In this Book

The Philosophy of Rhetoric
summary
Here, after a quarter century of additional study and reflection, Bitzer presents a new critical edition of George Campbell’s classic.

Bitzer provides a more complete review and assessment of Campbell’s work, giving particular emphasis to Campbell’s theological views, which he demonstrates played an important part in Campbell’s overall view of reasoning, feeling, and moral and religious truth.

The Rhetoric is widely regarded as the most important statement of a theory of rhetoric produced in the 18th century. Its importance lies, in part, in the fact that the theory is informed by the leading assumptions and themes of the Scottish Enlightenment—the prevailing empiricism, the theory of the association of ideas, the effort to explain natural phenomena by reference to principles and processes of human nature. Campbell’s work engages such themes in an attempt to formulate a universal theory of human communication.

Campbell attempts to develop his theory by discovering deep principles in human nature that account for all instances and kinds of human communication. He seeks to derive all communication principles and processes empirically. In addition, all statements in discourse that have to do with matters of fact and human affairs are likewise to be empirically derived. Thus, his theory of rhetoric is vastly wider than, and different from, such classical theories as those proposed by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, whose theories focused on discourse related to civic affairs.

Bitzer shows that, by attempting to elaborate a general theory of rhetoric through empirical procedures, Campbell’s project reveals the limitations of his method. He cannot ground all statements empirically and it is at this point that his theological position comes into play. Inspection of his religious views shows that God’s design of human nature, and God’s revelations to humankind, make moral and spiritual truths known and quite secure to human beings, although not empirically.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Editor's Introduction
  2. pp. vii-li
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  1. Editions of The Philosophy of Rhetoric
  2. pp. liii-lv
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  1. Notes to the Present Edition: Corrections and Additions
  2. pp. lvii-lxi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. lxv-lxviii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. lxix-lxxvi
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  1. Book I. The Nature and Foundations of Eloquence.
  1. Chapter I: Eloquence
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. Chapter II: Of Wit, Humour, and Ridicule
  2. pp. 8-27
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  1. Chapter III: The Doctrine of the Preceding Chapter Defended
  2. pp. 27-32
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  1. Chapter IV: Of the Relation which Eloquence Bears to Logic and to Grammar
  2. pp. 32-35
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  1. Chapter V: Of the different Sources of Evidence and the different Subjects to which they are respectively adapted
  2. pp. 35-61
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  1. Chapter VI: Of the Nature and Use of the scholastic art of Syllogizing
  2. pp. 61-70
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  1. Chapter VII: Of the Consideration which the Speaker ought to have of the Hearers as Men in general
  2. pp. 71-94
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  1. Chapter VIII: Of the Consideration which the Speaker ought to have of the Hearers, as such men in particular
  2. pp. 95-96
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  1. Chapter IX: Of the Consideration which the Speaker ought to have of Himself.
  2. pp. 96-98
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  1. Chapter X: The different kinds of public speaking in use among the moderns compared, with a view to their different advantages in respect of eloquence.
  2. pp. 98-112
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  1. Chapter XI: Of the cause of Mat pleasure which we receive from objects or representations that excite pity and other painful feelings.
  2. pp. 112-138
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  1. Book II. The Foundations and Essential Properties of Elocution
  1. Chapter 1: The Nature and Characters of the Use which gives Law to Language
  2. pp. 139-151
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  1. Chapter II: The nature and use of verbal Criticism, with its principal Canons.
  2. pp. 151-169
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  1. Chapter III: Of Grammatical Purity
  2. pp. 169-204
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  1. Chapter IV: Some Grammatical Doubts in regard to English Construction stated and examined.
  2. pp. 204-214
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  1. Chapter V: Of the qualities of Style strictly rhetorical
  2. pp. 214-216
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  1. Chapter VI: Of Perspicuity.
  2. pp. 216-255
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  1. Chapter VII: What is the Cause that Nonsense so often escapes being detected, both by the Writer and by the Reader?
  2. pp. 256-273
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  1. Chapter VIII: The extensive Usefulness of Perspicuity.
  2. pp. 273-283
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  1. Chapter IX: May there not be an Excess of Perspicuity?
  2. pp. 283-284
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  1. Book III. The Discriminating Properties of Elocution
  1. Chapter 1: Of Vivacity as depending on the Choice of Words.
  2. pp. 285-333
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  1. Chapter II: Of Vivacity as depending on the Number of the Words.
  2. pp. 333-352
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  1. Chapter III: Of Vivacity, as depending on the Arrangement of the Words.
  2. pp. 353-384
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  1. Chapter IV: Of the Connectives employed in combining the Parts of a Sentence.
  2. pp. 384-403
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  1. Chapter V: Of the Connectives employed in combining the Sentences in a Discourse.
  2. pp. 403-415
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 417-423
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  1. About the Author, Back Cover
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