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161 Notes Introduction: The What, Why, and How of a Rhetoric of Medicine 1. Aristotle defines rhetoric as “the faculty of discovering in the particular case what are the available means of persuasion” (7). His definition draws attention to rhetoric’s element of invention or discovery of arguments. Later, Francis Bacon specifies the “duty and office” of rhetoric as “to apply reason to imagination for the better moving of the will” (149). 2. Observations on persuasion in medical discourse are not exclusive to rhetorical critics. For example, historian of medicine Howard Kushner writes about something like persuasion when he talks about patient credibility in cases of “psychogenic pain”; psychologist M. Robin DiMatteo is concerned with questions of influence when he studies noncompliance with doctors’ instructions; psychopharmacologist and historian David Healy writes about the discursive reciprocity of psychiatric diagnosis and psychopharmaceutical treatment; philosopher Ian Hacking is interested in campaigns for household products aimed at purification (“Risk and Dirt”); cultural critic Susan Sontag has alerted a generation to metaphors of illness. But persuasion is typically not central to these accounts , whereas rhetoric is a discipline of the study of human action where the keyword is persuasion. 3. The articles appeared on the same day—Picard’s in the Canadian national newspaper the Globe and Mail and Fayerman’s in the local newspaper, the Vancouver Sun. Both are reports on the findings of the study “Evaluations of Surgical Indications and Outcomes,” by the Vancouver-based Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation. 4. There is a range of approaches in studies of rhetoric of medicine specifically . For example, in 2000, Barbara Heifferon and Stuart Brown guest-edited an issue of Technical Communication Quarterly on “Medical Rhetoric”; in 2001, John Lyne guest-edited an issue of Journal of Medical Humanities on “Rhetoric and Biomedicine.” The contributions to these journal issues and the characters of the issues themselves indicate the variety of rhetorical-critical studies of medicine. 5. Internet searches of book and article titles including the term rhetoric turn up prominently the opposition of rhetoric and reality, as in D. R. Silverman, “Narrowing the Gap Between the Rhetoric and the Reality of Medical Ethics.” 6. This is debatable anyway. For a discussion of the social nature of criticism and the place of the rhetorical tradition on this question, see the final chapter of Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory: An Introduction. 7. In his introduction to Landmark Essays on the Rhetoric of Science, Randy Allen Harris offers a compatible description of the rhetorical critic working in the realm of science. [R]hetoric of science is the analysis of scientific discourse by scholars whose primary allegiances are to the guiding notions of rhetorical theory, and who 162 place their work in the tradition of others with those allegiances, some of whom invented those allegiances (a case prominently including such folks as Protagoras, Aristotle, Cicero, Vico, Burke, and Perelman). (xxvii–xxviii) 8. Rhetorical criticism is typically defined by example. Other collections of illustrative essays of rhetorical analysis (with Benson’s and Foss’s) are Bernard L. Brock, Robert L. Scott, and James W. Chesebro’s Methods of Rhetorical Criticism and James R. Andrews’s Practice of Rhetorical Criticism. 9. Foss’s categories raise questions of classification. Criticism is not feminist in the same way that it is metaphoric; ideological criticism is no more a form of rhetorical criticism than rhetorical criticism is a form of ideological criticism; the pentad is a construct of rhetorical theory, but narrative is not, and so on. 10. A summary and a critical deployment of Aristotelian rhetoric are provided by Edward P. J. Corbett (Classical Rhetoric and Rhetorical Analyses, respectively). A history of rhetorical criticism is in Charles J. Stewart. 11. Rhetorical criticism is not the only criticism identifiable more by a kind of attention than by a procedure per se. For example, this is Jonathan Culler on structuralist criticism: There is no structuralist method such that by applying it to a text one automatically discovers its structure. But there is a kind of attention which one might call structuralist: a desire to isolate codes, to name the various languages with and among which the text plays, to go beyond manifest content to a series of forms and then to make these forms, or oppositions or modes of signification, the burden of the text. (259) 12. These terms are explained especially in A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and Language as Symbolic Action. 13. Nichols’s quotations of Burke are from...


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