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.
This book, originally published in 1989 discusses an issue central to all philosophical argument – the relation between persuasion and truth. The techniques of persuasion are indirect and not always fully transparent. Whether philosophers and theoreticians are for or against the use of rhetoric, they engage in rhetorical practice none the less. Focusing on Plato, Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, this book uncovers philosophical rhetoric at work and reminds us of the rhetorical arena in which philosophical writings (...) are produced and considered. (shrink)
A careful analysis of the rhetorical thought of René Descartes and of a distinguished group of post-Cartesians. Covering a unique range of authors, including Bernard Lamy and Nicolas Malebranche, Carr attacks the idea, which has become commonplace in contemporary criticism, that the Cartesian system is incompatible with rhetoric. Carr analyzes the writings of Balzac, the Port-Royalists Arnauld and Nicole, Malebranche, and Lamy, exploring the evolution of Descartes’ thought into their different theories of rhetoric. He constructs his arguments, probing (...) each author’s writings on rhetoric, persuasion, and attention, to demonstrate the basis for rhetorical thought present in Descartes’ theory of persuasion when it is combined with his psychophysiology of attention. (shrink)
Recent scholarship on Kant and rhetoric suggests an inclusive relation between affectivity and cognitive judgment, but that position runs counter to a traditional philosophical opposition between sensibility and rationality. A way to overcome this opposition comes into view when three significant areas of Kantian judgment and Aristotelian rhetoric are seen to overlap. First, each allows that communicative capacities operate within the way a perceptual object or scene appears in the first place. Secondly, each significantly broadens such communicative capacities (...) so as to include the entire conceptual form of one’s disposition or orientation to the world as a whole. Thirdly, each links those broad mental dispositions to specifically affective states of mind. Taken together, the areas of overlap between Kantian judgment and Aristotelian rhetoric adumbrate an integrated picture of the affective sensibilities and cognitive capacities largely missing from the contemporary landscape. (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)
Recent scholarship on Kant and rhetoric suggests an inclusive relation between affectivity and cognitive judgment, but that position runs counter to a traditional philosophical opposition between sensibility and rationality. A way to overcome this opposition comes into view in the overlap in three significant areas between Kantian judgment and Aristotelian rhetoric. First, each allows that communicative capacities operate within the way a perceptual object or scene appears in the first place. Secondly, each significantly broadens such communicative capacities so (...) as to include the entire conceptual form of one’s disposition or orientation to the world as a whole. Thirdly, each links those broad mental dispositions to specifically affective states of mind. Taken together, the areas of overlap between Kantian judgment and Aristotelian rhetoric adumbrate an integrated picture of the affective sensibilities and cognitive capacities largely missing from the contemporary landscape. (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)
This article looks into the process of searching for new forms of legitimacy among firms through corporate discourse. Through the analysis of annual sustainability reports, we have determined the existence of three types of rhetoric: (1) strategic (embedded in the scientific-economic paradigm); (2) institutional (based on the fundamental constructs of Corporate Social Responsibility theories); and (3) dialectic (which aims at improving the discursive quality between the corporations and their stakeholders). Each one of these refers to a different form of (...) legitimacy and is based on distinct theories of the firm analyzed in this article. We claim that dialectic rhetoric seems to signal a new understanding of the firm's role in society and a search for moral legitimation. However, this new form of rhetoric is still fairly uncommon although its use is growing. Combining theory and business examples, this article may help managers and researchers in the conceptualization of how firms make sense of their role in society and what forms of differentiation they strive for through their rhetoric strategies. (shrink)
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 philosophy. However, the philosopher and the sophist (...) are distinguished by the philosopher's love of the forms as the ultimate objects of desire. It is this love of the forms that informs the philosopher's rhetoric, which he uses to lead his partner to better understand his deepest desires. McCoy's work is of interest to philosophers, classicists, and communications specialists alike in its careful yet comprehensive treatment of philosophy, sophistry, and rhetoric as portrayed through the drama of the dialogues. (shrink)
Persuasive definitions – those that convey an attitude in the act of naming – are frequently employed in discourse and are a form of strategic maneuvering. The dynamics of persuasive definition are explored through brief case studies and an extended analysis of the use of the “war” metaphor in responding to terrorism after September 11, 2001. Examining persuasive definitions enables us to notice similarities and differences between strategic maneuvering in dialectical and in rhetorical argument, as well as differences between the (...) role of strategic maneuvering in normatively ideal argument and in actually existing argument. This will avoid the double standard of comparing ideal dialectic with actual rhetoric, or vice versa. The results of the analysis suggest possibilities for a rapprochement between dialectical and rhetorical approaches to argumentation. (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)
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.
