In The Ethics of Rhetoric, Richard M. Weaver evaluates the ethical and cultural role of rhetoric and its reflection on society. Weaver draws upon classical notions of rhetoric in Plato’s Phaedrus, and he examines the effectiveness and implications of the manipulation of language in the works of Lincoln, Burke, and Milton. In this collection of essays, Weaver examines how different types of rhetoric persuade, their varying levels of effectiveness and credibility, and how one’s manner of argumentation and style of persuasion are indicative of character. Ultimately, Weaver argues that the cultivation of pure language creates pure people. Initially published in 1953, The Ethics of Rhetoric remains timeless in its evaluation of rhetoric’s role in society.
The Ethics and Rhetoric of Invasion Ecology provides an introduction to the controversial treatment and ongoing violence routinely utilized against non-native species. Drawing from the tradition of critical animal scholars, Stanescu and Cummings have assembled a group of advocates who argue for a different kind of relationship with foreign species. Where contemporary approaches often emphasize the need to eradicate ecological invaders in order to preserve delicate habitats, the essays in this volume aim to reformulate the debate by arguing for an alternative approach that advances the possibility of an ethics of co-habitation.
Although there are a number of book-length studies of rhetoric in Shakespeare's plays, With What Persuasion discerns a distinctly Shakespearean ethics of the art of rhetoric in them. In this interdisciplinary book, Scott F. Crider draws upon the Aristotelian traditions of poetics, rhetoric, and ethics to show how Shakespeare addresses fundamental ethical questions that arise during the public and private rhetorical situations Shakespeare represents in his plays. Informed by the Greek, Roman, and English poetic and rhetorical traditions, With What Persuasion offers close readings of a selection of plays - Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Henry the 5th, All's Well That Ends Well, Othello, Measure for Measure, and The Winter's Tale - to answer universal questions about human speech and association, answers that refute a number of contemporary literary and rhetorical theory's assumptions about language and power. Crider argues that this Shakespearean ethics could assist us in our own historical moment as we in the liberal, multicultural West try to refound, without coercion, ethical principles to bind us to one another.
Richard M. Weaver believed that “rhetoric at its truest seeks to perfect men by showing them better versions of themselves.” Language is Sermonic offers eight of Weaver’s best essays on the nature of traditional rhetoric and its role in shaping society. Arguing throughout the book against society’s reverence for relativism—and the consequential disregard for real values—this philosophical idealist uses his southern background and classical education as a backdrop for his scrutiny of our misuse of language. Weaver argues that rhetoric in its highest form involves making and persuasively presenting choice among goods. He condemns such supposedly value-free stances as cultural relativism, semantic positivism, scientism, and radical egalitarianism. Eschewing such peripheral aspect s of rhetoric as memorization and delivery, aspects too often now presented as the whole, Weaver deals instead with the substance of rhetoric. Ideas and the words used to express them—these are Weaver’s subjects. Anyone concerned about language—its use and abuse in contemporary society—will find Language is Sermonic provocative and rewarding. The editors’ critical interpretation of all of Weaver’s writing, as well as Ralph Eubanks’ brief appreciation of Weaver, make this a book no student of language and ideas should be without. Richard M. Weaver was one of the most stimulating and controversial rhetorical theorists of our time. He taught for many years at the University of Chicago and was the author of several books, including Visions of Order, Ideas Have Consequences, The Ethics of Rhetoric, and Life Without Prejudice and Other Essays.
Rhetorical Ethics and Internetworked Writing develops rhetoric theory as a heuristic tool for addressing the new ethical and legal complexities cyberwriters and writing teachers face on the Internet and World Wide Web. Porter conceptualizes rhetoric as an ethical operation (first by examining the rhetoric-ethics relationship in classical and modern rhetoric, then by turning to postmodern ethics, which revives a casuistic approach to ethics). In the second half of the book, Porter considers special cases involving electronic discourse on the networks that challenge or undermine conventional print-based law and ethics.
