Phantastic, Impressive Rhetoric

Philosophy and Rhetoric 54 (4):374-396 (2021)
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ABSTRACT This article develops a theory of rhetorical impression through a critical genealogy of the term phantasia. The genealogy demonstrates cause for understanding phantasia as impression, not image. I trace phantasia as impression through the work of Plato and Aristotle but ultimately argue that the stoics offer the most productive leads for thinking through impressions, materiality, and sensations together. Specifically, I demonstrate how the stoics' concept of lekton can productively mediate the relationship between rhetoric, materiality, imagination, and idealism. In the closing section, I suggest how a theory of rhetorical impression can address lacunae in existing new materialist approaches.



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