The article consists of a brief biographical account of Immanuel Kant’s life and career, followed by a discussion of his basic philosophy, and a brief discussion of his pivotal point in the history of Rhetoric and Communicology. A major figure in the European Enlightenment period of Philosophy, his Collected Writings were first published in 1900 constituting 29 volumes. He wrote three major works that are foundational to the development of Western philosophy and the human sciences. Often just referred to (...) as the “Three Critiques” informally, the First, the Second, and the Third. These are respectively: The Critique of Pure Reason focused on issues in logic, The Critique of Practical Reason relating ethical guidelines, and The Critique of Judgment exploring issues of aesthetics. He is most famous for his philosophy of transcendental idealism. This version of idealism argues that in logic statements are analytic or synthetic. He further argues that statements are a priori or a posteriori. Models of rhetoric, phenomenological methodology, and the contemporary Perspectives Model of interpersonal communicology are included as the Kantian legacy in the US. Notes provide a guide to edition and philological issues in the Kantian corpus, especially for the hermeneutics of Vorstellung versus Darstellung. (shrink)
When a new theory of argumentation becomes available on the English-speaking market, such as it is happening now through the translation of Harald Wohlrapp’s The Concept of Argument, it is always interesting to work out how the new input will interact with the work that has otherwise been done in the field. This comment aims to determine whether rhetoric has a place in Wohlrapp’s account of argumentation.
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)
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 purpose of this paper is to briefly describe and compare the original goals and perspectives of both rhetoric and dialectic in theory and in practice. Dialectic is the practice and theory of conversations; rhetoric that of speeches. For theory of dialectic, this paper will turn to Aristotle's Topics and Sophistical Refutations; for theory of rhetoric, to his Rhetoric. Thus it will appear that rhetoric and dialectic are pretty close. Yet, on the other hand, there (...) is a long tradition of mutual antagonism. The paper tries to summarize the common features of, as well as the differences between, the two. To get a taste of both dialectic and rhetoric in practice the reader is invited to enter the House of Callias, as we know it from Plato's Protagoras. After this visit there remains no doubt that rhetoric and dialectic are intertwined on the level of practice. Moreover, we may look forward to their integration on the level of theory. (shrink)
Stauffer demonstrates the complex unity of Plato's Gorgias through a careful analysis of the dialogue's three main sections. This includes Socrates' famous argumentative duel with Callicles, a passionate critic of justice and philosophy, showing how the seemingly disparate themes of rhetoric, justice and the philosophic life are woven together into a coherent whole. His interpretation of the Gorgias sheds new light on Plato's thought, showing that Plato and Socrates had a more favourable view of rhetoric than is usually (...) supposed. Stauffer also challenges common assumptions concerning the character and purpose of some of Socrates' most famous claims about justice. Written as a close study of the Gorgias, Stauffer also treats broad questions concerning Plato's moral and political psychology and uncovers the view of the relationship between philosophy and politics that guided Plato as he wrote his dialogues. (shrink)
The ways in which the Aristotelian sciences are related to each other has been discussed in the literature, with some focus on the subalternate sciences. While it is acknowledged that Aristotle, and Plato as well, was concerned as well with how the arts were related to one another, less attention has been paid to Aristotle's views on relationships among the arts. In this paper, I argue that Aristotle's account of the subalternate sciences helps shed light on how Aristotle saw the (...) art of rhetoric relating to dialectic and politics. Initial motivation for comparing rhetoric with the subalternate sciences is Aristotle's use of the language of boundary transgression, germane to the Posterior Analytics, when discussing rhetoric’s boundaries, as well as the language of "over" and "under" found in APo. First, I discuss three passages in Rhetoric Book I and argue that Garver's (1988) account cannot be correct. Second, I look to the subalternate sciences, especially focusing on optics and the distinction between "unqualified" optics and mathematical optics. Third, I discuss rhetoric's dependence on both dialectic and politics. (shrink)
