I explore in this essay an ethically grounded method for structuring a program of study. Rather than attempt to delimit a discipline or to reinforce disciplinarity, I suggest a means of creatively narrowing the scope of research, namely by focusing on inner necessity and conscience. The art of rhetoric as self-discipline is an extension of inner necessity and a framework in which scholars may come to integrate the more rational and more artistic, more public and more private elements (...) of their personalities by exploring the influence of symbols on their lives. By conceptualizing the art of rhetoric as a "self-discipline," I affirm the significance of all these elements and suggest that their harmonious blending will enhance the pleasures and utilities of discourse. (shrink)
On 18 October 1708, Giambattista Vico (1668–1744) gave his seventh inaugural oration, De nostri temporis studiorum ratione (De ratione) at the University of Naples. There, he used the term conspirare to propose collaboration among the sciences. An initial study of the historical context, specifically the scholar’s involvement with the Conspiracy of the Prince of Macchia (1701) and the debates on university reform, makes it possible to formulate a hypothesis regarding Vico’s intent and word choice that enriches our understanding of the (...) preserved text. On a personal level, the Neapolitan professor was looking for a modicum of protection from the new authorities, especially the recently named viceroy in audience that day, Cardinal Vicenzo Grimani. On the political plane, along with a surreptitious argument against tyranny, Vico sought to dissuade the new governors from subscribing to the divisive approach embodied in the university policy of the Cartesian and Bourbonic reformers. Direct analysis of the text of De ratione enabled theoretical scrutiny of the frame from which Vico called for more than mere encyclopaedic knowledge. He was setting forth a vision for a conspiratorial project among the sciences based on a broad understanding of rhetoric. His original proposal for inter- and trans-disciplinarity can inform current debates on the same topic. (shrink)
Beyond Interdisciplinarity examines the broadening meaning of core concept across academic disciplines and other forms of knowledge. In this book, Associate Editor of The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity and internationally recognized scholar Julie Thompson Klein depicts the heterogeneity and boundary work of inter- and trans-disciplinarity in a conceptual framework based on an ecology of spatializing practices in transaction spaces, including trading zones and communities of practice. The book includes both "crossdisciplinary" work (encompassing multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary forms) as well (...) as "cross-sector" work (spanning disciplines, fields, professions, government and industry, and communities). The first section of the book defines and explains boundary work, discourses of interdisciplinarity, and the nature of interdisciplinary fields. In the second section, Klein examines dynamics of working across disciplines, including communication, collaboration, and learning with concrete examples and lessons from research projects and programs that transcend traditional fields. The closing chapter examines reasons for failure and success then presents gateways to literature and other resources. Throughout the book, Klein emphasizes the roles of contextualization and historical change while factoring in the shifting relationship of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, ascendancy of transdisciplinarity, and intersections with other constructs including Mode 2 knowledge production, convergence, team science, and postdisciplinarity. The conceptual framework she provides also includes the role of boundary objects, agents, and organizations in brokering differences and creating for platforms for change. Klein further explains why translation, interlanguage, and a communication boundary space are vital to achieving intersubjectivity and collective identity. They foster not only pragmatics of negotiation and integration but also reflexivity, transactivity, and co-production of knowledge with stakeholders beyond the academy. Rhetorics of holism and synthesis compete with instrumentalities of problem solving and transgressive critiques. However, typical warrants today include complexity, contextualization, collaboration, and socially-robust knowledge. Crossing boundaries remains complex, but this book guides readers through the density of pertinent literature while expanding understandings of crossdisciplinary and cross-sector work. (shrink)
What makes any investigative field a scientific discipline? This article argues that disciplines are ever-changing frameworks within which scientific activity is organised. Moreover, disciplinarity is not a yes or no proposition: scientific activities may achieve degrees of identity development. Degree of consensus is the key, and consensus on many questions (conceptual, methodological, institutional, and social) varies among sciences. Lastly, disciplinary development is non-teleological. Disciplines pass through no regular stages on their way from immature to mature status, designations articulated within (...) the rhetoric of discipline formation. Scientists assemble disciplines using many elements: phenomena, methods, instruments, theories, analytical techniques, and institutional tools such as journals, government bureaus, and university positions. Scientists created geophysics during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through such a combination. Whether geophysics became a discipline depends on how discipline is defined. (shrink)
Recently there has been an upsurge in interest concerning the relationship between religion and international relations. Much of this has been expressed as if the relationship between these was entirely new. In contrast, this paper involves the argument that it is not so much a question of religion returning but rather why it is that students of international relations have neglected the connection since the Peace of Westphalia. This neglect has largely occurred because of the primacy given to changes and (...) events in the West, particularly since the formal separation of church and state and its imposition on or emulation by Eastern societies. The recent concern with globalization has provided the opportunity to undertake historical discussion in new perspectives which overcome the Western “normality” of the absence of religion in the Realpolitik perspective. Moreover, it is argued that much of the neglect of religion in work on world affairs has largely been the product of the inaccurate and ideologically motivated perception of ongoing secularization. The overall discussion is framed by some objections to the limiting consequences of disciplinarity, particularly the way in which both IR and sociology were rhetorically constituted. (shrink)
En este artículo investigamos la incidencia de tres formatos de presentación de información multisemiótica textual en la comprensión de textos escritos a partir de un pasaje retórico del género Informe de Política Monetaria. Para ello se diseñó un experimento con tres pruebas de comprensión, cuyos textos variaban en la preponderancia multisemiótica constitutiva: texto original, texto con predominancia del sistema gráfico y texto con predominancia del sistema verbal. Estos instrumentos fueron aplicados a 151 estudiantes de una carrera universitaria en el área (...) de economía, Chile, divididos en dos grupos: estudiantes de primer año de universidad y estudiantes de tercer año. Los resultados indican, por un lado, que no existen diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre las tres condiciones de las pruebas de comprensión, en cada grupo de estudiantes. Por otro, sí se registran diferencias significativas entre los resultados de comprensión de los grupos de lectores de primer y tercer año, particularmente a favor de textos que preponderantemente privilegian un solo formato de codificación de la información ; mientras que no se distingue por nivel de inserción disciplinar en textos que exigen una lectura integrada de los códigos verbal y gráfico. Se discuten implicancias de estos resultados para la comprensión de textos especializados multisemióticos. In this paper we investigate the impact of three presentation formats of textual multisemiotic information in the comprehension of written texts from a rhetorical passage of the genre Monetary Policy Report. To do this, an experiment with three comprehension tests was designed, in which texts varied in the constituent multisemiotic preponderance: original text, text with predominance of the graphic system, and text with predominance of the verbal system. These instruments were applied to 151 students at a university program in the field of Economics in Chile. They were divided into two groups: university freshmen and university third graders. The results indicate, on the one hand, that there are no statistically significant differences between the three conditions of the comprehension tests, in each group of students. On the other hand, there are significant differences between the results of the reading comprehension tests of first and third year university students, particularly, in favor of texts predominantly of one information encoding format ; while there is no difference in terms of the disciplinary university level in texts that required an integrated reading of verbal and graphic codes. Implications of these results for the comprehension of multisemiotic specialized texts are discussed. (shrink)
Not many studies have focused on the analysis of the rhetorical organization of a genre and the respective frequency of occurrence of moves and steps as they occur in a corpus across disciplines – particularly, with a complementary qualitative-quantitative approach. This article aims to become a step in helping to fill this gap in research on Spanish. In this way, the textbook genre, the occurrence of its rhetorical macro-moves, moves and steps and disciplinarity are the central focus of this (...) study. More specifically, in this article we seek to determine and to compare the frequency of occurrence of macro-moves, moves and steps in a corpus of 126 university textbooks across the academic discourse of four disciplines. We distinguish the major areas of knowledge as well as the specific disciplines. The main findings show there are differences between the occurrence of some discourse moves and steps across the texts of disciplines under study, which reveals a distinctive feature in the didactic component of textbooks. So we can infer that knowledge construction process through this genre is not carried out in the same way and that disciplinarity plays an important role in the diversifying organizational discourse patterns detected. (shrink)
This editorial introduction reviews the notions of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity and their implications for an understanding of educational studies. It examines differences between multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, also raising issues about boundary work around and across the disciplines. It discusses the question of whether education is a discipline, together with the role of the so-called 'foundation disciplines' of psychology, sociology, history and philosophy in underpinning educational studies.
