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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

Rhetorical Bodies



The Asubjective / Clinical View:


People may be unfitted by being fit in an unfit fitness. (10)


Reality is what things will do to us or for us. (22)


trout, chickens, Pavlov's dogs, piety, trained incapacity, occupational psychoses, orientation, rationalization, means-selecting, propriety, ingratiation, analogical extension, metaphor, perspective, justification, evangelism


Definition of Human




As regards the realm of the empirical, man cannot live by the word for bread alone (Philosophy of Literary Form xvi).


In noting that the rational is shaped by the affective, psychoanalysts did great service - but too often the discovery led them to underrate the fact that, once the rational has arisen and taken form, it brings forward demands of its own, and guides us to what the affective response should be. ...Thus, even though one grant that the original formative factors of the rational are affective, one cannot jump to the conclusion that henceforth all rational manifestations must be considered as a mere phosphorescent glow arising above the affective. Instead our interpretations of the signs, be they true or false, can instigate the most intense affections. (149)


And however much we may question the terminology in which these patterns were expressed, the fact that man's neurological structure has remained pretty much of a constant through all the shifts of his environment would justify us in looking for permanencies beneath the differences, as the individual seeks by thought and act to confirm his solidarity with the group. (159)


The Return of Rhetoric


The prestige of instruction rose as the prestige for suggestion fell. Style, beauty, form - these now had to be fought for; or where they prevailed, they were largely expended upon the eliciting of morbid response, so extreme as still to be unequivocal. Suasion was for cheap politicians, rhetoric became synonymous with falsity, and strict definition became ideal. (54-55)


Indeed, beginning with such a word as composition to designate the architectonic nature of either a poem, a social construct, or a method of practical action, we can take over the whole vocabulary of tropes (as formulated by rhetoricians) to describe the specific patterns of human behavior. Since social life, like art, is a problem of appeal, the poetic metaphor would give us invaluable hints for describing modes of practical action which are too often measured by simple tests of utility and too seldom with reference to the communicative, sympathetic or propitiatory factors that are clearly present in the procedures of formal art and must be as truly present in those informal arts of living we do not happen to call arts. ...Are not such clinical words as fetishism and transference discussing much the same phenomenon as was discussed in the old books of rhetoric under the name of synedoche, or part for the whole? (264).


An Untimely History (Or, Theory as Astrology: Constellations)

"Primal Scene" (Sophists before the Socratic)


Pre-Modern (Socratic and after)


Modern (Nietzschean Moment)


Modernist (Burke's intervention)

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