The Ethics of Rhetoric
Weaver's "Ethics of Rhetoric, " originally published in 1953, has been called his most important statement on the ethical and cultural role of rhetoric. A strong advocate of cultural conservatism, Weaver (1910-1953) argued strongly for the role of liberal studies in the face of what he saw as the encroachments of modern scientific and technological forces in society. He wa...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Routledge
(first published January 1st 1953)
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Weaver opens his book by arguing for the structural and thematic unity of Plato’s Phaedrus, and his Platonism persists undiluted throughout the book. Weaver’s interpretation of the Phaedrus is that the lovers represented by each of the dialogue’s three opening speeches are allegories for different types of language. The “non-lover” of Lysias’ speech represents the cold logic of “neutral,” scientific language--a ideal “semantically purified speech” Weaver doesn’t think could be realized (7). Socr...more
Enjoyed reading this quite a bit. It does seem old-fashioned, though, in its neo-Platonism and its form, but, my, it seems so enjoyable and applicable. I love the connotation/denotation bit quite a lot, and naturally, I’m inclined towards the power of poetic language. It’s sad that this has fallen out of favor because things like chivalry and the power of rhetoric to improve someone’s life are things that I so desperately want to believe in.
American scholar who taught English at the University of Chicago. He is primarily known as a shaper of mid- 20th century conservatism and as an authority on modern rhetoric. A solitary figure in 20th-century American academic life, briefly a socialist in his youth, a lapsed leftist intellectual conservative by the time he was in graduate school, a teacher of composition, a Platonist philosopher wh...moreMore about Richard M. Weaver...