The New Philosophy of Rhetoric

  • Gary Brent Madison
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 42)


In the beginning, with the West’s first humanists and liberal educators, the Sophists, the terms “rhetoric” and “philosophy” were names for the one and the same thing. The history of western thought after Plato is the history of the progressive estrangement between rhetoric and philosophy, such that by the time of late modernity these two terms had come to designate disciplines which in many ways were viewed as being antithetical to one another. In the twentieth century, “philosophy” (especially in the Anglo-Saxon world) had become the name for a sterile, logicist discipline whose purported object was truth (thought, reason) in a timeless, invariant, and context-free sense. Rhetoric in the meantime had degenerated into a moribund, if not actually defunct, academic discipline concerned not with matters of true thinking, but with mere technical questions of linguistic style (ornate forms of speech). A fundamental divorce had been fully and formally instituted between (truth) content and (stylistic) form.


Western Thought Philosophical Hermeneutic Loeb Classical Library Linguistic Style Metaphysical Notion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Brent Madison
    • 1
  1. 1.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations