetoric's .. (shrink)
General agreement exists among historians of rhetoric that Augustine’s De doctrina christiana is the first original theoretical conceptualization of rhetoric in the West after that of Cicero. Kenneth Burke called book 4 of De doctrina christiana “the first great Christian rhetoric” (50). This general opinion has not changed much: the introduction to a 2008 collection of seminal essays on De doctrina christiana states that it “may be the first significant exploration of the relationship between rhetoric and (...) religion in that Augustine negotiates a union between two seemingly irreconcilable ideologies (that is, religious fideism and rhetoric)” (Hermanson et al. 2008, 7–8). However, this understandable focus on .. (shrink)
The concurrent publication of The History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of History—a collection of essays published over the span of three decades (1980–2005)—and Rhetoric, Modality, Modernity makes available and defines Nancy Struever’s ongoing revision of the history of rhetoric and pioneering understanding of rhetoric as a mode of inquiry. In Struever’s own idiom, the all-inclusive “thickness” of rhetorical inquiry—as opposed to the discriminating “thinness” of philosophy—requires some concern for a thinker’s intellectual career. Indeed, taken (...) together, the two books allow for a useful, incremental gloss of the later Struever by the earlier and vice versa. Struever authorizes this continuity in her introduction .. (shrink)
ἔστω δὴ ἡ ῥητορικὴ δύναμις περὶ ἕκαστον τοῦ θεωρῆσαι τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον πιθανόν.(Estō dē hē rhētorikē dunamis peri hekaston tou theōrēsai to endekhomenon pithanon.)Let us define rhetoric to be "A faculty of considering all the possible means of persuasion on every subject."Rhetoric then may be defined as the faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever.Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.Let (...)rhetoric be [defined as] an ability, in each [particular] case, to see the available means of persuasion.The question of rhetoric's potential continues to provoke. What appears in Aristotle's attempt to name .. (shrink)
You, who call yourself a rhetorician, what is your art? With what particular thing is your skill concerned? Weaving is concerned with fabricating fabrics, music with making melodies; rhetorician, with what is your know-how concerned? This is the question that Socrates poses to Gorgias in Plato's notorious refutation of rhetoric: "Peri tēs rhētorikēs, peri ti tōn ontōn estin epistēmē?" (1925, 268). Socrates' question frames rhetoric in the genitive case—which, in this case, specifies the source or origin of one (...) thing from another. To ask of rhetoric "peri ti tōn ontōn?" is to ask from whence rhetoric comes, from where rhetoric originates, from what rhetoric is generated. So Socrates' question—"peri ti tōn .. (shrink)
The term dunamis, by which Aristotle defines rhetoric in the first chapter of The Art of Rhetoric, is a "power" term, as its various meanings in Aristotle's corpus—from vernacular ones like "political influence" to strictly philosophical ones like "potentiality"—attest.1 In the Rhetoric, however, dunamis is usually translated as "ability" or "faculty," a designation that, compared to other terms that describe persuasion in ancient Greek poetics and rhetoric (such as "bia" ["force"] or "eros" ["seduction"]), marks rhetoric (...) as a neutral human capacity rather than the use of language entangled in the vagaries of violence and desire.2 John Kirby calls Aristotle's definition "one of the boldest moves in the history of .. (shrink)
In the late 1740s a young man who had just returned from Oxford to his native Scotland gave a series of lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres in Edinburgh. This man was no other than Adam Smith, who would soon become famous for his writings about moral philosophy and, most of all, economic issues. Smith the moral philosopher and Smith the economist quickly overshadowed Smith the theoretician of rhetoric. Even in today’s scholarly perception the curious fact that the (...) founder of economics made his first public appearance as a lecturer on rhetoric is not given the attention it deserves. This means that an important resource for understanding Smith’s self-conception as an author and the society he envisaged is .. (shrink)
In the closing moments of Phaedrus, Socrates announces rhetoric's last gasp: "And now the play is played out; and of rhetoric enough" (2006, 69). Of course, news of rhetoric's death has been greatly exaggerated. Indeed, the death and subsequent rebirth of rhetoric have been declared countless times, and debates surrounding the nature and character of rhetoric— from antiquity through the renaissance and even into the modern day— seem to continue almost interminably. In the contemporary context, (...) such debates often flow inexorably from a constitutive indecision that marks rhetorical studies's complicated relationship to a foundational definition of rhetoric. More often than not, after a brief foray into debates .. (shrink)
