Humanist Controversies

Philosophy and Rhetoric 45 (2):134-147 (2012)
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Abstract

This article discusses two twentieth-century examples of humanist controversies in order to demonstrate some rhetorical paths of thought involved in developing and securing rhetorical humanism within philosophy and rhetorical studies. The article begins with Martin Heidegger's antihumanist provocation and examines Ernesto Grassi's response in his revisionist interpretation of a nonmetaphysical Renaissance humanism. Next it takes up the post-Heideggerian moment of late twentieth-century postmodern critiques, including attacks on humanist foundationalism and essentialist notions of agency, and compares Grassi's defense of rhetorical humanism within Continental philosophy to Michael Leff's reinterpretation of Ciceronian humanism within communication studies. Both Grassi and Leff propose a rhetorical humanist alternative to Heidegger's and postmodernism's philosophical antihumanism. These two rhetoricians demonstrate an interpretive power and a rhetorical creativity that not only revitalize rhetorical humanism in the present age but also provide valuable resources for its extension into the future.

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Citations of this work

Notes on Prayerful Rhetoric with Divinities.Steven Mailloux - 2014 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 47 (4):419-433.

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References found in this work

Existentialism and Humanism.Jean-Paul Sartre - 1949 - Philosophy 24 (89):182-183.
The Rise of American Philosophy: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1860-1930.Bruce Kuklick - 1978 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 14 (1):53-72.
Homo, Humanus, and the Meanings of 'Humanism'.Vito R. Giustiniani - 1985 - Journal of the History of Ideas 46 (2):167.
9 Hermeneutical Rhetoric.Michael Leff - unknown - In eds Walter Jost and Michael J. Hyde (ed.), Rhetoric and Hermeneutics in Our Time: A Reader. Yale University Press. pp. 196-214.

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