4 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2017
    1. apply it to all forms of language use.

      This is an ambitious task as it raises questions about the relationship between the different forms that rhetoric can take. This ambition reminds me of Whateley's extremely confident assertion that "...most of the rules of Speaking are of course applicable to Writing." In a similar manner, Burke's piece seems to be predicated on the idea that the rules of one rhetorical form can "of course" be applied to another. As discussed by @em_bley and @sophist_monster on the Whateley piece, there are obviously unique characteristics of each rhetoric form, the role of audience being one. The unique role of the audience in writing and speaking is also discussed at length by Douglass (also discussed by @em_bley) when he writes about how audiences reacted to him as a black rhetorician.

  2. Feb 2017
    1. He suggcsL,; that if the work of the classic~I a~-thors strikes us as especially rhetorical in this sense, it may be because of their on· cntation to oral discourse and ours to written discourse, a difference that shows up in the highly developed rhythms of the classical authors' prose, compared with the relative flatness of ours.

      This implicit differentiation between the rhetorical form of writing and speaking is a curious rebuttal to Whateley's implicit suggestion that the rules of Speaking can be fairly applied to Writing ("...most of the rules for Speaking are of course applicable equally to Writing"). Whateley's controversial assertion here is also rebutted by Douglass when he discusses the role of immediacy and identity in speaking. This connection was discussed at length by @em_bley on the Whateley post last week so I won't spend too much time on it here.

    1. When the sisters addressed groups together, Sarah usually began by carefully laying out evidence of slavery's evils and biblical justifications for opposing it, and then Angelina would take the floor to passionately denounce the institution based on her eyewitness experience of its horrors, exhorting the audience to act before this moral evil brought Divine vengeance on the nation.

      Thinking here about Whateley when he admits that logic alone may not always be enough when forming an argument.

      "Are emotions not part of human decision? Do we not often seek to persuade ourselves to choose a course of action by representing to ourselves appropriate thoughts and feelings? It is legitimate and necessary, Whateley says, to stimulate emotions such as hope, fear, and altruism because they lead to worthy aims."

      It's almost as if the Grimké sisters operate in the kind of rhetorical duality that Whateley imagines between "logic" and "passion" but do so in a physical sense by literally sharing the stage. Sarah acts as the "logic" when systematically presenting evidence and justification, and Angelina acts as the "passion" by motivating the audience into action by supplementing the evidence with feeling.

    1. Christianity, too, is dependent upon the truthful· ness of testimony about the life and teachings of Jesus. Whately, following Campbell, analyzes testimony in great detail, seeking criteria for its truthfulness and examinT ing the effects of different types of testimony on audiences.

      Newsweek Article: Playing Telephone with the Word of God

      I think this article nicely complicates the concept of "the truthfulness of testimony about the life and teachings of Jesus" in that it suggests that no *true" witness assertions about Jesus that could constitute a historical record actually exist: "No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we’ve all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times."