In the present article I attribute to the common topic in the Rhetoric a two-fold suggestive function and a guarantee function. These three functions are possible because this type of topic, while often quite abstract, nevertheless contains thought-steering, substantial terms, and formulates a generally empirical or normative endoxon. Assuming that according to Aristotle an enthymeme has at least two premises, it would appear that a common topic is the abstract principle behind the often implicit major premise. This means that (...) the topic may be regarded as the – generalizing – if-then statement in a modern argumentation scheme. Therefore it should be possible to see the enthymemes of Rhetoric 2.23 as a combination of a logical argument form and an argumentation scheme – even though we may not attribute this idea to Aristotle himself. (shrink)
According to Aristotle, character (êthos) and emotion (pathos) are constitutive features of the process of phronetic practical deliberation: in order to render a determinate action-specific judgement, practical reasoning cannot be simply reduced to logical demonstration (apodeixis). This can be seen by uncovering an important structural parallel between the virtue of phronêsis and the art of rhetoric. This structural parallel helps to show how Aristotle's account of practical reason and deliberation, which constructively incorporates the emotions, illuminates key issues in contemporary (...) democratic theory concerning deliberation at the political level. (shrink)
Given that charges of anti-Semitism, racism, and the like continue to be potent weapons of moral and intellectual critique in our culture, it is important that we work toward a clear understanding about just what sorts of conduct and circumstances constitute these moral offenses. In particular, can criticism of a state (such as Israel), or other social or political institution or organization (such as the NAACP), ever amount to anti-Semitism, racism, or other bigotry against the people represented by or associated (...) with it, even if no explicit denigration of them occurs? That a renowned scholar of rhetoric and philosophy takes up the challenge of answering such a question would seem to be cause for optimism, but the recent attempt by Judith Butler turns out to be subverted by faulty logic and blatant misreading. As a result, it obfuscates the issue, and wrongly suggests that expressive acts cannot be blameworthy on grounds of bigotry if they are not intentionally designed to serve such purposes. (shrink)
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)
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)
After the 9/11 attacks the U.S. administration went beyond emergency response towards imperialism, but cloaked its agenda in the rhetoric of fighting ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism.’ After distinguishing between emergency thinking and emergency planning, I question the administration’s “war on terrorism” rhetoric in three stages. First, upon examining the post-9/11 antiterrorism discourse I find that it splits into two agendas: domestic, protect our infrastructure; and foreign, select military targets. Second, I review approaches to emergency planning already in place. Third, (...) after reviewing what philosophers have said about emergencies, I recommend they turn their attention to the biases inherent in and misleading uses of antiterrorist terminology. (shrink)
When a child is born with ambiguousgenitalia it is declared a psychosocialemergency, and the policy first proposed byJohn Money andadapted by the American Academy of Pediatrics requires determination ofunderlying condition, selection of gender,surgical intervention, and a commitment by allparties to accept the ``real sex'' of thepatient, all no later than 18–24 months,preferably earlier. Ethicists have recentlyquestioned this protocol on several grounds:lack of medical necessity, violation ofinformed consent, uncertainty of standards ofsuccess, among others. This suggests that thefaults in the protocol can (...) be addressed andimproved. Through a rhetorical approachinformed by Perelman/Olbrechts-Tyteca, thedisciplinary pathologization and reconstructionof the body are explored as incidents ofconstraining rhetoric that enact theirpersuasion upon the body of intersexedchildren. This essay shows that thepresumptions, judgments, values, andpresuppositions brought by the physician to theidentification, diagnosis, and curativeprocedures create a network of constraints thatexclude alternative possibilities. The resultis a situation wherein parents, physicians, andintersexed patients have ``no choice'' but toaccept the medical treatment guidelines. (shrink)
This paper argues that the modern curriculum of academic subject disciplines embodies a rationalist conception of pure, universal knowledge that does little to cultivate, humanise or form the self. A liberal education in the classical humanist tradition, by contrast, develops a personal culture or paideia, an understanding of the self as a social, political and cultural being, and the practical wisdom needed to make judgements in practical, political and human affairs. The paper concludes by asking whether the old liberal curriculum, (...) traditionally centred on the humanities and the disciplines of grammar and rhetoric, can be recovered in the modern age. (shrink)
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)
