After Rhetoric: The Study of Discourse Beyond Language and by Stephen R Yarbrough

By Stephen R Yarbrough

Conscious that express considering imposes regulations at the methods we speak, Stephen R. Yarbrough proposes discourse reviews instead to rhetoric and philosophy, either one of that are structuralistic structures of inquiry.Discourse reviews, Yarbrough argues, doesn't aid the concept that languages, cultures, or conceptual schemes quite often competently describe linguistic competence. He asserts trust in languages and cultures "feeds a fake dichotomy: both we proportion an identical codes and conventions, reaching group yet risking exclusivism, or we proliferate modifications, reaching selection and freedom yet risking fragmentation and incoherence." Discourse reviews, he demonstrates, works round this dichotomy.Drawing on thinker Donald Davidson, Yarbrough establishes the concept neighborhood could be a end result of conversation yet isn't really a prerequisite for it. via disassociating our considering from conceptual schemes, we will stay away from the issues that include believing in an summary constitution that predates any utterance.Yarbrough additionally attracts on Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism to outline how utterances function in lifestyles and to teach how utterances are concerned with strength and the way strength pertains to figuring out. His dialogue of Michel Meyer's problematology treats the questions implied through a press release because the which means of the statement.Yarbrough introduces readers to a reputable theoretical framework for concentrating on discourse instead of on conceptual schemes that encompass it and to the capability merits of our utilizing this strategy in lifestyle.

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Extra resources for After Rhetoric: The Study of Discourse Beyond Language and Culture

Sample text

Rather than claim ''that you can never move one inch away from [your] norms and principles" (522), Fish should say that you are seldom within a mile of your norms and principles—the norms and principles you would have if you could control others' norms and principles.  The way things are, therefore, exceeds reality, if "reality" is taken to de­ Page 32 scribe the way things would be if no one believed and credited statements about it.  Both philosophy, in this sense, and its subordinate counterpart, rhetoric, attempt to describe a world that could exist only when discourse did not.

No matter what the probable outcome, "there is a kind of 'terministic compulsion' to carry out the implications of one's terminology" (19)—a linguistic motive behind the actions of everyone from the nuclear physicist to the Nazi propagandist, from the religious fanatic to the humanistic novelist.  This, as we shall see in the following chapters, has been the characteristic assumption of modernist and postmodernist thought about language—the assumption that we are necessarily defined and driven by symbolic systems not of our own making.

Obviously, because power is generated differently from force, it affects rhetorical situations differently.  But if he is right, why am I expending all this energy by responding to his essay?  Fish wields considerable rhetorical power, and although my response will, I know, add to his power, to me it is well worth it to put some force behind the distinction I'm about to draw between force and power within law, because if others recognize the distinction, it may help produce better laws.  If he had power he would prefer to employ power.

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