In any piece of rhetorical discourse, one rhetorical term overcomes another rhetorical term only by being nearer to the term which stands ultimate. There is some ground for calling a rhetorical education necessarily aristocratic education in that the rhetorician has to deal with an aristocracy of notions.
Richard M. Weaver
The documentary style is an incredibly flexible and useful one. It's a wonderful tool for establishing the credibility of the version of things that's in the photograph - a kind of rhetorical device or rhetorical strategy. It's always felt very natural to me, because I want a person to end up thinking about the world, and to think about it in a way that is transformed by the experience of art.
In late modernity we grow more and more accustomed to politicians and public figures who are indebted to their appetites for their "values," to their intellectual sloth for their "principles," to their rhetorical cleverness for their "conscience," and to their regimented conformism for their "philosophy."
You're not listening to any of this, are you?' As far as she was concerned, it was really a rhetorical question. Rather than answer yes or no, Esteban had a question of his own. 'Would it matter?' he asked her. 'You seem to like to talk, and I've got a pulse.' He looked at her over the hood of the car before getting in. 'I figure that's about all you require.
Irony is about contradictions that do not resolve into larger wholes, even dialectically, about the tension of holding incompatible things together because both or all are necessary and true. Irony is about humour and serious play. It is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one I would like to see more honoured within socialist-feminism.
Donna J. Haraway
A man or a race either if he's any good can survive his past without even needing to escape from it and not because of the high quite often only too rhetorical rhetoric of humanity but for the simple indubitable practical reason of his future: that capacity to survive and absorb and endure and still be steadfast.
Irony is about contradictions that do not resolve into larger wholes, even dialectically, about the tension of holding incompatible things together because both or all are necessary and true. Irony is about humour an serious play. It is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one I would like to see more honoured within socialist-feminism.
Donna J. Haraway
I note that warmists are often banging on about the fact that sceptics like Christopher Booker and myself 'only' have arts degrees. But actually that's our strength, not our weakness. Our intellectual training qualifies us better than any scientist - social or natural sciences - for us to understand that this is, au fond, not a scientific debate but a cultural and rhetorical one.
It's known as the Livingstone Formulation. It's a cunning rhetorical device routinely deployed to shield avowedly left-wing establishment figures from any scrutiny that might expose their 'anti-Zionist' obsessions as redolent of a bigotry of that older and more unambiguously unsanitary type: antisemitism.
Chomsky proceeds on the almost unthinkably subversive assumption that the United States should be judged by the same standards that it preaches (often at gunpoint) to other nations he is nearly the only person now writing who assumes a single standard of international morality not for rhetorical effect, but as a matter of habitual, practically instinctual conviction.
The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history...
In an extensive reading of recent books by psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and inspirationalists, I have discovered that they all suffer from one or more of these expression-complexes: italicizing, capitalizing, exclamation-pointing, multiple-interrogating, and itemizing. These are all forms of what the psychos themselves would call, if they faced their condition frankly, Rhetorical-Over-Compensation.
What a wretched thing is all fame! A renown of the highest sort endures, say, for two thousand years. And then? Why, then, a fathomless eternity swallows it. Work for eternity; not the meagre rhetorical eternity of the periodical critics, but for the real eternity wherein dwelleth the Divine.
I think fiction isn't so good at being for or against things in general - the rhetorical argument a short story can make is only actualized by the accretion of particular details, and the specificity of these details renders whatever conclusions the story reaches invalid for wider application.
It became quite clear to me that the Natural Law mystique, in Catholic, libertarian or neo-pagan forms, remains basically a set of rhetorical strategies to hypnotize others into the state which Bernard Shaw called "barbarism" and defined as 'the belief that the laws of one's own tribe are the laws of the universe'.
Robert Anton Wilson
French rhetorical models are too narrow for the English tradition. Most pernicious of French imports is the notion that there is no person behind a text. Is there anything more affected, aggressive, and relentlessly concrete than a Parisan intellectual behind his/her turgid text? The Parisian is a provincial when he pretends to speak for the universe.
