Southern Illinois University Press

Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address

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Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address


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Arguments in Rhetoric Against Quintilian

Translation and Text of Peter Ramus's Rhetoricae Distinctiones in Quintilianum

Peter Ramus, Translated by Carole Newlands, Edited by James J. Murphy,

Peter Ramus, a 16th-century Parisian college instructor and one of the most influential and controversial writers of early modern times, published a number of books attacking and attempting to refute foundational texts in philosophy and rhetoric. This volume offers original text and translation of a pivotal work and includes a detailed introduction and bibliography by the editor.

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Demosthenes' "On the Crown"

Rhetorical Perspectives

Edited by James J. Murphy

Demosthenes’ speech On the Crown (330 B.C.E.), in which the master orator spectacularly defended his public career, has long been recognized as a masterpiece. The speech has been in continuous circulation from Demosthenes’ lifetime to the present day, and multiple generations have acclaimed it as the greatest speech ever written. In addition to a clear and accessible translation, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives includes eight essays that provide a thorough analysis—based on Aristotelian principles—of Demosthenes’ superb rhetoric.

The volume includes biographical and historical background on Demosthenes and his political situation; a structural analysis of On the Crown; and an abstract of Aeschines’ speech Against Ctesiphon to which Demosthenes was responding. Four essays by contributors analyze Demosthenes’ speech using key elements of rhetoric defined by Aristotle: ethos, the speaker’s character or authority; pathos, or emotional appeals; logos, or logical appeals; and lexis, a speaker’s style. An introduction and an epilogue by Murphy frame the speech and the rhetorical analysis of it.

By bringing together contextual material about Demosthenes and his speech with a translation and astute rhetorical analyses, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives highlights the oratorical artistry of Demosthenes and provides scholars and students with fresh insights into a landmark speech.

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Elements of Rhetoric

Comprising an Analysis of the Laws of Moral Evidence and of Persuasion, with Rules for Argumentative Composition and Elocution

Richard Whately. Edited with a Critical Introduction by Douglas Ehninger. Foreword by David Potter.

Elements of Rhetoric was originally published in 1828. Through successive editions, the work became increasingly geared to the needs and uses of the classroom. This edition includes a foreword by Series Editor David Potter, and a critical introduction by the book’s editor, Douglas Ehninger.

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The Philosophy of Rhetoric

George Campbell. Edited by Lloyd F. Bitzer

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.

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Puritan Rhetoric

The Issue of Emotion in Religion

Eugene E. White. Foreword by David Potter

The nature of Puritanism in America and the role of emotion in religion is the subject of this collection of religious orations, discussed and appraised for students of Puri­tanism and rhetoric.  The orations are arranged to represent the force and counterforce of reason versus emotionalism and the precarious balance maintained momentarily and, eventually, lost.

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Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing

Translations from Books One, Two, and Ten of the "Institutio oratoria"

Edited by James J. Murphy and Cleve Wiese

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The Rhetorics of Thomas Hobbes and Bernard Lamy

John T. Harwood

Makes accessible to modern readers the 17th-century rhetorics of Thomas Hob­bes (1588–1677) and Bernard Lamy (1640–1715).

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Selected Essays on Rhetoric


Thomas De Quincey Edited with a Critical Introduction by Frederick Burwick Foreward by David Potter

Burwick brings five previously published essays by De Quincey--Rhetoric, Style, Language, Conversation, and Greek Literature--together again in this volume, intro­ducing them by tracing the sources and development of a belletristic theory of rhetoric.  Mr. Burwick makes the edition complete with a comprehensive index and a selected bibliography.

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The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon

Edited by Thomas P. Miller

Considered the first significant teacher of rhetoric in America, John Witherspoon also introduced Scottish moral philosophy in America, and as president of Princeton reformed the curriculum to give emphasis to both studies. He was an active pamphleteer on religious and political issues and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

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Three Arabic Treatises on Aristotle’s Rhetoric

The Commentaries of al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes

Translated, with introduction and notes, by Lahcen Elyazghi Ezzaher

It is increasingly well documented that western rhetoric’s journey from pagan Athens to the medieval academies of Christian Europe was significantly influenced by the intellectual thought of the Muslim Near East. Lahcen Elyazghi Ezzaher contributes to the contemporary chronicling of this influence in Three Arabic Treatises on Aristotle’s Rhetoric: The Commentaries of al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, offering English translations of three landmark medieval Arabic commentaries on Aristotle's famous rhetorical treatise together in one volume for the first time.  Elegant and practical, Elyazghi Ezzaher’s translations give English-speaking scholars and students of rhetoric access to key medieval Arabic rhetorical texts while elucidating the unique and important contribution of those texts to the revival of European interest in the rhetoric and logic of Aristotle, which in turn influenced the rise of universities and the shaping of Western intellectual life.   

With a focus on Book I of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, the commentaries ofal-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes translated by Elyazghi Ezzaher are paramount examples of an extensive Arabic-Muslim tradition of textual commentary while also serving as rich corollaries to the medieval Greek and Latin rhetorical commentaries produced in Europe. Elyazghi Ezzaher’s translations are each accompanied by insightful scholarly introductions and notes that contextualize—both historically and culturally—these immensely significant works while highlighting a comparative, multidisciplinary approach to rhetorical scholarship that offers new perspectives on one of the field’s foundational texts.

A remarkable addition to rhetorical studies, Three Arabic Treatises on Aristotle’s Rhetoric: The Commentaries of al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes not only provides vibrant English translations of essential medieval Arabic rhetorical texts but also challenges scholars and students of rhetoric to consider their own historical, cultural, and linguistic relationships to the texts and objects they study.


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