So wohl Campbell als auch Whately sind sehr besorgt um die verschiedenen argumentations Formen zu analisieren, aber nicht in seiner abstrecten Vielfalt, sondern den verschiedenen Ableihungen des gebrauches oder der gegenwärtigen argumentations absicht im Entwurf jedes Arguments. In seiner Analyse haben sie beobachtet, dass die etische Begründung bemerkensmert verschieden als die Wissenschafliche. Beide Verfasser sind damit einverstanden dass es einen grossen Unterschied gibt zwischen: der existenten Prämisse in der Wissenchaftlichen Probe, und zweitens, die Form in der die Prämissen im induktiven (...) (oder moralen) Begründung verbunden sind, wiel in diesen letzten verschaffen die Prämissen getrennter Wiese eine Kosistenz auf dem Abschluss, aber sie müsen zusammen bleiben damit der Abschluss beweisbarer ist. Dieser Unterschied zwischen den art die Wharheit oder probabilität zwischen Wissenschaft und Humanität zu erzeugen, ist eines der grossen Themen der Philosophie aber das hermeneutische Paradigma zweifalt über die wissenschaftliche Folgerung, sind die Prämissen nicht doch der gleichen art vorgestellt, wer weiss, mit einer gewiss logischen Interdependenz zwischen inhnen und eine extralogische argumentative last die sie verbindet dem Anlass die Schlussfolgenung konsistente zu machen. (shrink)
This paper explores in detail Gorgias' defense of rhetoric in Plato's Gorgias (456c–7c), noting its connections to earlier and later texts such as Aristophanes' Clouds , Gorgias' Helen , Isocrates' Nicocles and Antidosis , and Aristotle's Rhetoric . The defense as Plato presents it is transparently inadequate; it reveals a deep inconsistency in Gorgias' conception of rhetoric and functions as a satirical precursor to his refutation by Socrates. Yet Gorgias' defense is appropriated, in a streamlined form, by (...) later defenders of rhetoric such as Isocrates and Aristotle. They present it as an effective reductio against a critique of rhetoric that depends on the "harm criterion." This is puzzling, since Plato's own critique of rhetoric does not depend on the harm criterion. On the other hand, Plato does seem to embrace the harm criterion as a more general principle—as if pre-emptively embracing the reductio —in his arguments about the good in the Meno and Euthydemus . Nonetheless, Isocrates and Aristotle seem to be deliberately misreading Plato on rhetoric: where he intends to criticize its intrinsic nature, they respond as if he were merely complaining about its contingent effects. (shrink)
Rousseau initially attempts to secure freedom by grounding political rule in persuasion, rather than coercion. When the spectre of rhetoric undermines this strategy, he is led to ground the volonté générale in the silent and introspective disclosure of the solitary citizen’s inner conscience, which through a sentimentalist transformation of Descartes’s category of bon sens, is recast as an eminently public sentiment. But when rhetorical eloquence turns out to be indispensable to politics, Rousseau turns to republican virtue and the trope (...) of grounding the polity’s freedom in the patrie’s territory and, subsequently, in the citizen’s heart. (shrink)
This paper draws attention to the Symposium's concern with epideictic rhetoric. It argues that in the Symposium, as in the Gorgias and the Phaedrus, a contrast is drawn between true and false rhetoric. The paper also discusses the dialogue's relationship to drama. Whereas both epideictic rhetoric and drama were directed to a mass audience, the speeches in the Symposium are delivered to a small, select group. The discussion focuses on the style of the speeches delivered by Aristophanes, (...) Agathon, Socrates and Alcibiades. Aristophanes speaks in the simple style of comedy, fable and folktale, also used by Protagoras in Plato's Protagoras. Agathon speaks in the high-flown style of Gorgias. Socrates' speech is a miniature Platonic dialogue, and both Alcibiades' speech and Socrates' speech may be compared to satyr play. The paper concludes with a suggestion that the claim at 223D, that the same person should be able to write both comedy and tragedy, refers to style as well as subject-matter. (shrink)
Part one: A progressive orientation: naturalism as exploration -- The vividness of truth: Darwin's romantic rhetoric and the evolutionary framework -- Our most vexing problem: conceptual conservatism and conceptual imperialism -- Naturalism as exploration: the elements of reform -- Part two: The allure of agency: "purpose" in biology -- The real heart of Darwinian evolutionary biology -- A formative power of a self-propagating kind: natural purposes and the concept location project -- A persistent mode of understanding: the psychological power (...) of "purpose" -- Part three: The illusions of agency: "free will" and "moral responsibility" -- The death of an aphorism: the psychology of free will -- The bare possibility of our opinion: libertarian imperialism -- Words give us a special ability: compatibilist conservatism. (shrink)
Deliberative or discursive models of democracy have recently enjoyed a revival in both political theory and policy practice. Against the picture of democracy as a procedure for aggregating and effectively meeting the given preference of individuals, deliberative theory offers a model of democracy as a forum through which judgements and preferences are formed and altered through reasoned dialogue between free and equal citizens. Much in the recent revival of deliberative democracy, especially that which comes through Habermas and Rawls, has Kantian (...) roots. Deliberative institutions are embodiments of the free public use of reason that Kant takes to define the enlightenment project. Within the Kantian model the public use of reason is incompatible with the use of rhetoric. While this paper rejects strong rhetorical criticisms of deliberative democracy which render all communication strategic, it argues that rhetorical studies of deliberation have highlighted features of deliberation which point to significant weaknesses in Kantian approaches to it. Two features are of particular importance: the role of testimony and judgements of credibility in deliberation; and the role of appeal to emotions in public discourse. Both from the Kantian perspective are potential sources of heteronomy. However, the appeal to testimony and emotion are features of public deliberation that cannot and should not be eliminated. For those committed to the enlightenment values that underlie the deliberative model of democracy the question is whether these rhetorical features of deliberation are incompatible with those values. The paper argues that they are compatible. It does so by defending an Aristotelian account of rhetoric in public deliberation which denies the Platonic contrast between reasoned discourse and rhetoric which the Kantian model inherits. (shrink)
