In Chaïm Perelman, Ray D. Dearin and I contend that presence transcends the isolated effects that Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca catalog; we claim that there is a global form, a synergy of effects, in which "to be persuaded is to live in a world made significantly different by the persuader" (151). In "Presence as Argument in the Public Sphere," I extend this form of presence from the verbal to the visual. In this essay, I attempt to further the analysis of presence, to offer a systematic account of the verbal/visual interaction on which it depends, to offer, in effect, a genealogy of presence. Such an account is essential if we are to explain the mystery of verbal/visual presence, to explain what is, in fact, the central mystery of Perelmanian presence, the transformation of the perceptual into the argumentative. According to The New Rhetoric, presence is based on the fact that "the thing on which the eye dwells, that which is best or most ofen seen is, by that very circumstance, overestimated." Initially, then, presence is perceptual; its effect is "to [fill] the whole field of consciousness." But, according to Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, such is the nature of presence that what is "at first a psychological phenomenon, becomes an essential element in argumentation" (116-18).
|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||20|
|ISBN (Print)||0809330253, 9780809330256|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2011|