A Pentadic Analysis of George Campbell's "a Dissertation on Miracles"

Dissertation, Regent University (2001)

A Dissertation on Miracles , a response to David Hume's essay on miracles, was George Campbell's first major work, yet it has been neglected by scholars. This study uses Kenneth Burke's dramatistic pentad as a critical approach, investigating eighteenth-century Scottish culture , George Campbell , the Dissertation as argumentative discourse , and Campbell's motives . The study probes the relationship between Campbell and Hume, including the extent of Hume's influence on The Philosophy of Rhetoric, Hume's response to the Dissertation, and Campbell's answer. Three factors that have traditionally been identified as Campbell's motives are explored, and a fourth, overlooked, motive is discovered. The text of the third edition of the Dissertation, last published in 1841, is included. The study finds that the Dissertation is a unique record of the discourse between Hume and Campbell and that the issues it addressed continue to dominate the debate over miracles
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