Internal Rhetorics: Toward a History and Theory of by Jean Nienkamp

By Jean Nienkamp

Due to the fact its early heritage in Greek tradition, conventional rhetorical learn has targeted totally on persuasive language utilized in the general public sphere. there was little examine, in spite of the fact that, of what Jean Nienkamp calls inner rhetoric, which “occurs among one point of the self and one other” inside of one’s brain. Nienkamp opens the research of inner rhetoric through discussing how the idea that built along conventional classical and smooth rhetorical theory. Nienkamp exhibits how we seek advice from ourselves, or extra in particular, how we speak ourselves into issues: justifications, activities, evaluations, theories. She explains that simply because we see ourselves as divided, as torn in numerous instructions via conflicting wishes, tasks, and social mores, it doesn't suggest that we're fragmented, nor does it suggest that we're break up into discrete identities that neither interrelate nor interact. In this groundbreaking research, Nienkamp identifies significant elements of inner rhetoric: “the wakeful ‘art’ of cultivated inner rhetoric” and “the subconscious ‘nature’ of fundamental inner rhetoric.” deciding upon a small variety of figures from the historical past of rhetoric—including Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Lord Shaftesbury, Richard Whately, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, George Herbert Mead, and Lev Vygotsky—Nienkamp argues for a “version of the rhetorical self that takes into consideration either the methods we're shaped by means of and formulate inner and exterior rhetorics and the methods our actual our bodies act as a contributing scene—an agora—for inner rhetoric.”

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Internal Rhetorics: Toward a History and Theory of Self-Persuasion

Due to the fact its early heritage in Greek tradition, conventional rhetorical examine has concentrated totally on persuasive language utilized in the general public sphere. there was little examine, even though, of what Jean Nienkamp calls inner rhetoric, which “occurs among one point of the self and one other” inside of one’s brain.

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Further, Isocrates tells us that the wise person uses internal rhetoric to grasp Classical Variations 2S kairos, a sense of appropriateness or timeliness that makes action ethical and wise. This kairotic deliberation is evidenced in the Iliad, where the heroes must sometimes decide among competing cultural imperatives to determine what action at that particular moment would maintain their arete. Isocrates goes beyond just using internal rhetoric to apply previously internalized cultural imperatives, however.

Nicocles §8 > Isocrates here makes three comparisons between public rhetoric and thought as manifestations of logos. ai) to the private act of seeking to understand (skeptomai) the unknown. The almost antithetical nature of this comparison is seen in the two verbs used for the activities: The first is related to struggle and contention, and the second to seeing, beholding, con- Classical Variations 19 templating. In this clause he does not yet equate the two linguistic activities, but emphasizes that they share the essential nature of logos.

At the same time, the reasoning processes and outcomes differ among the heroes. Agenor, for example, weighs his possibilities for survival if he flees either with the rest of the Trojans or goes alone to the river to hide until dark. It is hard to say whether he persuades himself more by noting the futility of these options or their ignominy, but like Odysseus he decides that his best choice of action is to stay and fight. Menelaos, however, finds a cultural premise that competes with the "heroic imperative" (Fenik 71), and so he can justify retreating from a fight: "When a man, in the face of divinity, would fight with another whom some god honours, the big disaster rolls sudden upon him.

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