Emergence of New Rhetoric

Insofar as the revival of rhetoric under the auspices of a theory of argumentation is a renewal of the Aristotelian emphasis on inventio, on the discovery of the persuasives in relation to a matter or case in question, then I am all in favour of this theoretical and pedagogic effort. It constitutes a way for those regions – Germany, France, Holland, England – where rhetoric had been reduced to the stylistic study of rhetorical figures in literature and oratory, to renew a more substantive rhetoric, a rhetoric concerned not just with style, figures and elocutio, but with also with logos, inventio and persuasive argument.

For both Perelman and for Toulmin, this renewal of argumentation was enacted via a return and reworking of Aristotle. However, it is important to note that it did not involve a renewal of contact with Cicero, Quintilian or Isocrates. That is, what is being renewed is a quite narrow understanding of richness of ancient rhetoric. Read more of this post

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Mode of address

This book will take up the same rhetorical stance as its proposes be offered to adult literacy students—or any and all other students for that matter. That is, it will put forward its views, ideas, theories and and stakes always with the thought in mind that this is only a perspective, and that there is always more to be said both from other points of view and in clarifying or deepening my own point of view. This is rhetorical dialogism: the claim that we are always ‘on the way’ to knowing; that full and complete knowledge (‘the truth, the whole truth and only the truth’) is always just out of reach. What makes it more reachable, even though still out of reach, is the response of others.  Read more of this post