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.
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)
A revision of George Kennedy's translation of, introdution to, and commentary on Aristotle's On Rhetoric. His translation is most accurate, his general introduction is the most thorough and insightful, and his brief introductions to sections of the work, along with his explanatory footnotes, are the most useful available.
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.
_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.
The "Notes of Dr. Smith's Rhetorick Lectures," discovered in 1958 by a University of Aberdeen professor, consists of lecture notes taken by two of Smith's students at the University of Glasgow in 1762-1763. There are thirty lectures in the collection, all on rhetoric and the different kinds or characteristics of style. The book is divided into "an examination of the several ways of communicating our thoughts by speech" and "an attention to the principles of those literary compositions which contribute (...) to persuasion or entertainment." The species of communication discussed include descriptive and narrative composition, poetry, demonstrative oratory, panegyric, didactic or scientific language, deliberative oratory, and judicial or forensic oratory. The subjects addressed in his teachings include the style and genius of some of the best of the ancient writers and poets, especially the historians and the English classics. (shrink)
The arguments in this book are informed at once by the moral-political implications of how knowledge is produced and circulated and by issues of gendered subjectivity. In their critical dimension, these lucid essays engage with the incapacity of the philosophical mainstream's dominant epistemologies to offer regulative principles that guide people in the epistemic projects that figure centrally in their lives. In its constructive dimension, ____Rhetorical__ ____Spaces__ focuses on developing productive, case-by-case analyses of knowing other people in situations where social-political inequalities (...) create asymmetrical patterns of epistemic power and privilege. (shrink)
In Plato’s early dialogues, the impossibility of talking to the crowd appears as a constitutive element of the opposition between rhetoric and dialectic and raises the understudied question of the role of the audience in Socratic thought. However, Xenophon’s Socrates constantly identifies public and private speech. But this likening is also found in the Alcibiades Major, which gives a key to understand the true meaning of this assimilation: one can convince an audience, by talking to each individual in the (...) crowd. The need to address each one implies an adaptation of language that can be found in the texts of different disciples of Socrates. The rhetorical aspects of the Phaedrus’ psychagogia should then be understood, not as a new Platonic concept which allows the good orator to address the many, but rather as a new for- mulation of a well-known and shared Socratic ideal. (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)
This volume explores Science & Technology Studies (STS) and its role in redrawing disciplinary boundaries. For scholars/grad students in rhetoric of science, science studies, philosophy & comm, English, sociology & knowledge mgmt.
In the Fragment on Evil, Hume announces that he “shall not employ any rhetoric in a philosophical argument, where reason alone ought to be hearkened to.” To employ the rhetorical strategy, in the context of the Fragment, just is to “enumerate all the evils, incident to human life, and display them, with eloquence, in their proper colours.” However, in Part 11 of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Hume employs precisely this rhetorical strategy. I discuss three interpretations that might account (...) for Hume’s decision to employ the strategy in the Dialogues but not the Fragment. The heart of this discussion concerns the relationship between reason and rhetoric. The Dialogues can be understood as part of the education of Pamphilus. Consequently, the three interpretations align with three ways of understanding the roles that reason and rhetoric play in Hume’s views on pedagogy and education (or more specifically, Philo’s attitude towards the education of Pamphilus). (shrink)
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 philosophical thought. In the development of modern philosophy since Descartes and Locke rhetoric has been seen as superfluous to knowledge. Rhetoric has been commonly understood as the speech that plays on the emotions the use of thought and words to persuade, rather than their use as the basis to seek knowledge. (...) How does the mind generate the principles upon which rational thought is based? Rational thinking exploits the logical power of the word, but logic never enlightens us on the nature of its own starting points. 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 thinker of the Italian humanist tradition, Giambattista Vice, in Vice's understanding of imagination and the sense of human ingenuity contained in the metaphor. Professor Grassi connects rhetoric with the power of language to bring the starting points for thought into being. This power of speech is at the basis of the philosophical and rational search for truth. (shrink)
Language has been a major theme in philosophy of religion for more than half a century. The present work looks to the sense of being called that lies at the heart of Christian life and asks what this shows us about what it is to be human and what the God-relationship means for those having such a call.
The essays in Rhetorical Spaces grow out of Lorraine Code's ongoing commitment to engaging philosophical issues as they figure in people's everyday lives. The arguements in this book are informed at once by the moral-political implications of how knowledge is produced and circulated and by issues of gendered subjectivity. In their critical dimension, these lucid essays engage with the incapacity of the philosophical mainstream's dominant epistemologies to offer regulative principles that guide people in the epistemic projects that figure centrally in (...) their lives. In its constructive dimension, Rhetorical Spaces focuses on developing productive, case-by-case analyses of knowing other people in situations where social-political inequalities create asymmetrical patterns of epistemic power and privilege. Framing all of the essays is the conception of rhetorical spaces which shows that prevailing intellectual-political climates can work to enhance or to thwart possibilities of establishing cognitive authority for the members of a society who belong to groups other than the dominant ones. Finally, bridging the gap between theory and practice, Lorraine Code shows how the issue of reconfiguring structures of authority and expertise are not just matters of individual responsibility, but require a radical restructuring of the communities and social orders in which people know and act. (shrink)
Originally published in 1909, this book presents a translation of Aristotle's Rhetoric by the renowned British classical scholar and politician Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb. An editorial introduction and supplementary notes by Sir John Edwin Sandys are also included. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the works of Aristotle.
Introduction: Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are an important source of justification for clinical decisions in modern evidence-based practice. Yet, we have given little attention to how they argue their evidence. In particular, how do CPGs argue for treatment with long-term medications that are increasingly prescribed to older patients? Approach and rationale: I selected six disease-specific guidelines recommending treatment with five of the medication classes most commonly prescribed for seniors in Ontario, Canada. I considered the stated aims of these CPGs and (...) the techniques employed towards those aims. Finally, I reconstructed and logically analysed the arguments supporting recommendations for pharmacotherapy. Analysis: The primary function of CPGs is rhetorical, or persuasive, and their means of persuasion include both a display of their credibility and their argumentation. Arguments supporting pharmacotherapy recommendations for the target population follow a common inductive pattern: statistical generalization from randomized controlled trial (RCT) and meta-analysis evidence. Two of the CPGs also argue their treatment recommendations for older patients in this style, while three fail to justify pharmacotherapy specifically for the older population. Discussion: The arguments analysed lack the auxiliary assumptions that would warrant making a generalization about the clinical effectiveness of medications for the older population. Guidelines reason using simple induction, while ignoring important inferential gaps. Future guidelines should aspire to be well-reasoned rather than simply evidence-based; argue from a plurality of evidence; be wary of hasty inductions; appropriately limit the scope of their recommendations; and avoid making law-like, prescriptive generalizations. (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)
The pathologies of the democratic public sphere, first articulated by Plato in his attack on rhetoric, have pushed much of deliberative theory out of the mass public and into the study and design of small scale deliberative venues. The move away from the mass public can be seen in a growing split in deliberative theory between theories of democratic deliberation (on the ascendancy) which focus on discrete deliberative initiatives within democracies and theories of deliberative democracy (on the decline) that (...) attempt to tackle the large questions of how the public, or civil society in general, relates to the state. Using rhetoric as the lens through which to view mass democracy, this essay argues that the key to understanding the deliberative potential of the mass public is in the distinction between deliberative and plebiscitary rhetoric. (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)
