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Book Reviews 689 troversial relationship between politics and race in America, Smith warns of the perils which society in general and the African American community in particular will face if race is not dealt with in an open and honest manner. Smith concludes this volume on the state of African American politics on a rather solemn note. However, this analysis should not leave the reader in despair. By pointing out the weaknesses and limits of the existing political system, Smith provides a great service, as there are many lessons to be learned from the mistakes of the past. While the text may at times be a bit cumbersome for the lay reader, for the student of politics in general and African American political involvement in particular , this is a must read. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Smith's conclusions, this volume will definitely challenge how one examines politics in the African American community from this point forward. Todd Anthony Allen Geneva College Selected Writings of Richard McKeon: Volume 1: Philosophy, Science, and Culture. By Richard McKeon. Edited by Zahava K. McKeon and William G. Swenson, with an introduction by Zahava K. McKeon. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1998; pp. xii + 507. $50.00. Where to begin a review of 22 essays from a philosopher who had read, absorbed, and reordered everything? Luckily my task is made more determinate and therefore more possible by the circumstance that this review is addressed to a specific audience: those presumably interested in rhetoric and public affairs. So, what has Richard McKeon to say to us? By the late sixties, McKeon was conspicuously working on communication, even throwing around the word "rhetoric." Thus, as the communication disciplines were trying to mark off an intellectual territory, he received the expected invitations to participate in rhetoric conferences and to submit to communication journals. But it is my impression—which the reader may correct—that his work has been only just barely integrated into the discipline's history , and not at all into our current activities. (I note the spectacular exception of Thomas Conley's Rhetoric in the European Tradition). We should be reading McKeon and inviting our students to read him. I write this review to explain why and how. Begin with McKeon's principal insight, as laid out most simply in "A Philosopher Meditates on Discovery" and Zahava McKeon's fine "General Introduction." From the viewpoint of the twentieth century, the most noticeable feature of the activity of philosophizing is controversy. There are plural philosophies, and they don't agree on any level; even when using the same words, they mean different things. How can this diversity be managed? McKeon faced this challenge personally, due to his mastery of the tradition and to his responsibility for designing the University of 690 Rhetoric & Public Affairs Chicago's general education curriculum. His insight was to shift attention from what philosopher's were saying to the saying itself. To be presented in controversy, a philosophical position must be formulated as argument. And there are only a few formulations possible. There are four kinds oÃ- principles—four starting points that can be taken for granted at the beginning of an argument. There are four kinds of methods—our ways of proceeding from principles. There are four kinds of interpretations —four sorts of conclusions about the world that may be reached. McKeon organizes these "semantic" regularities into a "schematism" or chart of the available means of philosophizing. The mysteries of the schematism can perhaps best be revealed by watching how it works as a tool. A first use comes in reading a philosophy sympathetically or "internally "—that is, in reading it as it is still alive. Turn next, therefore, to "Rhetoric and Poetic in the Philosophy of Aristotle." By implicitly locating Aristotle's principles, methods, and interpretations—his "places" on the schematism—McKeon is able to isolate the central questions Aristotle is addressing and to resolve apparent inconsistencies in his work. This essay deals with the status of "art" in Aristotle, especially the communicative arts; but Aristotle was well served throughout McKeon's historical work, as several essays in this volume show. The schematism finds a second...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 689-691
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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