This editorial introduction reviews the notions of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity and their implications for an understanding of educational studies. It examines differences between multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, also raising issues about boundary work around and across the disciplines. It discusses the question of whether education is a discipline, together with the role of the so-called ‘foundation disciplines’ of psychology, sociology, history and philosophy in underpinning educational studies.
This article situates current debates about transdisciplinarity within the deeper history of academic disciplinarity, in its difference from the notions of inter- and multi-disciplinarity. It offers a brief typology and history of established conceptions of transdisciplinarity within science and technology studies. It then goes on to raise the question of the conceptual structure of transdisciplinary generality in the humanities, with respect to the incorporation of the 19th- and 20th-century German and French philosophical traditions into the anglophone humanities, under (...) the name of ‘theory’. It identifies two distinct – dialectical and anti-dialectical, or dialectical and transversal – transdisciplinary trajectories. It locates the various contributions to the special issue of which it is the introduction within this conceptual field, drawing attention to the distinct contribution of the French debates about structuralism and its aftermath – those by Serres, Foucault, Derrida, Guattari and Latour, in particular. It concludes with an appendix on Foucault’s place within current debates about disciplinarity and academic disciplines. (shrink)
A partir do século XVIII, a imposição do controle das principais instituições políticas e sociais à população passa a ocorrer precipuamente por meio de estratégias urbanísticas. A arquitetura revela o objetivo de disciplinamento dos corpos de modo a prepará-los para a inserção na incipiente sociedade capitalista, seja na forma das escolas, fábricas ou prisões. Objetivamos num primeiro momento refletir, por meio da trajetória histórica e arquitetônica da Biblioteca Pública Municipal de Marília, se a biblioteca antiga tem preponderância de uma instituição (...) disciplinar; para, em um segundo momento, apresentar a arquitetura no novo prédio, verificando se o novo modelo de biblioteca pode evidenciar a transição do modelo disciplinar ao de controle. Metodologicamente, trata-se de uma pesquisa de natureza qualitativa, documental e bibliográfica, na qual utilizamos o método Análise de Conteúdo da Bardin para analisarmos categorias de entrevista. Para tanto, nos valemos um pouco do pensamento de Foucault e Deleuze acerca do tema, bem como o histórico, arquitetura e um pouco da organização das coleções da biblioteca em questão, nos espaços e tempos diferentes. Concluímos que a nova biblioteca não é melhor do que a anterior. Ela apenas se adequa melhor aos ditames dos novos tempos, com novas perspectivas sociais e tecnológicas. A antiga biblioteca teve uma função muito importante na história da cidade e dos seus usuários. Somente não estava mais apropriada ao século XXI, necessitando de novo aspecto e sentido. (shrink)
The combination of rhetoric and philosophy appeared in the ancient world through Cicero, and revived as an ideal in the Renaissance. By a careful and precise analysis of the views of four major humanists-Petrarch, Salutati, Bruni, and Valla—Professor Seigel seeks to establish that they were first of all professional rhetoricians, completely committed to the relation between philosophy and rhetoric. He then explores the broader problem of the "external history" of humanism, and reopens basic questions about Renaissance culture. He (...) departs from the views held by such scholars as Hans Baron and Lauro Martines and expands the conclusions suggested by Paul Oskar Kristeller. The result is a stimulating, controversial study that rejects some of the claims made for the humanists and indicates achievements and limitations. Originally published in 1968. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
Scholars in both digital humanities and media studies have noted an apparent disconnect between computation and the interpretive methods of the humanities. Alan Liu has argued that literary scholars employing digital methods encounter a “meaning problem” due to the difficulty of reconciling algorithmic methods with interpretive ones. Conversely, the media scholar Friedrich Kittler has questioned the adequacy of hermeneutics as a means of studying computers. This paper argues that that this disconnect results from a set of contingent decisions made in (...) both humanistic and mathematical disciplines in the first half of the nineteenth century that delineated, with implications that continue to resonate in the present day, which aspects of human activity would come to be formalized in algorithms and which would not. I begin with a discussion of Nicolas de Condorcet, who attempted, at the height of the 1789 revolution, to turn algebra into a universal language; his work, I argue, exemplifies the form of algorithmic thinking that existed before the Romantic turn. Next, I discuss William Wordsworth’s arguments about the relationship of poetry and science. While Wordsworth is sometimes viewed as a critic of science, I argue that his polemic is specifically targeted at highly politicized projects like Condorcet’s that sought to supplant existing modes of thought with scientific rationality. Finally, I demonstrate the importance of Romantic thought for George Boole, creator of the logic system that would eventually form the basis of digital electronics. The reason Boole was able to succeed where Condorcet had failed, I argue, was that Romantic notions of culture enabled him to reconcile a mechanical view of mathematical reasoning with an organic view of the development of meaning—a dichotomy that remains a key assumption of computer interfaces in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
This essay starts by outlining what the author considers to be the three general properties of the phenomenological approach. This approach is then taken to the question of what an academic discipline is and how one becomes a member of a discipline, with some positive and negative aspects that can develop considered. Demonstrating how phenomenological questions can be asked and answered, this approach invites attempts to confirm, correct and extend the account through more reflective analysis. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, Volume (...) 10, Edition 2, October 2010: 5-9. (shrink)
Drawing on recent interdisciplinary, multidimensional research on civic and religious education in northern Europe, this article explores disciplinary epistemological economies in an era of mounting discontent with the narrowness of mono-disciplinary analyses of complex social and educational issues. It is argued in the article that under conditions of sufficient world complexity, interdisciplinarity provides for a more cogent scholarly approach to educational structures and phenomena than either of the logics of mono-, multi- and transdisciplinarity—the main extant alternatives. It is shown in (...) both conceptual and empirical terms that these alternatives cannot accommodate social and educational diversity, complexity and sprawl other than thinly, hence should mainly be endorsed by universities and research funders for other than epistemological reasons or when there is agreement that the object subjected to analysis is correspondingly thin and isolated. As education in and of itself is a remarkably complex social phenomenon and field of study, it is concluded that interdisciplinary environments may typically be expected to provide a stronger potential for assessing and understanding it. (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)
This book discusses theories of legal reasoning and provides an overall view of the rhetoric of legal justification. It shows how and why lawyers arguments can be rationally persuasive even though rarely, if ever, logically conclusive or compelling. It examines the role of "legal syllogism" and universality of legal reasoning, looking at arguments of consequentialism and principle, and concludes by questioning the infallibility of judges as lawmakers.
Siguiendo las coordenadas conceptuales propuestas por Michel Foucault en su abordaje del tratamiento gubernamental de las pandemias, en este artículo se desarrolla un recorrido genealógico por específicas prácticas de gobierno que se han venido desarrollando en Chile en distintos momentos de su historia; se visibilizan de este modo diversos actores de gobierno que buscarán conducir conductas y subjetividades en contextos de pandemia. Entendida como una propuesta metodológica, establecida en base a la identificación de actores, racionalidades y acciones de gobierno, inscrita (...) en el marco conceptual desarrollado por Foucault en su abordaje del tratamiento gubernamental de las pandemias, buscamos problematizar las fórmulas gubernativas que se han dispensado en el pasado para comprender las estrategias de gobierno de la pandemia del presente. (shrink)
Alan Gross applies the principles of rhetoric to the interpretation of classical and contemporary scientific texts to show how they persuade both author and audience. This invigorating consideration of the ways in which scientists--from Copernicus to Darwin to Newton to James Watson--establish authority and convince one another and us of the truth they describe may very well lead to a remodeling of our understanding of science and its place in society.