This essay offers, as a counterpart to pragma-dialectical argument, a “new rhetoric” produced in the situated discourse of a public forum when a community addresses matters of common urgency and undertakes informed action. Such a rhetoric takes the principles of discourse ethics as its informing dialectic by identifying an interlocutor as one who is obligatedboth to argue effectively,and also to hold open, even reinforce, norms of communicative reason. Implications concerning the study of fallacies and theethos obligations of communicative (...) reasoning are discussed. (shrink)
The tone of this paper is largely critical. Therefore, I would like to begin by praising Donald McCloskey and Arjo Klamer for their exciting and provocative initiative in the metatheory of economics. They have done us a great favor by opening our eyes to some hidden aspects in the intellectual practices of economists. They have shown that economics is rhetoric; it is persuasion, discourse, conversation, and negotiation, to use their favorite phrases. They have provided plausible arguments and illuminating examples (...) to convince us of the literary character of economic reasoning, notwithstanding the formal languages used by economists and the positivist pretensions typical of the self-image of the discipline. However, McCloskey and Klamer have been less successful in trying to convince us of what economics is not. In particular, it concerns me that they have opened up a gap between rhetoric and realism. They seem to think that because economics has a rhetorical character, it cannot be understood in realist terms. I will argue that this view is mistaken: rhetoric and realism do not exclude each other, but rather they are capable of being combined in a coherent methodology of economics. It is a valuable contribution to import the insights of the newly rehabilitated rhetoric to the metatheory of economics; but it is unnecessary to marry them with enthusiasm about the fashionable anti-realism of Richard Rorty and others. While this is my overall thesis, it is clear that only initial steps towards its substantiation can be taken in this paper. I intend to proceed as follows. I will first make an attempt to locate the problem at hand in the history of the metatheory of economics. Then I will point out those elements in rhetorical metatheory as practiced and defended by Klamer and McCloskey that apparently have anti-realist or non-realist assumptions or implications, either directly or via considerations of scientific rationality. Next I will formulate a few concepts of realism, the differences between which have been ignored in the methodology of economics to this day. Then I will make preliminary attempts to inquire into the mutual compatibility of the rhetorical insights provided by McCloskey and Klamer and realism in this context. I will show that, in principle, there should be no insurmountable obstacles to combining the two; in some of its senses, realism will even turn out to be presupposed by the rhetorical approach. I do not primarily intend to argue for realism as such in this paper. Instead, I will argue for the compatibility of realism and rhetoric. The argument is based on Klamer's and McCloskey's own commitments; in this sense, the argument is immanent to their rhetorical approach. As a final point, I will argue that one should not be indifferent about realism: it does make a difference in economics and in the methodology of economics whether rhetoric is accepted with or without realism. (shrink)
Although rhetoric is not a category of ancient Indian philosophy, this paper argues that Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla, 2 eighth-century Indian Buddhist philosophers, can nonetheless be seen to embrace a rhetorical conception of rationality. That is, while these thinkers are strong proponents of rational analysis and philosophical argumentation as tools for attaining certainty, they also uphold the contingent nature of all such processes. Drawing on the categories of the New Rhetoric, this paper argues that these Buddhist thinkers understand philosophical (...) argumentation to be directed at a universal audience of rational beings, where this universal audience is not an actual audience but a rhetorical one constructed through the author’s particular and historically contingent conception of what counts as rational. A reception theory of rationality is one that holds that the rationality of an argument depends upon its acceptance by a rational audience. When philosophers recognize the historically contingent nature of what counts as rational, they can embrace a reception theory of rationality that neither reduces the rational to mere opinion nor restricts it to a single, absolute, and timeless standard. (shrink)
In Aristotle's Rhetoric, logos must be conceived as enthymematical argumentation relative to the issue of the case. Ethos and pathos also can take the form of an enthymeme, but this argumentation doesn't relate (directly) to the issue. In this kind of enthymeme, the conclusion is relative to the ethos of the speaker or (reasons for) the pathos of the audience. In an ideal situation — with a good procedure and rational judges — logos dominates and in the real situation (...) of Aristotle's time — with an imperfect procedure and irrational judges — ethos and pathos prevail. (shrink)
