Rhetoric and the Emotions

Martin, James. 2018. Rhetoric and the Emotions. In: Andreas Hetzel and Gerald Posselt, eds. Handbuch Rhetorik und Philosophie [Handbook of Rhetoric and Philosophy]. 9 Germany: Walter De Gruyter Mouton, pp. 607-623. ISBN 978-3-11-031819-7 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Rhetoric has long been associated with a type of emotive speech that persuades by non-rational means. This reductive association has been used to discredit rhetoric both as a type of knowledge and as an ethical practice for sustaining political community. Since Plato, Western philosophy has often regarded abstract, logical thought as a superior mode of reasoning with unique access to higher principles of social and natural order. The sepa-ration of passions from reason was further enforced in the modern era as emotion came to be viewed as a fundamentally physiological process. Yet rhetoric’s implication that reason blends inescapably with emotion makes it uniquely attuned to the affective binding of individuals through speech, particularly through metaphorical figures. Following the de-cline of rationalist models of scientific enquiry, the ‘linguistic turn’ in philosophy, and recent explorations in Neuroscience, the emotional dimensions of reasoning are again of interest and invite the revival of rhetoric as an ethical practice.

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July 2017Accepted
October 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2017 10:51

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22 Mar 2019 10:09



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