This paper explores the organisation of scholarly articles in educational studies in the UK through an analysis of the outputs of six key journals. Using citation networks and text analyses it examines connections that are made between papers, journals, authors and the themes discussed in the six journals. Scholarly papers are particularly suitable for this kind of analysis because of the expectation that authors 'locate' their work within existing knowledge, making explicit connections between their contribution and the field (or discipline) (...) in which they are working. This analysis utilises these connections in order to understand how papers in disciplinary and non-disciplinary journals relate to one another in terms of the bodies of knowledge on which they draw, where papers are then cited, and the degree to which authors cross disciplinary boundaries or remain within their 'parent' discipline. (shrink)
I want to consider how the general characteristics of a discipline might facilitate ?social mechanisms for distributing knowledge? that do not depend on uniformity of use, but, in fact, on different uses by different people. Indeed, I want to show that the ways in which a discipline is organized afford the growth of knowledge and do so, in particular, by facilitating an approach to what Thomas Kuhn described as ?the essential tension? between, on the one hand, the traditional or customary (...) elements of disciplined enquiry, which are prerequisites for there being a community of enquiry, and, on the other hand, the innovative elements of disciplined enquiry, which are needed on account of the always already inadequate character of our engagement with the objects of enquiry. (shrink)
The New Rhetoric is founded on the idea that since "argumentation aims at securing the adherence of those to whom it is addressed, it is, in its entirety, relative to the audience to be influenced," says Chaïm Perelman and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca, and they rely, in particular, for their theory of argumentation on the twin concepts of universal and particular audiences: while every argument is directed to a specific individual or group, the orator decides what information and what approaches will (...) achieve the greatest adherence according to an ideal audience. This ideal, Perelman explains, can be embodied, for example, in God, in all reasonable and competent men, in the man deliberating or in an elite." Like particular audiences, then, the universal audience is never fixed or absolute but depends on the orator, the content and goals of the argument, and the particular audience to whom the argument is addressed. These considerations determine what information constitutes facts and reasonableness and thus help to determine the universal audience that, in turn, shapes the orator's approach. The adherence of an audience is also determined by the orator's use of values, a further key concept of the New Rhetoric. Perelman's treatment of value and his view of epideictic rhetoric sets his approach apart from that of the ancients and of Aristotle in particular. Aristotle's division of rhetoric into three genres-forensic, deliberative, and epideictic-is largely motivated by the judgments required for each: forensic or legal arguments require verdicts on past action, deliberative or political rhetoric seeks judgment on future action, and epideictic or ceremonial rhetoric concerns values associated with praise or blame and seeks no specific decisions. For Aristotle, the epideictic genre was of limited importance in the civic realm since it did not concern facts or policies. Perelman, in contrast, believes not only that epideictic rhetoric warrants more attention, but that the values normally limited to that genre are in fact central to all argumentation. Epideictic oratory, Perelman argues, has significant and important argumentation for strengthening the disposition toward action by increasing adherence to the values it lauds." These values are central to the persuasiveness of arguments in all rhetorical genres since the orator always attempts to establish a sense of communion centered around particular values recognized by the audience.". (shrink)
Thomas Hobbes claimed to have founded the discipline of civil philosophy. This book offers a new reading of his intellectual development, arguing that he was dubious about the place of rhetoric in civil society and came to see it as a pernicious presence within philosophy - a position from which he did not retreat.
Based on the understanding of the term rhetoric that transcends the notion of literary genre, this book offers new answers to the questions of the provenance and the role of the main rhetorical strategies in Lucretius' De rerum natura.
Aristotle, Rhetoric I: A Commentary begins the acclaimed work undertaken by the author, later completed in the second (1988) volume on Aristotle's Rhetoric. The first Commentary on the Rhetoric in more than a century, it is not likely to be superseded for at least another hundred years.