In The Ethics and Politics of Speech, Pat J. Gehrke provides an accessible yet intensive history of the speech communication discipline during the twentieth century. Drawing on several previously unpublished or unexamined sources—including essays, conference proceedings, and archival documents—Gehrke traces the evolution of communication studies and the dilemmas that often have faced academics in this field. In his examination, Gehrke not only provides fresh perspectives on old models of thinking; he reveals new methods for approaching future studies of ethical and political communication. Gehrke begins his history with the first half of the twentieth century, discussing the development of a social psychology of speech and an ethics based on scientific principles, and showing the importance of democracy to teaching and scholarship at this time. He then investigates the shift toward philosophical—especially existential—ways of thinking about communication and ethics starting in the 1950s and continuing through the mid-1970s, a period associated with the rise of rhetoric in the discipline. In the chapters covering the last decades of the twentieth century, Gehrke demonstrates how the ethics and politics of communication were directed back onto the practices of scholarship within the discipline, examining the increased use of postmodern and poststructuralist theories, as well as the new trend toward writing original theory, rather than reinterpreting the past. In offering a thorough history of rhetoric studies, Gehrke sets the stage for new questions and arguments, ultimately emphasizing the deeply moral and political implications that by nature embed themselves in the field of communication. More than simply a history of the discipline's major developments, The Ethics and Politics of Speech is an account of the philosophical and moral struggles that have faced communication scholars throughout the last century. As Gehrke explores the themes and movements within rhetoric and speech studies of the past, he also provides a better understanding of the powerful forces behind the forging of the field. In doing so, he reveals history’s potential to act as a vehicle for further academic innovation in the future.
Donald Russell, Emeritus Professor of Classical Literature at the University of Oxford, has been a leading figure in several fields of classical scholarship over the last few decades. The present volume collects essays written in his honour by scholars who have all worked closely with him. They fall into three sections, corresponding to Donald Russell's main work: Latin literature, Greek imperial literature, and ancient literary criticism. They are unified by two of Russell's own pervasive concerns: ethics, the concern of classical literature with moral conduct, and rhetoric, the techniques of effective persuasion.
Drawing from interviews with Internet researchers from across the globe who work in diverse disciplines and in a wide array of online venues, this book examines ethical issues and questions that Internet researchers may encounter throughout the research process. Although the ethics of Internet research are complex, the aim of the book is to provide a rhetorical, case-based process to aid researchers in ethical decision making. In doing so, the book provides Internet researchers with useful resources and heuristics for engaging in ethical practices, interactions, and problem solving for their research.
In this major study, leading feminist biblical critic Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza focuses on Paul and his interpreters. She questions the apolitical ethos of biblical scholarship and argues for an alternative rooted in a critical understanding of language as a form of power. Modern biblical criticism, she reasons, derives much of its methodology and inspiration from an outdated notion of modern science. It professes value-neutrality and detachment from the world of politics and history. Yet, Schussler Fiorenza maintains, this posture belies an objectivity that fails to engage the sociopolitical context of both the text and today's reader. It also does not recognize the rhetorical character of biblical texts and readings. If language is understood in the sense of ancient rhetorics as a form of power that constitutes reality, then an ethics of interpretation is called for. The task of biblical studies is to identify and assess the ethical resources and moral visions of biblical religions. "Only then," Schussler Fiorenza contends, "will bibical studies be a significant partner in the global struggles seeking justice and well-being for all."
In The Ethics of Persuasion: Derrida's Rhetorical Legacies, Brooke Rollins argues that some of the most forceful and utilitarian examples of persuasion involve significant ethical dimensions. Using the work of Jacques Derrida, she draws this ethical imperative out from a series of canonical rhetorical texts that have traditionally been understood as insistent or even guileful instances of persuasion. Her reconsideration of highly determined pieces by Gorgias, Lysias, Isocrates, and Plato encourages readers to inherit the rhetorical tradition differently, and it pinpoints the important rhetorical dimensions of Derrida's own work. Drawing on Derrida's (non)definition of ethics and his pointed accounts of performativity, Rollins argues that this vital ethical component of many ancient theories, practices, and pedagogies of persuasion has been undertheorized for more than two millennia. Through deconstructive readings of some of these texts, she shows us that we are not simply sovereign beings who both wield and guard against linguistic techniques of rule. Our persuasive endeavors, rather, are made possible by an ethics--an always prior encounter with otherness that interrupts self-presence.