Linda Zerilli
University of Chicago
John Locke famously sets the arts of rhetoric at odds with the pursuit of knowledge. Drawing on the work of Ernesto Grassi, this article shows that Locke’s epistemological and political arguments are parasitic on the very tropes and figures he would exclude in any serious discourse. Accordingly, Locke’s attack on the divine right of kings and his famous argument for the social contract is read as exhibiting a rhetorical structure. This structure is crucial to Locke’s critique of heteronomy and his attempt to facilitate the identification of oneself as a free subject.
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DOI 10.1177/1474885105050447
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