Philosophy and Rhetoric in Dialogue
Redrawing Their Intellectual Landscape
Edited by Gerard A. Hauser
Publication date:15 February 2008
Length of book:188 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Philosophy and Rhetoric, one of Penn State Press’s longest-running journals, was conceived at a time of immense philosophical upheaval: rhetoric as a field of study—first dismissed by Descartes—was being reexamined after decades of neglect. Now, nearly forty years later, Philosophy and Rhetoric continues to hold pride of place in this reinvigorated discipline. The brainchild of Penn State professors Carroll Arnold and Henry Johnstone, Philosophy and Rhetoric boasts work from dozens of international luminaries from a broad spectrum of specializations.
To commemorate the fortieth year of publication, current series editor Gerard Hauser assembled a volume of the journal’s most noteworthy articles, beginning with Henry Johnstone’s gem of an essay underscoring the essential relationship between the art of rhetoric and philosophy. Donald Verene elaborates that initial thesis and suggests that rhetoric and philosophy are not distinct entities in conversation, but instead that rhetoric provides a forum in which philosophy can exist. Jean Goodwin looks at the theory in terms of a teacher/student relationship, and Barbara Biesecker looks at how governments in the war on terror employ rhetoric to manipulate the social consciousness. A concluding article by Carroll Arnold casts rhetoric as a dramatic device essential to establishing personal sovereignty. During its forty years, Hauser writes, the journal “radically altered the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric from irreconcilable antagonists to interlocutors in a shared inquiry into the constitutive powers of discourse.” This series of essays brilliantly traces the arc of that accomplishment.