TITLE

Philosophy and Rhetoric: A Critical Discussion

AUTHOR(S)
Zaner, Richard M.
PUB. DATE
April 1968
SOURCE
Philosophy & Rhetoric;Spring1968, Vol. 1 Issue 2, p61
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article discusses the relations between rhetoric and philosophical argumentation. Philosophy is essentially the act of a person, specifically an act whose fundamental nature is dialectical reasoning from generally accepted propositions to other propositions, a mode of reasoning or argumentation which must be deeply informed by rhetorical devices if it is to be successful. That which grounds philosophizing, thus, is to be found in the audience to whom the discourse is directed. Philosophical argumentation is inseparably bound up with the person of the speaker and his concrete socio-historical circumstances, as well as those of his audience; precisely because of this, however, it can only be defined in terms of persuasion. Philosophical arguments are therefore never intended to persuade; rather, their intent is critical discussion. Once philosophers freely enter into a philosophical argument, the character of their discussion is determined by a network of contractual obligations: uttering a statement obligates the philosopher to its further discussion, not in order to achieve effectiveness, but simply because he has accepted the obligation to undertake the discussion promised by his initial statement, regardless of the consequences. Not only is this the case, but also obligation to discuss could scarcely exist unless the philosopher were also obligated to accept the results of the discussion.
ACCESSION #
16172816

 

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