Synopses & Reviews
“Rhetoric is the counterpart of logic,” claimed Aristotle. “Rhetoric is the first part of logic rightly understood,” Martin Heidegger concurred. “Rhetoric is the universal form of human communication,” opined Hans-Georg Gadamer. But in Deep Rhetoric
, James Crosswhite offers a groundbreaking new conception of rhetoric, one that builds a definitive case for an understanding of the discipline as a philosophical enterprise beyond basic argumentation and is fully conversant with the advances of the New Rhetoric of Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca.
Chapter by chapter, Deep Rhetoric develops an understanding of rhetoric not only in its philosophical dimension but also as a means of guiding and conducting conflicts, achieving justice, and understanding the human condition. Along the way, Crosswhite restores the traditional dignity and importance of the discipline and illuminates the twentieth-century resurgence of rhetoric among philosophers, as well as the role that rhetoric can play in future discussions of ontology, epistemology, and ethics. At a time when the fields of philosophy and rhetoric have diverged, Crosswhite returns them to their common moorings and shows us an invigorating new way forward.
“Committed to an idea of rhetoric that addresses and leads others to transcend themselves, James Crosswhite enacts the role of a thoughtful lecturer engaged in a serious inquiry. His readings are compelling and careful and fresh—Deep Rhetoric will be essential reading for almost every serious thinker eager to find a basis for making good arguments in our time.”
“This is not just a study of but a call for reconfiguration of the disciplines. Recognizing the depth of rhetoric as a general paideia. James Crosswhite broadens the scope of deep rhetoric beyond argumentation and repositions rhetoric in relation to the whole liberal arts curriculum. Rhetoric’s tradition grants it the right to make this challenge, and this is the right time for it.”
Rhetoric is widely regarded by both its detractors and advocates as a kind of antithesis to reason. In this book Thomas B. Farrell restores rhetoric as an art of practical reason and enlightened civic participation, grounding it in its classical tradition--particularly in the rhetoric of Aristotle. And, because prevailing modernist world views bear principal responsibility for the disparagement of rhetorical tradition, Farrell also offers a critique of the dominant currents of modern humanist thought.
Farrell argues that rhetoric is not antithetical to reason but is a manner of posing and answering questions that is distinct from the approaches of analytic and dialectical reason. He develops this position in a number of ways: through a series of bold reinterpretations of Aristotle's Rhetoric; through a detailed appraisal of traditional rhetorical concepts as seen in modern texts from the Army-McCarthy hearings to Edward Kennedy's memorial for his brother, Mario Cuomo's address on abortion, Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique, and Vaclav Havel's inaugural address; and through a fresh appraisal of theories on the character of language and discourse found in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, anthropology, deconstructionism, Marxism, and especially in Habermas's critical theory of communicative action.
In this gracefully written book, Thomas B. Farrell restores rhetoric as an art of practical reason and enlightened civic participation, grounding it in its classical tradition-particularly in the rhetoric of Aristotle. And, because prevailing modernist world views bear principal responsibility for the disparagement of the rhetorical tradition, Farrell also offers a critique of the dominant currents of modern humanist thought, as seen in modern texts from works by Habermas to Vaclav Havel's inaugural address. "A distinguished treatise on the interface of philosophy, rhetoric, and communication. This is the most comprehensive, scholarly, and discerning discussion of the issues that lie at the crossroads of the philosophical and rhetorical disciplines that I have seen."-Calvin Schrag, Purdue University "A magnificent study that addresses the significant developments marking the contemporary landscape of rhetorical thought and offers a fresh and important analysis in an accessible style."-Gerard A. Hauser, University of Colorado "This book is a brilliant reconsideration of Aristotle's rhetorical theory as an orientation to contemporary practice. Thomas Farrell provides a well-crafted argument in lucid prose. . . . As provocative as it is refreshing."-Raymie E. McKerrow, Quarterly Journal of Speech
About the Author
James Crosswhite is associate professor of English at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The Rhetoric of Reason, and has directed writing programs at the University of California, San Diego, and at the University of Oregon, where he founded the Program in Writing, Speaking, and Critical Reasoning.
Table of Contents
1 What Is Deep Rhetoric?
What Is Rhetoric?
Origins of Rhetoric
Toward a Deep Rhetoric
Some Theologies and Teleologies of Rhetoric
Deep Rhetoric and Big Rhetoric
Rhetoric and Humanism
2 What Is Deep Rhetoric? II
Rhetoric and Ideology
The Deep Rhetoric of the Late Twentieth Century
3 The Deep Rhetoric of Platos Gorgias
Deep Rhetoric: An Overview
Plato and the Sophists
A Failure of Transcendence: Rhetoric and Narcissism
Deep Rhetorical Nomos and the Care of the Soul
Two Kinds of Rhetoric: A Deep Rhetorical Critique
The Ethical Ontology of Deep Rhetorical Decorum
4 Rhetoric and Violence
The Rhetorical Origin of Human Sociality: The Great Myth of Protagoras
Rhetoric Is Violence: Walter Benjamin
Deep Rhetoric: Otherwise Than Violence
5 Through Heidegger: Transcendence and Logos
World and Logos
Understanding, Interpretation, and Meaning
Logos and Discourse
Transcendence: Grounds and Reasons
6 Beyond Heidegger: False Trails and Re-readings
Solus Ipse v. Logos
Silence and the Diminishment of Logos
The Ghostly Other
7 Reason and Justice: The Deep Rhetorical Dimensions of the New Rhetoric Project
Deep Rhetoric and Justice
Reconstructing The New Rhetoric
8 Rhetoric and Wisdom
Wisdom in the Rhetorical Tradition
The Origin of Rhetoric in the Oresteia of Aeschylus
The Prajnaparamita Sutras
New Rhetorical Wisdom
Athenas Practical Wisdom
Notes Works Cited Index