I'm not a gun owner and, as I think as is the case for the more than half the people in the country who also aren't gun owners, that means that for me guns are alien. In the current rhetorical climate people seem not to want to say: I think guns are kind of scary and don't want to be around them.
I am, as it were, the created creating-a paradox, for all its rhetorical trappings, at the beating heart of our shared human journey, and one I invite you to struggle with just as I have while, day in and day out, word by word and line by line, constructing a fictitious autobiography for myself in these pages.
The soldier doesn't usually act on his own initiative, he doesn't harbour feelings of hatred or resentment or jealousy, he isn't motivated by long-held desires or personal ambition; the only motivating force is a vague, rhetorical, empty patriotism, for those soldiers, that is, who are moved by such feelings or allow themselves to be convinced.
I'm not sure if the question's rhetorical or if she thinks I have a clue to her metaphysical mystery. And I'm in no state to answer either way because I'm crying. I don't realize it till I taste the sale against my lips. I can't remember the last time I've cried but, once I accept the mortification of sniveling like a baby, the floodgates open and I'm sobbing now, in front of Mia. In front of the whole damn world.
Republicans know well that a change of rhetorical pace is necessary. But efforts by their leaders to damp down the bellicosity of newly elected Tea Party types is running into the fact that the Tea Partiers have only the high volume setting on their amplifiers, just like Palin. They're like a couple having a fight at a funeral; politely sotto voce, then suddenly bursting out fortissimo with their plaints and accusations.
The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words and stripped of rhetorical disguise, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me; for it is your duty to tolerate truth. But when I am the stronger I shall persecute you; for it is my duty to persecute error.
Thomas B. Macaulay
Evolution as described by Charles Darwin is an scientific theory, abundantly reconfirmed, explaining physical phenomena by physical causes. Intelligent Design is a faith-based initiative in rhetorical argument. Should we teach I.D. in America's public schools? Yes, let's do - not as science, but alongside other spiritual beliefs, such as Islam, Zoroastrianism and the Hindu Idea that Earth rests on Chukwa, the giant turtle.
Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory.
Ludwig von Mises
When I hear the president of the United States in a great little rhetorical flourish talk about the leavening hand of the government, everybody knows that leavening hand is attached to the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service. And no one mistakes the Internal Revenue Service with something called liberty.
Redd's face contorted with a sudden realization. "How could I have been so stupid?" The Cat was trying to decide if this was a rhetorical question when she roared, "It's a construct!" With a dismiissive swing of Redd's arm, Alyss and her army began to shimmer, the billon points of engery that formed them monentarily visible before exploding apart into nothing. Redd scoped the queendom with her imagination's eye. "Where are you, Alyss? Where is my dear little niece?
A metaphor is not merely a linguistic expression (a form of words) used for artistic or rhetorical purposes; instead, it is a process of human understanding by which we achieve meaningful experience that we can make sense of. A metaphor, in this "experiential" sense, is a process by which we understand and structure one domain of experience in terms of another domain of a different kind.
I'd finished the first two [books] and they were going to to be published, and [editor] said, "We need you to write a summary that will drive people to these books." And it took forever. I couldn't think of a thing to say. I looked at the back of other children's books that were full of giddy praise and corny rhetorical questions, you know, "Will she have a better time at summer camp than she thinks?" "How will she escape from the troll's dungeon?" All these terrible, terrible summaries of books, and I just couldn't.
Given, a man with moderate intellect, a moral standard not higher than the average, some rhetorical affluence and a great glibness of speech, what is the career in which, without the aid of birth or money, he may most easily attain power and reputation in English society? Where is that Goshen of mediocrity in which a smattering of science and learning will pass for profound instruction, where platitudes will be accepted as wisdom, bigoted narrowness as holy zeal, unctuous egoism as God-given piety?
The only tactic liberals have is to try to intimidate people into thinking that the Tea Party is racist. The Tea Party is not a racist movement, period! If it were, why would the straw polls keep showing that the black guy is winning? That's a rhetorical question. Let me state it: The black guy keeps winning.