Whereas previous studies have made George Berkeley (1685-1753) the object of philosophical study, Peter Walmsley assesses Berkeley as a writer, offering rhetorical and literary analyses of Berkeley's four major philosophical texts, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, Alciphron, and Siris. Berkeley emerges from this study as an accomplished stylist who builds structures of affective imagery, creates dramatic voices in his texts, and masters the range of philosophical genres--the treatise, the dialogue, and the (...) essay. (shrink)
How is it possible that modern scholars have labeled Maximus of Tyre, a second-century CE performer of philosophical orations as a sophist or a 'half-philosopher', while his own self-presentation is that of a genuinme philosopher? If we take Maximus' claim to phislophical authority seriously, his case can deepen our understanding of the dynamic nature of Imperial philosophy. Through a discursive analysis of twelve Imperial intellectuals alongside Maximus' dialexies, the author proposes an interpretative framework to assess the purpose behind the representation (...) of philosophy, rhetoric, and sophistry in Maximus' oeuvre. This is thus as yet the first book-length attempt at situating the historical communication process implicit in the surviving Maximean texts in the concurrent context of the Imperial intellectual world. (shrink)
Normative pragmatics can bridge the differences between dialectical and rhetorical theories in a way that saves the central insights of both. Normative pragmatics calls attention to how the manifest strategic design of a message produces interpretive effects and interactional consequences. Argumentative analysis of messages should begin with the manifest persuasive rationale they communicate. But not all persuasive inducements should be treated as arguments. Arguments express with a special pragmatic force propositions where those propositions stand in particular inferential relations to one (...) another. Normative pragmatics provides a framework within which varieties of propositional inference and pragmatic force may be kept straight. Normative pragmatics conceptualizes argumentative effectiveness in a way that integrates notions of rhetorical strategy and rhetorical situation with dialectical norms and procedures for reasonable deliberation. Strategic effectiveness should be seen in terms of maximizing the chances that claims and arguments will be reasonably evaluated, whether or not they are accepted. Procedural rationality should be seen in terms of adjustment to the demands of concrete circumstances. Two types of adjustment are illustrated: rhetorical strategies for framing the conditions for dialectical deliberation and rhetorical strategies for making do with limitations to dialectical deliberation. (shrink)
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)
_Rhetoric_ is the sixth volume in The New Hackett Aristotle series, a series featuring translations, with Introductions and Notes, by C. D. C. Reeve, Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The series will eventually include all of Aristotle's works.
Tomando a obra Regras para a Direção do Espírito de Descartes, buscamos entender no presente artigo como a noção de disciplinaridade, desenvolvida a partir da questão de orientação do espírito na busca de conhecimentos certos, pode ser interpretada como fundante do projeto de modernidade calcado na autonomia do sujeito de disciplinar o próprio corpo. Assim, desenvolvemos a possível interpretação de sujeição política através da reflexão sobre a sujeição de todas as faculdades do espírito ao entendimento a partir do disciplinamento que (...) ele próprio impõe à relação que aquelas faculdades guardam com o corpo. E estabelecemos que as Regras não inauguram apenas uma reforma do entendimento como agenda de pesquisa para a modernidade, mas portam diretrizes para o aprimoramento do uso das faculdades de modo geral, apresentando como ação humana exitosa o comércio entre as faculdades humanas coordenado pelo entendimento. (shrink)
These rhetorical texts by Apuleius, second-century Latin writer and author of the famous novel Metamorphoses or Golden Ass, have not been translated into English since 1909. They are some of the very few Latin speeches surviving from their century, and constitute important evidence for Latin and Roman North African social and intellectual culture in the second century AD, a period where there is increasing interest amongst classicists and ancient historians. They are the work of a talented writer who is being (...) increasingly viewed as the major literary artist of his time in Latin. (shrink)
Contemporary or postmodern thought is based on the lack of foundation. The impossibility of having a principle for philosophy has become a position of principle. As a result, rhetoric has taken over. Content has given way to the priority of form. Michel Meyer's book aims at showing that philosophy as foundational is possible and necessary, and that rhetoric can flourish alongside, but the conception of reason must be changed. Questioning rather than answering must be considered as the guiding (...) principle. What the author calls "problematology" is not only the study of questioning but also the analysis of the reasons why it has been repressed throughout the history of philosophy. Since Socrates, philosophers and scientists have reasoned by asking questions and by trying to solve them. Questioning has been the unthematized foundation of philosophy and thought at large. Philosophers, however, have preferred another norm, granting privilege to the answers and thereby repressing the questions into the realm of the preliminary and unessential. They have not considered their discursive practice as being based upon some question-answer complex, but exclusively on the results they call propositions. Meyer argues that propositions ensue from corresponding questions, and not the other way around. Anthropology, ontology, reasoning, and language thus receive a new interpretation in the problematological conception of philosophy, a conception in which questions and problems are thematized afresh. The theory of language in everyday use, in argumentation, or in literary analysis receives a full and decisive treatment here, making Meyer's question-view one of the leading theories in contemporary thought, alongside his rhetoric for which he is already well known. (shrink)