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ERIC Number: EJ792219
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-5630
The Political Economy of Rhetorical Style: Hugh Blair's Response to the Civic-Commercial Dilemma
Longaker, Mark Garrett
Quarterly Journal of Speech, v94 n2 p179-199 May 2008
Recent scholarship treats Hugh Blair's "Lectures" on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783) as an effort to endorse either the liberal or the civic political traditions in eighteenth-century Scotland. This essay questions this orthodoxy by reading the "Lectures", and in particular Blair's attention to considerations of rhetorical style, against their ideological and economic conditions and with a focus on how he seeks to adapt the civic political tradition of virtues--which today we might call the "bourgeois virtues"--to the emerging conditions of laissez-faire capitalism and the problem of excessive consumption in a growing commercial economy. Blair's appeal to a privatized cultural solution to the problems of economic excess presages similar efforts in contemporary times to negotiate the relationship between rhetoric and political economy under the conditions of late capitalism, and thus warrants renewed interest in his "Lectures." (Contains 44 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)