In this provocative book, Edward Schiappa argues that rhetorical theory did not originate with the Sophists in the fifth century B.C.E, as is commonly believed, but came into being a century later. Schiappa examines closely the terminology of the Sophists—such as Gorgias and Protagoras—and of their reporters and opponents—especially Plato and Aristotle—and contends that the terms and problems that make up what we think of as rhetorical theory had not yet formed in the era of the early Sophists. His revision (...) of rhetoric’s early history enables him to change the way we read both the Sophists and Aristotle and Plato. Schiappa contends, for example, that Plato probably coined the Greek word for rhetoric; that Gorgias is a “prose rhapsode” whose style does not deserve the criticism it has received; that Isocrates deliberately never uses the Greek work for "rhetoric" and that our habit of pitting him versus Plato as “rhetoric versus philosophy” is problematic; and that Aristotle "disciplined" the genre of epideictic in a way that robs the genre of its political importance. His book will be of great interest to students of classics, communications, philosophy, and rhetoric. (shrink)
“Rhetoric is the counterpart of logic,” claimed Aristotle. “Rhetoric is the first part of logic rightly understood,” Martin Heidegger concurred. “Rhetoric is the universal form of human communication,” opined Hans-Georg Gadamer. But in _Deep Rhetoric_, James Crosswhite offers a groundbreaking new conception of rhetoric, one that builds a definitive case for an understanding of the discipline as a philosophical enterprise beyond basic argumentation and is fully conversant with the advances of the New Rhetoric of Chaïm (...) Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. Chapter by chapter, _Deep Rhetoric_ develops an understanding of rhetoric not only in its philosophical dimension but also as a means of guiding and conducting conflicts, achieving justice, and understanding the human condition. Along the way, Crosswhite restores the traditional dignity and importance of the discipline and illuminates the twentieth-century resurgence of rhetoric among philosophers, as well as the role that rhetoric can play in future discussions of ontology, epistemology, and ethics. At a time when the fields of philosophy and rhetoric have diverged, Crosswhite returns them to their common moorings and shows us an invigorating new way forward. (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)
The paper reacts against the strict separation between dialectical and rhetorical approaches to argumentation and argues that argumentative discourse can be analyzed and evaluated more adequately if the two are systematically combined. Such an integrated approach makes it possible to show how the opportunities available in each of the dialectical stages of a critical discussion have been used strategically to further the rhetorical aims of the speaker or writer. The approach is illustrated with the help of an analysis of an (...) `advertorial' published by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. (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)
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)
Over the last several decades legal scholars have plumbed law's rhetorical life. Scholars have done so under various rubrics, with law and literature being among the most fruitful venues for the exploration of law's rhetoric and the way rhetoric shapes law. Today, new approaches are shaping this exploration. Among the most important of these approaches is the turn toward history and toward what might be called an 'embedded' analysis of rhetoric in law. Historical and embedded approaches locate (...) that analysis in particular contexts, seeking to draw our attention to how the rhetorical dimensions of legal life works in those contexts. Rhetorical Processes and Legal Judgments seeks to advance that mode of analysis and also to contribute to the understanding of the rhetorical structure of judicial arguments and opinions. (shrink)
This study identifies and analyzes a compelling theory and practice of persuasion that integrates the complexity of human desire. It demonstrates how the philosophical component in Pascal's description of the will makes a seamless integration into a vehicle of persuasion and poetics, providing a privileged viewpoint for understanding the author's complete works, arguing that the notion of will is of fundamental importance in Pascal's anthropology as well as in his rhetoric. This avenue of interpretation is both fruitful and difficult, (...) because the word "volonte" means very different things in Pascal and in modern French. Beginning by contextualizing the notion of 'volonte' and explaining its expanded use in the seventeenth-century lexicon, the author then endeavors to show that Pascal borrows an essentially Augustinian paradigm of desire to create a depiction of the will divided against itself, surreptitiously yearning for what its bearer does not want. (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.
