Trust in Texts
A Different History of Rhetoric
Publication Year: 2007
This groundbreaking volume makes a case for historical rhetoric as disbursed, formal and informal lessons in persuasion that are codified as crafts that mediate between what is known and unknown in particular rhetorical situations. Traditional, unified histories of rhetoric ignore the extensive historical interactions among discourses— including medicine, drama, lyric poetry, philosophy, oratory, and literary fiction— that have operated from antiquity across cultures that are historically and geographically joined.
Drawing not just on traditional rhetorical works, but also on texts from philosophy and literature, Miller expands the body of works to be considered in the study of rhetoric. As the first book-length study that calls into question the centrality of logos to rhetoric, Trust in Texts will change the way the history of rhetoric is viewed and taught and will be essential to scholars and students of communications, rhetoric, English, classics, and literary studies.
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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My mother had ways of describing people that I never hear now. She meant to teach us human standards, an agreed-upon code that everyone already knew. For instance, she would approvingly call someone “personable.” Dic-tionaries define it as “attractive,” but I gathered it meant “able to be a per-son among persons,” that is, comfortable with people in an easy, confident, ...
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This project has taken much longer to complete than I knew could be the case when I began. A 1997–98 National Endowment for the Humanities Fel-lowship allowed me to begin substantial research into biological, literary, historical, and philosophical perspectives on emotion. That topic was then a tentatively emerging, still embarrassing scholarly interest, acknowledged ...
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If names are not properly defined and used, the speech can never sound agreeable. If the speech jars, nothing can be accomplished. This means that there would be no proper observance of ritual and ceremonial activities, the legal system would collapse, and people would no longer know how correctly It is obvious to many who focus on rhetoric’s history that there is no longer ...
1. Decentering Rhetoric
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If rhetoric is the potent tool by which the passions of men are not only ex-pressed but also fashioned, the forms and figures of rhetoric are themselves fashioned in imitation of the way men naturally give voice to feelings. Mediocrity is the series of ideas and discoveries demonstrating that Earth is a relatively common planet orbiting a relatively common star going around a ...
2. Trusting Texts
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Everything is now becoming public property from which scholars hitherto Certainly Renaissance/early modern histories of rhetoric recognize dis-crete forms of metadiscourse. Examples include attention to a revived poetics, rediscovered oratorical pedagogies, and a long epistolary tradition held over from church and other administrative chanceries, which is enlarged and com-...
3. The Mobility of Trust
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It is reasonable to think that, in general, the recurrent use of a concept in communication would favour the introduction and stabilization of a corre-We must be permitted to say, that we do not hold the art of oral delivery in so low an estimation as the learned sometimes affect to do. . . . It is not Style has an absolute value, like the product of any other exquisite art, ...
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Paul Bénichou closes The Consecration of the Writer: 1750–1830 by pointing out that the secular spiritual power he has been describing only begins in the mid-nineteenth century; his book unfolds the prehistory of that power and engages a point of view whose full narration might begin where his ends and continue to the current moment. He identifies this power as “critical in ...
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Susan Miller is a professor of English at the University of Utah. She is the author of Rescuing the Subject: A Critical Introduction to Rhetoric and the Writer, which received the W. Ross Winterowd Award and is in a paperback edition with a new introduction; Textual Carnivals: The Politics of Compo-sition, which received the Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the MLA, the ...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2007