Gorgias Society, English Dept., UTA, Writing Histories of Rhetoric Conf.
But what is historically false can be politically true. Not only were political jokes a weapon for making some fair points against the Principate; ancient rhetorical theory recognized that wit in general arises from violation of normal, expected ways of thinking.
If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. October LC: DG p p. The cloth edition of this book, ISBN , is out of print, but the paperback is still available. If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager. Modern rhetoricians identify rhetoric more with critical perspective than with artistic product.
They justify expanding their concerns into other literary provinces on the basis of a change in thinking about the nature of human reason. Modern philosophers of the Existentialist and Phenomenologist schools have strongly challenged the assumptions whereby such dualities as knowledge and opinion , persuasion and conviction , reason and emotion, rhetoric and poetry , and even rhetoric and philosophy have in the past been distinguished. The old line between the demonstrable and the probable has become blurred.
Such modern philosophers use legal battles in a courtroom as basic models of the process every person goes through in acquiring knowledge or opinion.
For some, philosophy and rhetoric have become conflated , with rhetoric itself being a further conflation of the subject matter Aristotle discusses not only in his Rhetoric but also in his Topics , which he had designed for dialectics , for disputation among experts. According to this view, philosophers engage in a rhetorical transaction that seeks to persuade through a dialogic process first themselves and then, by means of their utterances, others. Rhetoric has come to be understood less as a body of theory or as certain types of artificial techniques and more as an integral component of all human discourse.
An Argument for the Third Wo/Man: A Review of Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric
As a body of discursive theory, rhetoric has traditionally offered rules that are merely articulations of contemporary attitudes toward certain kinds of prose and has tended to be identified with orations in which the specific intent to persuade is most obvious. But modern rhetoric is limited neither to the offering of rules nor to studying topical and transient products of controversy. Rather, having linked its traditional focus upon creation with a focus upon interpretation, modern rhetoric offers a perspective for discovering the suffusion of text and content inhering within any discourse.
And for its twin tasks, analysis and genesis, it offers a methodology as well: the uncovering of those strategies whereby the interest, values, or emotions of an audience are engaged by any speaker or writer through his discourse. The perspective has been denoted with the term situation; the methodology, after the manner of certain modern philosophers, may be denoted by the term argumentation.
It should be noted at the outset that one may study not only the intent, audience, and structure of a discursive act but also the shaping effects of the medium itself on both the communicator and the communicant. Those rhetorical instruments that potentially work upon an audience in a certain way, it must be assumed, produce somewhat analogous effects within the writer or speaker as well, directing and shaping his discourse.
Such figures may be said to pertain either to the texture of the discourse, the local colour or details, or to the structure, the shape of the total argument. Ancient rhetoricians made a functional distinction between trope like metaphor, a textural effect and scheme like allegory , a structural principle. However, a certain slippage in the categories trope and scheme became inevitable, not simply because rhetoricians were inconsistent in their use of terms but because well-constructed discourse reflects a fusion of structure and texture.
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One is virtually indistinguishable from the other. For all these reasons figures of speech are crucial means of examining the transactional nature of discourse.
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The two kinds of rhetoric are not necessarily discrete: in oratory or in lyric poetry , for example, the creator and his persona are assumed to be identical. A poet, according to Aristotle, speaks in his own voice in lyric poetry, in his own voice and through the voices of his characters in epic or narrative , and only through the voices of his characters in drama.
Thus, the speaker of oratory or of most nonfictional prose is similar to the lyric speaker, with less freedom than the latter either to universalize or to create imaginatively his own audience. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Rhetoric in literature The nature and scope of rhetoric Traditional and modern rhetoric Elements of rhetoric Rhetoric of or in a discourse Rhetorical traditions Ancient Greece and Rome The Middle Ages The Renaissance and after Toward a new rhetoric The rhetoric of non-Western cultures Rhetoric in philosophy: the new rhetoric Nature of the new rhetoric Systematic presentation of the new rhetoric Personal relations with the audience Basis of agreement and types of argumentation Scope and organization of argumentation Significance of the new rhetoric.
Written By: Thomas O.
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