The editors of the “Argumentation Library” have done students of argument worldwide a great favor in assembling and publishing this collection of essays by David Zarefsky, The twenty essays, which originally appeared as journal articles, book chapters, and invited presentations, span 30 years, the earliest from 1979 and the latest from 2012. Their selection and grouping reflect Zarefsky’s choices, and the resulting anthology provides readers, whether students new to argumentation studies or established scholars, with valuable theoretical perspectives as well as (...) models of analysis. The whole, however, is greater than the sum of its parts, for it represents the scholarly achievement of the leading US scholar in argumentation studies and a rhetorical critic nonpareil.As the title of this collection indicates, Zarefsky brings a rhetorical perspective to argumentation studies. As he clarifies in the introduction and again in Chapter 11 , there are three main approaches .. (shrink)
Developments in the democratic theory of representation and deliberation enable renewed consideration of the ancient controversy over the proper place of rhetoric in politics. Rhetoric facilitates the making and hearing of representation claims spanning subjects and audiences divided in their commitments and dispositions. Deliberative democracy requires a deliberative system with multiple components whose linkage often needs rhetoric. Appreciation of these aspects of democracy exposes the limitations of categorical tests for the admissibility of particular sorts of rhetoric. (...) Prioritization of bridging over bonding rhetoric is a step in the right direction, while sometimes producing misleading results. A better systemic test asks whether or not rhetoric promotes an effective deliberative system linking competent and reflective actors. (shrink)
This monograph on John 9 makes extensive use of premodern Christian exegesis as a resource for New Testament studies. It draws on ancient Christian ways of reading Scripture in a more-than-literal or figural way to critique the modern trend to understand John s Gospel as recounting the history of the evangelist s community. This study also examines a variety of premodern interpretations of John 9 for insight into the chapter s theological and rhetorical dimensions. Building upon the premoderns observations, it (...) argues that John 9 resembles a mode of Greco-Roman rhetorical argumentation and expression to present Jesus as the Light of the World. This analysis illustrates the inseparability of form and content, rhetoric and theology, in the Fourth Gospel. ". (shrink)
The paper presents a historical overview of some characteristic differences between rhetoric and dialectic in the pre-modern tradition. In the light of this historical analysis, some current approaches to dialectic are characterized, with special attention to Ralph Johnson's concept of dialectical tier.
Ockham’s razor is the characteristic scientific penchant for simpler, more testable, and more unified theories. Glymour’s early work on confirmation theory eloquently stressed the rhetorical plausibility of Ockham’s razor in scientific arguments. His subsequent, seminal research on causal discovery still concerns methods with a strong bias toward simpler causal models, and it also comes with a story about reliability—the methods are guaranteed to converge to true causal structure in the limit. However, there is a familiar gap between convergent reliability and (...) scientific rhetoric: convergence in the long run is compatible with any conclusion in the short run. For that reason, Carnap suggested that the proper sense of reliability for scientific inference should lie somewhere between short-run reliability and mere convergence in the limit. One natural such concept is straightest possible convergence to the truth, where straightness is explicated in terms of minimizing reversals of opinion and cycles of opinion prior to convergence. We close the gap between scientific rhetoric and scientific reliability by showing that Ockham’s razor is necessary for cycle-optimal convergence to the truth, and that patiently waiting for information to resolve conflicts among simplest hypotheses is necessary for reversal-optimal convergence to the truth. (shrink)
How can liberal democracies mobilize their citizens and effect their social integration, while accommodating their tremendous heterogeneity and respecting their freedom? Neo-Kantian liberals and cosmopolitans such as Habermas reject appeals to shared ethnicity, culture, or nation, for fear that they effect the suppression of difference; communitarian critics retort that theories like Habermas's are impotent to motivate social integration. My goal is to show that this theoretical impasse is an artifact of the fact that both camps articulate their disagreements within the (...) tacitly shared parameters inherited from the long-running debate between philosophy and rhetoric. By first interrogating the posited relationship between rhetoric, passion, reason, and politics in Rousseau's oeuvre, I illustrate the reception of this ancient debate in modern political theory, a reception that has effected a series of binaries such as reason/passion and abstract/concrete---the first terms associated with impotence, the second with motivational efficacy. I then turn to contemporary cultural nationalist