The State of Babel After the Fall: Philo Judaeus and the Possibility of Rhetoric

January 2014
Advances in the History of Rhetoric;2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p34
Academic Journal
This article contextualizes Philo Judaeus's treatise De Confusione Linguarum in rhetorical and intellectual history. While most interpretations of the Tower of Babel legend have found that its primary function is to explain the dispersion of the world's diverse nations and languages, Philo argues that the "confusion of tongues" signifies a more basic existential condition. For Philo, this confusion disrupted humankind's capacity for perfect communication, helping us value rhetorical action as an essential element of the confused, ongoing process of struggle that characterizes our everyday sociality. The confusion of tongues, therefore, simultaneously gave rise to rhetoric and the masses, as it imposed a principle of difference in language and discordant heterogeneity in the social order.


Related Articles

  • THE CONCEPT OF GOD: What Is God's Relation to the Natural World and to Living Creatures? Steinkraus, Warren E.; Mitias, Michael H. // Taking Religious Claims Seriously;1998, p62 

    The article offers the author's insights on the relation of God to the living creatures and natural world. The author mentions that God is viewed in the West as separate and distinct from the world of living creatures and nature called deism or strict supernaturalism. The author also features...

  • Exploring Biology and Communication: Editor's Introduction.  // Communication Research Trends;2011, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p3 

    An introduction is presented in which the editor discusses the biological dimension of human communication.

  • Chapter 2: Ways We Communicate with Our Dogs.  // How to Listen to Your Dog: The Complete Guide to Communicating w;2012, p69 

    The article discusses the viability of communication established between humans and dogs as both are social species.

  • Human lung mast cell heterogeneity.  // Thorax;Apr2009, Vol. 64 Issue 4, p278 

    The author reflects on the study by C. K. Andersson and colleagues regarding the heterogeneity of lung mast cell in human beings. He says that mast cells manage to achieve diverse tissue effects via the release of vasoactive and bronchospastic autacoid mediators. He notes that the paper shows...

  • Monocyte and macrophage heterogeneity. Gordon, Siamon; Taylor, Philip R. // Nature Reviews Immunology;Dec2005, Vol. 5 Issue 12, p953 

    Heterogeneity of the macrophage lineage has long been recognized and, in part, is a result of the specialization of tissue macrophages in particular microenvironments. Circulating monocytes give rise to mature macrophages and are also heterogeneous themselves, although the physiological...

  • Editors's Afterword. Biernatzki, W. E. // Communication Research Trends;2004, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p21 

    Father Walter Ong, was widely known and highly regarded in academic circles. Those who knew him personally saw a different, but related side of his personality: a seeker of knowledge at all levels, interested in the world, eager to know its many facets. In his youth, as an Eagle Scout, he had to...

  • Scholarly Communication: A Journey from Print to Web. Mukherjee, Bhaskar // Library Philosophy & Practice;Oct2009, p1 

    The article discusses the nature and history of scholarly communication. The origins of scholarly communication are discussed, mentioning that the earliest signs of scholarly communication existed in the civilization of the ancient Greeks. The development of the concept of scholarly...

  • Celebrating a Century of Excellence in the Communication Discipline Reflections on the Eastern Communication Association Centennial Convention: The Association at 100. Muir, JanetteK.; Kahl, MaryL.; Lederman, Linda Costigan // Communication Quarterly;Oct2009, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p375 

    An essay is presented which reflects on the 100th anniversary of the communications professional society the Eastern Communication Association and its contributions. Its beginnings at Swarthmore College, the effects of inclusivity and diversity on the organization, and the organization's...

  • Povijest komunikacijskih i medijskih studija u Hrvatskoj: Politička misao u komparativnoj perspektivi. PERUŠKO, ZRINJKA; VOZAB, DINA // Politicka Misao: Croatian Political Science Review;2014, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p133 

    The article analyzes the intelectual and institutional history of communication and media studies in Croatia using a mixed methods approach. Content analysis of articles dealing with communication and media topics published in social science journals, as well as all articles in specialized media...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics