Of all the Ancient Greek philosophers, Plato was the one which had the most influence on subsequent ideas around the role of rhetoric and philosophy. A student of Socrates, he went on to found a school called The Academy, and was known for skepticism about the value of rhetoric. This skepticism or mistrust of rhetoricContinue reading “Plato”

The Sophists

The Sophists were among the first teachers and theorists of rhetoric in Ancient Greece. They made their living traveling from city to city, teaching the citizens the art of argumentation. Having experienced a wide variety of local habits and customs during their travels, they saw truth as being relative in nature. They rejected any ideaContinue reading “The Sophists”

What is Rhetoric?

According to Aristotle, rhetoric “is the art of discovering in any particular case all of the available means of persuasion.” Most modern and contemporary definitions tend to take this classical definition of rhetoric as their starting point. For example, Kenneth Burke, one of the 20th century’s greatest rhetorical theorists, gave this explanation of rhetoric: “itContinue reading “What is Rhetoric?”

A Tale of 2 Trees

In the Garden of Eden, there stood two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. The Tree of Life is that of direct experience, life as we perceive it through the five senses. It is felt through the body, and the center of its intelligence is the heart.Continue reading “A Tale of 2 Trees”

“Supposing that Truth is a woman–what then?” Nietzsche asks us to consider the possibility (in his preface to Beyond Good and Evil) that “all philosophers … have failed to understand women,” and by extension, the Truth that she represents. Maybe a feminine conception of truth will be opposed to the dogmatism of western philosophical history.Continue reading

I finally got around to starting Ursula K. Le Guin’s science fiction novel, The Left Hand of Darkness (find it here as a PDF). I’ve been wanting to read it since a professor of mine mentioned it in a class a year or two ago. So far I’m only into the first few pages of the novel,Continue reading

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