ERIC Number: EJ681690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug-1
Articulation: A Working Paper on Rhetoric and "Taxis"
Quarterly Journal of Speech, v90 n3 p257-284 Aug 2004
This essay suggests a way to historicize different rhetorical practices--in effect, alternative ways to write genealogies of diverse rhetorics. A certain distinction between culture and nature is a fundamental organizing concept in humanistic rhetoric that has circumscribed scholars' ability to appreciate rhetoric that does not emanate from the subject as conceptualized in Greco-Roman theory and the theory derived from it. Accordingly, scholarship is preoccupied with the ways that the motivated discourse of subjects leaps the gap between discourse and things to affect the material world. Rather than treating it as natural, the formation of a gap between discourse and things is defined in this essay as a performance articulated through everyday practices, which shifts the focus from human agents to practices. Articulation is a performative concept about the ordering of matter and meaning. To articulate is to produce bodies, language, and the space of their relative disposition through shared acts. Ultimately, practices establish different orders of discourse and things and, thus, condition the relationships that enable diverse modes of rhetoric to function. Historicizing the order articulated by practices becomes a way to trace genealogies of diverse rhetorics.
Descriptors: Rhetoric, Language Styles, Discourse Modes, Discourse Analysis, Diachronic Linguistics, Cultural Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A