Toward a Phenomenological Rhetoric : Writing, Profession and Altruism
Brand: Southern Illinois University Press

Toward a Phenomenological Rhetoric : Writing, Profession and Altruism

  • Publish Date: 1998-06-17
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Dr. Barbara Couture PhD

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Current rhetorical and critical theory for the most part separates writing from consciousness and presumes relative truth to be the only possible expressive goal for rhetoric. These presumptions are reflected in our tradition of persuasive rhetoric, which values writing that successfully argues one persons belief at the expense of anothers. Barbara Couture presents a case for a phenomenological rhetoric, one that values and respects consciousness and selfhood and that restores to rhetoric the possibility of seeking an all-embracing truth through pacific and cooperative interaction.

Couture discusses the premises on which current interpretive theory has supported relative truth as the philosophical grounding for rhetoric, premises, she argues, that have led to constraints on our notion of truth that divorce it from human experience. She then shows how phenomenological philosophy might guide the theory and practice of rhetoric, reanimating its role in the human enterprise of seeking a shared truth. She proposes profession and altruism as two guiding metaphors for the phenomenological activity of truth-seeking through interaction.

Among the contemporary rhetoricians and philosophers who influence Couture are Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Martin Buber, Charles Altieri, Charles Taylor, Alasdair Maclntyre, and Jrgen Habermas.

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