Rhetoric and Philosophy

By Richard A. Cherwitz | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Realism and Its Implications for Rhetorical Theory

James W. Hikins

It is clear to everyone that there are many things of the kind we have just indicated [animals, plants, earth, air, fire, and water], and he who would try to demonstrate the more apparent by the less apparent shows that he cannot distinguish what is and what is not evident.

-- Aristotle1

Most people would really rather be realists, once they see their way clear.

-- Thomas Russman2

____________________
1
Quoted in Ross ( 1930), Book II, Section 1, p. 193a. Of particular importance is Aristotle's indictment of those who would seek to establish the "more apparent" from the "less apparent." Put briefly, Aristotle is arguing that, if we cannot trust that most of what is immediately given in experience is veridical, based on its givenness, then we can never hope to establish the veracity of immediate experience based on weaker (i.e., more remote) evidence. But, a fortiori, if we can never trust the most immediately given as an argument for the veracity of immediate experience, we can surely never trust arguments from weaker sources for any other conclusion about anything. The skeptic will relish this conclusion, until it is realized that "weaker sources" and "anything" refer as well to the skeptic's own argumentation and conclusions, the latter of which are, by the argument, drawn from considerably weaker premises than are conclusions about reality drawn from direct experience.
2
Russman ( 1987) admits that his claim may be "only a complacent prejudice" but, based on the day-to-day conduct of even the most skeptical individuals, he may well be right (p. viii). I recall vividly a constructivist colleague who was heavily committed to the notion that humans construct all of reality linguistically. In the heat of the philosophical discussion he articulated the belief that one could walk through walls if one so chose. But he did not take up the challenge to do so, nor do I recall once seeing him try in the years since!

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rhetoric and Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contributors xi
  • Foreword xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Chapter 1 - The Philosophical Foundations of Rhetoric 1
  • References 18
  • Chapter 2 - Realism and Its Implications for Rhetorical Theory 21
  • References 74
  • Chapter 3 - Relativism and Rhetoric 79
  • References 101
  • Chapter 4 - Critical Rationalism: Rhetoric and the Voice of Reason 105
  • References 145
  • Chapter 5 - Idealism as a Rhetorical Stance 149
  • References 184
  • Chapter 6 - Materialism: Reductionist Dogma or Critical Rhetoric? 187
  • References 211
  • Chapter 7 - Existentialism as a Basis for the Theory and Practice of Rhetoric 213
  • References 247
  • Chapter 8 - Rhetoric After Deconstruction 253
  • References 272
  • Chapter 9 - Rhetoric, Pragmatism, and Practical Wisdom 275
  • References 302
  • Author Index 303
  • Subject Index 309
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 314

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.