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Rhetoric and Wisdom

Rhetoric and Wisdom

(p.315) Eight Rhetoric and Wisdom
Deep Rhetoric
James Crosswhite
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the connections between the emerging conception of a deep rhetoric and some traditional conceptions of wisdom. It further defines some of the interactions and interdependencies of rhetoric and philosophy. It is argued here, however, that writing about wisdom is not a wise undertaking. In doing so, one risks offending the gods, who seem to have a corner on what is for mortals the hubristic claim to wisdom. Furthermore, not only does the word come to us with linguistic and cultural lineages that stretch way beyond any mortal’s ability to track and master, but the idea is partly defined by its own resistance to definition. However wisdom is defined, it will always be dependent on experience. Wisdom is not simply theoretical understanding, or knowledgeable practical activity, or creative innovation, and yet wisdom has been explained in all three of these ways, as well as many others.

Keywords:   deep rhetoric, wisdom, theoretical understanding, definition, experience

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