Histories of rhetoric regularly emphasize the tension and interplay between preservation and innovation, between intellectual conservatism and originality or even iconoclasm. Contemporary rhetorical studies have been invigorated by reflection on this dialectic, with scholars frequently fixing their gaze on the problem of "rhetorical tradition." In one recent contribution to the discussion, Alan G. Gross proposes that the rhetorical tradition be conceived in terms of the development, refinement, and occasional contestation of key concepts, that is, of distinct idea-elements within larger theories ("Rhetorical Tradition"). Thus construed, the tradition emerges as a historical and intertextual process, as authors in different places and times engage-explicitly or possibly implicitly-with one another's ideas. Although the case Gross uses to illustrate this process (tracking from Aristotle's "bringing-before-the-eyes" to George Campbell's "vivacity" to Chaïm Perelman's "presence") stresses the development of concepts over a long period and across disparate cultural circumstances, we believe the idea can be usefully employed to investigate a concept's emergence and elaboration in shorter spans as well and to illuminate, by means of comparison, the work of roughly contemporary thinkers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Promise of Reason|
|Subtitle of host publication||Studies in The New Rhetoric|
|Publisher||Southern Illinois University Press|
|Number of pages||31|
|ISBN (Print)||0809330253, 9780809330256|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2011|