Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition, The
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: State University of New York Press
The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition
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The conversation captured between the covers of this book has developed over many years and, indeed, spans across generations of scholarship in rhetoric. Many of the ideas collected here were first presented at meetings of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR). We want to thank especially the ASHR board for devoting valuable conference time—in Seattle in 2000 and ...
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Does the past that has given shape to modern rhetoric studies make us more or less able to address contemporary concerns and flourish in the modern university? The question is the basis of a compelling current debate within rhetoric studies. In addressing this question, contributors to this volume have taken the concept of ‘tradition’ as the central problematic. In the early stages ...
PART ONE. Definitions: Traditional and New
1. Revisionist Historiography and Rhetorical Tradition(s)
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AT ONE TIME, not so long ago, people in our line of academic work used to talk about something called the “rhetorical tradition.” It is unlikely that many of us could give a precise definition of the phrase, but we invoked it with unreflective confidence and assumed that our colleagues would understand what we meant. In fact, the term rhetorical tradition represented something more ...
2. The Rhetorical Tradition
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TO DEFINE THE rhetorical tradition, I shall follow Aristotle’s advice; I shall begin my inquiry with assertions so commonplace that they have found their way into a book meant for students, a popular collection of excerpts on rhetorical theory, Bizzell and Herzberg’s The Rhetorical Tradition. Let us look at the first paragraph of its general introduction: ...
3. The Ends of Rhetoric Revisited: Three Readings of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
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IN AN EARLIER ESSAY, I argued that a useful way of thinking about the rhetorical tradition is to consider three different ends that guide rhetorical scholars (Ceccarelli, “Ends”). I called these implicit purposes the “aesthetic,” the “epistemic,” and the “political,” and I described them in the context of ancient and contemporary rhetorical theory. A conception of rhetoric that seeks an aesthetic ...
4. De-Canonizing Ancient Rhetoric
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MY SUBJECT IS THE canon of ancient rhetoric, sometimes known as the classical tradition of rhetoric or even more simply as classical rhetoric. The sense of the term canon that occupies me in this regard is hardly ambiguous to anyone in the rhetorical discipline, but it bears specification—at least in a preliminary way—if only because it is often unquestioned on account of its familiarity. ...
5. Rhetoric and Civic Virtue
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WHILE THE IDEA OF civic rhetoric that we identify with classical traditions may be one of our richest legacies, it may also be one of the most difficult to appropriate. The province and pedagogy questions that arise when we critically examine civic rhetorical traditions are, to be sure, shaped by our various disciplinary contexts. The texts of public discourse that have been studied in ...
PART TWO Possibilities: Contemporary Rhetorical Occasions and the Tradition(s)
6. A Human Measure: Ancient Rhetoric, Twenty-first-Century Loss
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THIS COLLECTION ADDRESSES the disciplinary tensions and struggles within rhetoric studies by posing questions about tradition: the tradition, multiple traditions, or the lack of a continuous tradition. In an active engagement with traditions, we preserve and value our rhetorical heritage but also view practices and institutions with the critical distance provided by our historical remove. A ...
7. Teaching “Political Wisdom”: Isocrates and the Tradition of Dissoi Logoi
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AMONG THE MORE BENIGN effects of the recent public pressure on universities to become politically responsive is the addition to the curriculum of courses structured around citizenship. Such courses have as goals to enable students to understand the ethos of the citizen and to enable and encourage students to participate in politics. Surely the rhetorical tradition has something to teach us ...
8. On the Formation of Democratic Citizens: Rethinking the Rhetorical Tradition in a Digital Age
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IN HIS FINAL WORK James Berlin signaled his movement away from rhetoric and toward cultural studies. Berlin maintained that cultural studies offers a better theoretical perspective than the rhetoric that has become predominant in American higher education for achieving the educational goal he thought English as a discipline should embrace: to form citizens capable of sustaining ...
9. Civic Humanism, a Postmortem?
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IN THEORY AND PRACTICE, the rhetorical tradition has been defined as the history of theories of public discourse, the principles of which have generally been defined in civic humanist terms.1 Public-speaking courses, history of rhetoric seminars, and the occasional humanistic composition course have looked to the Athenian Assembly and Roman Senate for classical models. ...
10. Rhetoric in the Age of Cognitive Science
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THE LAST FEW DECADES have seen the creation, expansion, or renaming of departments, institutes, programs, and centers around the world dedicated to studying the brain, the mind, and “cognition.” Researchers and students now pursue “cognitive studies” or “cognitive science” in places such as the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science of the University of Pennsylvania, the Keck ...
AFTERWORD Using Traditions: A Gadamerian Reflection on Canons, Contexts, and Rhetoric
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Academic disciplines are institutionalized sets of practices, theories, and traditions for knowledge production and dissemination. Each element in the set can be defined in terms of the others: Theories are metapractices within traditions of disciplinary thought. Practices are theories performed in actions embedded in disciplinary traditions. Traditions are interpreted canons and ...
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Page Count: 213
Publication Year: 2005