?Right words are like the reverse? is the concluding remark of chap. 78 in the Daoist classic Daodejing. Quoted in treatises composed by Seng Zhao (374?414), it designates the linguistic strategy used to unfold the Buddhist Madhyamaka meaning of ?emptiness? and ?ultimate truth?. In his treatise Things Do not Move, Seng Zhao demonstrates that ?motion and stillness? are not really contradictory, performing the deconstructive meaning of Buddhist ?emptiness? via the corresponding linguistic strategy. Though the topic of the discussion and the (...)rhetoric are borrowed from Daoist sources, the point of view is rooted in the Buddhist understanding. The first section of this paper deals with the issue of exegetical methods in early Chinese Buddhism; the subsequent part explains both the Daoist background and the topics modified in Seng Zhao's discussions; the third part analyzes Seng Zhao's linguistic strategy and expounds its particular philosophical significance. (shrink)
This paper highlights the relevance of moral authority, and the role that egoistic ethical claims have in waging war. This is done, in view of the just war tradition, by drawing a parallel between the crusades in the 'kingdom of heaven' proclaimed in 1095, and the present Islamic jih d , as well as the Bush administration's declaration of a war on terror. It maintains that the role of self-legitimized leaders is crucial in shaping the order of the jus ad (...) bellum criteria, in both Christian and Muslim societies, and that the indiscriminate usage of just war rhetoric proves to be a formidable weapon. Moral authority is described as a power resource, capable of capsizing the relevance of ethics, subjecting the interpretation of justice to declare war to the self-proclaimed authorities, and moving masses on the grounds of enthusiasm. (shrink)
This paper focuses on discourse analysis, particularly persuasive discourse, using pragmatics and rhetoric in a new combined way, called by us Pragma-Rhetoric. It can be said that this is a cognitive approach to both pragmatics and rhetoric. Pragmatics is essentially Gricean, Rhetoric comes from a new reading of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, extending his notion of discourse to meso- and micro-discourses. Two kinds of intentions have to be considered: first, communicative intention, and, then, persuasive (...) intention. The fulfilment of those intentions is achieved by a successful persuasivecommunicative action. The psychological, philosophical and logical aspects derived from the pragma-rhetorical perspective are crucial in view of its applications in several practical domains. (shrink)
In English medical law, it is something of an axiom that adult competent patients have an absolute right to refuse all and any medical treatment, including potentially life-saving and life-sustaining treatment. This legal proposition, which is embedded in the doctrine of consent, has for the last few decades been regarded as the expression of the philosophical principle of personal autonomy and ethical right of self-determination. The Western ethical and legal traditions places heavy emphasis on notions of personal sovereignty reflected in (...) the strong rhetorical entrenchment of patient autonomy in judicial determinations of treatment refusal cases. In a spate of legal cases in the 1980s and 1990s judicial rhetoric .. (shrink)
The susceptibility of Habermas' socio-political theory (and notion of constitutional patriotism) to the charge of motivational impotence can be traced to a problem in the way in which he conceives of discursive practical reason. By implicitly constructing the notion of discursive rationality in contrast to, and in abstraction from, the rhetorical and affective components of language use, Habermas' notion of discursive practical reason ends up reiterating the same binaries between reason and passion, abstract and concrete, universal and particular (...) that provide the tacit parameters used by his critics to motivate the charge of impotence. Habermas' project of reconciling social integration and political rule with freedom can succeed only by rebuilding his discourse-ethical theory of politics upon a notion of discursive practical reason that overcomes these philosophy/rhetoric binaries common to both camps. Key Words: communicative action constitutional patriotism discourse ethics Jürgen Habermas practical reason rhetoric. (shrink)
How is reality really manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace part of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, how it is constructed, and what constructionism means are often left unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter explores the central themes raised by these questions. Representing Reality explores the different traditions in constructivist thought--including sociology of scientific knowledge; conversation analysis and ethnomethodology; and semiotics, poststructuralism, and postmodernism--to provide a lucid introduction to (...) several key strands of work that have overturned the way we think about facts and descriptions. Potter illustrates his points throughout with varied and engaging examples taken from newspaper stories, relationship counseling sessions, accounts of paranormal events, social workers' assessments of violent parents, informal talk between program organizers, political arguments, and everyday conversations. Representing Reality offers the student and scholar in social psychology, rhetoric and discourse, and related fields a critical introduction to constructivism. (shrink)