In this article we introduce the special issue Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric, which brings together a number of contributions that were first presented at the conference Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education. Kenneth Burke [1897–1993] is one of the foundational figures in the development of what is known as the ‘new rhetoric’. The aim of the contributions to this special issue is to explore what is pedagogical about Burke’s anthropological (...) account of rhetoric and, more specifically, whether his concepts and ideas can still be relevant for educational research and practice. In this article, we briefly introduce some key concepts from Burke’s rhetorical framework and we give an overview of the different contributions that are part of the special issue by summarizing how they address the educational dimension of Burke’s corpus. We end by introducing a ‘grammar of educational motives’ to explore educational purposes and implications. (shrink)
The notions of argument and argumentation have become increasingly ubiquitous in Artificial Intelligence research, with various application and interpretations. Less attention has been, however, specifically devoted to rhetorical argument The work presented in this paper aims at bridging this gap, by proposing a framework for characterising rhetorical argumentation, based on Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's New Rhetoric. The paper provides an overview of the state of the art of computational work based on, or dealing with, rhetorical aspects of argumentation, before presenting (...) the characterisation proposed, corroborated by walked-through examples. (shrink)
In this collection edited by Alan G. Gross and Arthur E. Walzer, scholars in communication, rhetoric and composition, and philosophy seek to “reread” Aristotle’s Rhetoric from a purely rhetorical perspective.
In this paper, I contend that evidence-focused strategies of science communication may be complemented by possibly more effective rhetorical arguments in current public debates on vaccines. I analyse the case of direct science communication - that is, communication of evidence - and show that it is difficult to effectively communicate evidential standards of science in the presence of well-equipped anti-science movements. Instead, I argue that effective rhetorical tools involve ad hominem strategies, that is, arguments involving claims of expertise. I provide (...) a rationale, and sketch a methodology, for using ad hominem arguments in science communication. (shrink)
The thesis is defended that rhetoric is not, as is often said, a discipline which is hierarchically subordinate to dialectic. It is argued that the modalities of the links between rhetoric and dialectic must be seen in a somewhat different light: rhetoric and dialectic should be viewed as two complementary disciplines. On the basis of a historical survey of the views of various authors on the links between rhetoric and dialectic, it is concluded that efforts to (...) establish clear boundaries or unequivocal conceptual or moral hierarchical relationships between the two disciplines have failed and that therefore, they must be conceived as being mutually dependent. (shrink)
In Winning Votes by Abusing Reason, Jamie Carlin Watson combines research from epistemology, political philosophy, psychology, and economics in constructing a sophisticated argument that challenges unspoken commitments held by those engaged in politics. Watson’s main focus is what he calls the ‘problem of political rhetoric’. He asks whether we can ever really learn anything from the testimony of politicians. He is not optimistic. Watson argues that political rhetoric is damaging to our reasoning faculties. He sees no solution to (...) this problem, and recommends that we focus on individual or local efforts to improve our reasoning. I outline the structure of Watson’s argument before noting two potential ways we might resist his conclusion. (shrink)
The exculpatory rhetorical power of the term “honest belief” continues to invite reliance on the bare credibility of belief in consent to determine culpability in sexual assault. In law, however, only a comprehensive analysis of mens rea, including an examination of the material facts and circumstances of which the accused was aware, demonstrates whether a “belief” in consent was or was not reckless or wilfully blind. An accused's “honest belief” routinely begs this question, leading to a truncated analysis of criminal (...) responsibility, and error. The problem illustrates how easily old rhetoric perpetuates assumptions that no longer have a place in Canadian law. (shrink)
This monograph has three purposes. It attempts first to describe in general terms methods of investigation proper to strict phenomenology and to new rhetoric. Second, it describes certain recent developments by the author that lead to a de-projective approach to phenomenology and which are of potential significance in a variety of areas of study, including new rhetoric. Finally, suggestions are made with a view to bringing portions of rigorous phenomenology into close connection with certain of the basic concerns (...) of new rhetoric. (shrink)