ERIC Number: ED318069
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
Imagination and the Pursuit of a Rational Rhetoric.
Foster, David E.
The works of certain rhetorical thinkers contain strategies directed at achieving assent or cooperation. Such writings demonstrate means by which readers' rational responses can be deliberately challenged and disrupted. While people often cite Aristotle's maxim "Man is a rational animal," critics have asserted that the statement misrepresents both Aristotle and rhetoric. In practice, rhetoric unites reason and emotion by applying techniques that disrupt reasonable thinking to trigger new perspectives. For instance, Francis Bacon realized that imagination and emotion are essential to some kinds of purposeful discourse. In the contemporary era, Annie Dillard's writings legitimized the reader's indulgence in intuitive and emotional responses to the contrarities of nature, while Eldridge Cleaver's rhetoric called for a revolution in the reader's view of what is moral and just. Such appeals are subversive in a profoundly creative way, as they blur the comfortable window of reason through which nature is perceived, giving rise to new perspectives on experience. (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A