A Grammar of Motives by Kenneth Burke

By Kenneth Burke

Approximately this publication Mr. Burke contributes an introductory and summarizing comment, "What is concerned, once we say what individuals are doing and why they're doing it? a solution to that query is the topic of this ebook. The ebook is worried with the fundamental sorts of in which, in keeping with the character of the area as all males inevitably adventure it, are exemplified within the attributing of causes. those sorts of even though will be embodied profoundly or trivially, honestly or falsely. they're both found in systematically elaborated or metaphysical buildings, in felony judgments, in poetry and fiction, in political and medical works, in information and in bits of gossip provided at random."

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Tion. Supernaturalist strategies derive the attributes of human substance and motive from God as their ancestral source, whereas hu. manistic strategies situate the motivational principies within human agents themselves. In brief, humanists assign to man an inherent or intrinsic dignity, whereas supernaturalists assign to man a dwived dignity. Any motive humanistically postulated in the agent would be a causa sui insofar as it is not deduced from any cause outside itself. Since agents require placement in scenes, humanism gets its scenic counterpart in naturalism.

We may even go a step further and note that one may say "it is substantidly true" precisely at a time when on the basis of the evi. " h d even a human slave could be defined in Christian doctrine as "sub. stantially" free, by reason of qualities which he had inherited "substantially" from his creator. Even in cases where the nature of the case does not justify the usage grammatically, it can be used without strain for rhetorical purposes. What handier linguistic resource could a rhetorician want than an ambiguity whereby he can say "The state of affairs is substantially such-and-such," instead of having to say "The state of affairs is and/or is not such-and-such"?

True" magic is an aspect not of motion but of action. -, 2 the motives properly assignable to scene, agent, agency, and purpose are already given, there could be novelty only if we could also assign motives under the heading of act itself. That is, there would be something new intrinsic to the act; and this novelty would be the modicum of motivation assignable under the heading o£ act rather than under the heading of the other four terms, singly or in,combination. There must, in brief, be some respect in which the act is a causa sui, a motive of itseif.

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