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Rhetoric, Modality, Modernity - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Rhetoric, Modality, Modernity

Nancy S. Struever


Since antiquity, philosophy and rhetoric have traditionally been cast as rivals, with the former often lauded as a search for logical truth and the latter usually disparaged as empty speech. But in this erudite intellectual history, the book stakes out a claim for rhetoric as the more productive form of inquiry. It views rhetoric through the lens of modality, arguing that rhetoric's guiding interest in what is possible—as opposed to philosophy's concern with what is necessary—makes it an ideal tool for understanding politics. Through innovative readings of Thomas Hobbes and Giovanni Battista V ... More

Keywords: rhetoric, modality, modernity, philosophy, inquiry, Thomas Hobbes, Giovanni Battista Vico, Walter Benjamin, politics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780226777481
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226777504.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nancy S. Struever, author