: An Aristotelian conception of practical ethics can be derived from the account of practical reasoning that Aristotle articulates in his Rhetoric and this has important implications for the way we understand the nature and limits of practical ethics. An important feature of this conception of practical ethics is its responsiveness to the complex ways in which agents form and maintain moral commitments, and this has important implications for the debate concerning methods of ethics in applied ethics. In particular, (...) this feature enables us to understand casuistry, narrative, and principlism as mutually supportive modes of moral inquiry, rather than divergent and mutually exclusive methods of ethics. As a result, an Aristotelian conception of practical ethics clears the conceptual common ground upon which practical ethicists can forge a stable and realistic self-understanding. (shrink)
The paper presents a historical overview of some characteristic differences between rhetoric and dialectic in the pre-modern tradition. In the light of this historical analysis, some current approaches to dialectic are characterized, with special attention to Ralph Johnson's concept of dialectical tier.
The structure of this discussion will be tripartite. First it will set out a way of distinguishing between rhetoric and strictly rational argumentation. Next it will consider some of the ramifications of this proposed way of looking at the matter â in particular what its implications are for rationality and for rhetoric, respectively. Finally it examines how this perspective bears on the project of philosophizing. The paper's ultimate aim, accordingly, is to consider what light such an analysis can (...) shed upon philosophy and philosophizing. (shrink)
As an example of Aristotle's genre of epideictic, or ceremonial rhetoric, the Hippocratic Oath has the capacity to persuade its self-addressing audience to appreciate the value of the medical profession by lending an element of stability to the shifting ethos of health care. However, the values it celebrates do not accurately capture communally shared norms about contemporary medical practice. Its multiple and sometimes conflicting versions, anachronistic references, and injunctions that resist translation into specific conduct diminish its longer-term persuasive force. (...) Only when expunged of these elements and reconstructed using values over which there is widespread agreement can the Oath succeed in moving its audience from core values located in past discussions to principled action in the future. (shrink)
Let us begin with the paradox. Rhetoric took pride of place in formal education for two millenia and a half. Its very rich and complex history deserves being studied in detail, but it could also be compressed in a few sentences. Indeed, the same substance was inculcated by eighty generations of teachers to eighty generations of pupils. If a general tendency can be discerned, it consists in a mere narrowing down of the subject matter of rhetoric: one of (...) its five branches, elocutio, the study of figures of speech, progressively displaced the four other branches, and in some schools, became identified with rhetoric tout court. (We.. (shrink)
Olfactoric imagery is abundantly employed in the Bramhall-Hobbes controversy. I survey some examples and then turn to the possible significance of this. I argue that by forcing Hobbes into the figurative exchange Bramhall scores points in terms of moving the controversy into ground that is not covered by the limited view of rationality that Hobbes is committed to according to his rhetoric (at least as Bramhall perceives it). Bramhall clearly wants to move from cool argument to a more affluent (...) rhetorical appeal. I argue that choosing such a richer epistemology coheres with Bramhall. (shrink)
The texts (and talk) of engineers take different forms. In this essay, I present and critique several texts written for different purposes and audiences but all intended to convey to the reader the technical details of whatever they are about—whether a textbook passage describing the fundamental behavior of an electrical component, a journal article about a mathematical technique intended for use in design optimization, a memo to co-workers within a firm about a heat transfer analysis of a remotely sited building, (...) or a general introduction to the field of? ergonomics? My aim is to explore how the ways in which engineers describe and document their problems and projects frame what they accept, display and profess as useful knowledge. In this I am particularly interested in how engineers envision the ‘users’ of, or participants in, their productions. Like science, engineering texts are written as if they were timeless and untainted by socio-cultural features. However, a technical treatise is not devoid of metaphor or creative rendering of events; there is always a narrative within which worldly data and instrumental logic is embedded—but it is a story in which the passive voice prevails, history is irrelevant, and the human actor or agent is painted in quantitative parameters fitting the occasion. Whether this rhetoric can be sustained in the face of challenges to traditional ways of doing engineering is an open question. (shrink)