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The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation
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The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"It is difficult to see how any rhetorician, rhetorical critic, logician interested in verbal logic, or student of either philosophical or popular argument can claim full competence without familiarity with this work. It challenges the orthodoxies of all and suggests fresh modes of inquiry to all." —The Quarterly Journal of Speech
Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 30th 1991 by University of Notre Dame Press (first published 1958)
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Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rhetoric
This book won me over to Perelmanism in many ways, not least because it was so readable and straddled the theory-practice line so neatly. I’d love to write something like this, but that may perhaps be a dead genre at this point in our disciplinary history. For my research interests, I was naturally very interested in the authors’ support of the epideictic, but there is even more there I love. My questions about whether an audience is (in the words of Lunsford & Ede) invoked or addressed when ...more
J.F. Hussey
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A twentieth-century empirical approach to argumentation. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca would go on to condense, revise and synthesize their work in the much more readable The Realm of Rhetoric (1982), but this is the original.
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rhet-comp, field-exam
Using a heavily taxonomic approach reminiscent of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, the authors of The New Rhetoric set out to revitalize argumentation given its subordination and denigration in twentieth-century philosophy. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca argue that, starting with Descartes, philosophy and many other fields have wrongly regarded self-evidence as the sole method of rational proof and argument. For the authors, “It is the idea of self-evidence as characteristic of reason, which we must assail” ...more
Feb 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Although I'm not finished with this book yet, I can't help commenting on my reactions thus far. Overall, this book is a useful corrective to the Cartesian, positivist world-view that the only worthwhile discourses are verifiable truth statements. Perelman makes a convincing argument that focusing only on speech of this kind excludes the vast majority of communication, and that its equally, if not more, important to pay close attention to how discourse in the realm of opinion, or "the realm of rh ...more
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book that reinvigorates the study of rhetoric by taking a revolutionary approach - an inductive, or bottom-up, perspective on how argument must work based on what people do. The authors spent years collecting and studying examples of daily, lived argumentation practices and developed a theory critical of formal logic, yet normative in the sense of how formal logic can be ethically and properly applied to the creation of argumentation.

This book is thick, and you'll have to re-read a few s
Rodrigo Medel
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this book as part of a course in rhetoric. While I'm not precisely a fan of rhetorics, I found this book useful in some respects. For example, it was interesting to learn that the old (and dismissed) rhetoric has recently experienced an important renewal due to Perelman's work. New discoursive elements that extend beyond the robustness of deductive logic, such as the role of the auditorium, the dynamics of group adherence, or the use of non-formal fallacies represent now acceptable units ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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Andrew Mcneill
Oct 18, 2012 rated it liked it
A good book but it is largely descriptive and seeks to set out all the features of rhetoric and discourse.
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rhetoric
perpetually reading this thing. while much requires a modern appropriation, it serves as an excellent bridge between rhetorical and theoretical purviews.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rhetoric
I really enjoyed their view both of rhetoric and the possibilities for argumentation.
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it
SO hard to understand - but so important.
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Chaïm Perelman was a Polish-born philosopher of law, who studied, taught, and lived most of his life in Brussels. He was among the most important argumentation theorists of the twentieth century. His chief work is the Traité de l'argumentation – la nouvelle rhétorique (1958), with Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, translated into English as The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation, by John Wilkinson an ...more
More about Chaim Perelman...