thought, and demonstrate how these binaries are deployed to critique doctrines such as Habermas's constitutional patriotism. The Rousseauist assumption that affect requires "concrete" sites to motivate social integration is invariably combined with the presupposition that bounded communities such as the nation instantiate the required concreteness. The implausibility of that presumption such communities are "imagined" and not concrete in any relevant sense---is masked by the category of territory, which serves as a trope for concreteness. Tracing the roots of this dubious trope to Rousseau shows how "territory" reproduces the exclusionary features that the distinction between ethnic and civic-territorial nationalism tends to attribute solely to ethnicity: concreteness often means either an exclusionary boundedness directed against the foreign other, or an ossification of collective identities that stifles difference internally. Finally, turning to the discourse-ethical theory's promise to avoid this suppression of difference, I argue that Habermas fails to shake the charge of motivational impotence precisely because he is just as beholden to the philosophy/rhetoric binaries as his critics. Drawing on an Aristotelian art of rhetoric, I show how Habermas's category of discursive rationality can be reconstructed as a mode of organizing, rather than expelling, rhetoric and the passions. (shrink)
Deliberative or discursive models of democracy have recently enjoyed a revival in both political theory and policy practice. Against the picture of democracy as a procedure for aggregating and effectively meeting the given preference of individuals, deliberative theory offers a model of democracy as a forum through which judgements and preferences are formed and altered through reasoned dialogue between free and equal citizens. Much in the recent revival of deliberative democracy, especially that which comes through Habermas and Rawls, has Kantian (...) roots. Deliberative institutions are embodiments of the free public use of reason that Kant takes to define the enlightenment project. Within the Kantian model the public use of reason is incompatible with the use of rhetoric. While this paper rejects strong rhetorical criticisms of deliberative democracy which render all communication strategic, it argues that rhetorical studies of deliberation have highlighted features of deliberation which point to significant weaknesses in Kantian approaches to it. Two features are of particular importance: the role of testimony and judgements of credibility in deliberation; and the role of appeal to emotions in public discourse. Both from the Kantian perspective are potential sources of heteronomy. However, the appeal to testimony and emotion are features of public deliberation that cannot and should not be eliminated. For those committed to the enlightenment values that underlie the deliberative model of democracy the question is whether these rhetorical features of deliberation are incompatible with those values. The paper argues that they are compatible. It does so by defending an Aristotelian account of rhetoric in public deliberation which denies the Platonic contrast between reasoned discourse and rhetoric which the Kantian model inherits. (shrink)
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.
Rhetoric and the Familiar examines the rhetorical practice of Francis Bacon and John Donne in both their writing and public speaking. It explores how their rhetorical planning negotiates the need both to use and combat familiar ideas, images, and emotions, when engaging different audiences. The book’s main selling points are that it explores well-known texts from the neglected angle of faculty psychology. Its ability to illuminate familiar ground in an important but neglected way will be its main selling point (...) in the academic market. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence has historically been conceptualized in anthropomorphic terms. Some algorithms deploy biomimetic designs in a deliberate attempt to effect a sort of digital isomorphism of the human brain. Others leverage more general learning strategies that happen to coincide with popular theories of cognitive science and social epistemology. In this paper, I challenge the anthropomorphic credentials of the neural network algorithm, whose similarities to human cognition I argue are vastly overstated and narrowly construed. I submit that three alternative supervised learning (...) methods—namely lasso penalties, bagging, and boosting—offer subtler, more interesting analogies to human reasoning as both an individual and a social phenomenon. Despite the temptation to fall back on anthropomorphic tropes when discussing AI, however, I conclude that such rhetoric is at best misleading and at worst downright dangerous. The impulse to humanize algorithms is an obstacle to properly conceptualizing the ethical challenges posed by emerging technologies. (shrink)
The field of economics proves to be a matter of metaphor and storytelling - its mathematics is metaphoric and its policy-making is narrative. Economists have begun to realize this and to rethink how they speak. This volume is the result of a conference held at Wellesley College, involving both theoretical and applied economists, that explored the consequences of the rhetoric and the conversation of the field of economics.