When scientists need to explain difficult points of theory, illustration by hypothetical example - rather than by total abstraction - works well (perhaps indispensably) as a rhetorical device. Such cases do not function as speculations in the pejorative sense - as silly stories that provide insight into complex mechanisms - but rather as idealized illustrations to exemplify a difficult point of theory. (Other fields, like philosophy and the law, use such conjectural cases as a standard device.
Stephen Jay Gould
If my mother's intention in whole or in part was to ensure that I never had to suffer any indignity or embarrassment for being a Jew, then she succeeded well enough. And in any case there were enough intermarriages and 'conversions' on both sides of her line to make me one of those many mischling hybrids who are to be found distributed all over the known world. And, as someone who doesn't really believe that the human species is subdivided by 'race, ' let alone that a nation or nationality can be defined by its religion, why should I not let the whole question slide away from me? Why-and then I'll stop asking rhetorical questions-did I at some point resolve that, in whatever tone of voice I was asked 'Are you a Jew?' I would never hear myself deny it?
Truth is a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, anthropomorphisms, in short a sum of human relations which have been subjected to poetic and rhetorical intensification, translation and decoration [... ]; truths are illusions of which we have forgotten that they are illusions, metaphors which have become worn by frequent use and have lost all sensuous vigour [... ]. Yet we still do not know where the drive to truth comes from, for so far we have only heard about the obligation to be truthful which society imposes in order to exist" from, "On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense".
For the academic the rhetorical sense of superiority through the possession of knowledge is essential for facing the daily grind, turning again to the otherwise boring article, braving the students who, fresh as each class may be, will still ask the same questions year after year. Psychological survival is not achieved without effort, and the environment must be managed, knocked about with one's elbows until it takes a shape comfortable to one's sense of self. This is not selfishness, for in reshaping the environment the academic is also reinvigorating the educational process.
What I admire about the modern atheist is not at all his logic, but rather his gift of imagination. There will always be the cartoon versions of Christianity further perpetuated by the extremist atheists who do not possess the humility to ask real scholars and theologians its difficult questions. There is little doubt that the atheist has the bigger imagination: the first reason is due to his persistent caricatures of what constitutes a Christian; the second because of his belief that most of his questions are actually rhetorical. From this I can infer that, instead of laughing at one another (the Christian at modern atheist immaturity and the modern atheist at Christian stupidity), we would have a better chance at productivity laughing with one another as we all dumb down what we don't understand.
I have a little theory that I'd like to air here, if I may. What is it that you think makes you magicians?" More silence. Fogg was well into rhetorical-question territory now anyway. He spoke more softly. "Is it because you are intelligent? Is it because you are brave and good? Is is because you're special? Maybe. Who knows. But I'll tell you something: I think you're magicians because you're unhappy. A magician is strong because he feels pain. He feels the difference between what the world is and what he would make of it. Or what did you think that stuff in your chest was? A magician is strong because he hurts more than others. His wound is his strength. Most people carry that pain around inside them their whole lives, until they kill the pain by other means, or until it kills them. But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth. You have learned to break the world that has tried to break you.
Every fundamentalism focuses on end times, and Armageddon is, in a sense, a rhetorical trope, an emphatic and overwhelming conclusion, meant to wrap up and make tidy the mistaken wanderings of history. For a fundamentalist the end is one of the forms desire takes, a passion no different from lust or avarice, intense with longing and the need for fulfillment and relief. It's like they're horny for apocalypse. They get off on denouements, which partly explains why Hell House never amounted to much more than a series of murderous conclusions. It focused only on that part of a story where life finds itself fated. Inside every act a judgement was coiled. Real people with their ragged and uncertain lives, their stumbling desires, their bleak or blessed futures, would only break into the narrative, complicating the story, dragging it on endlessly.
In time of war, under the banner of an enemy recognisable as such, a foreigner from a camp outside the lines, the imperial idea grew strong in confidence and temper. The British democracy rallied to the call of a strong leadership, and it was not just in rhetorical enthusiasm but with considerable personal satisfaction that Churchill hailed the year 1940-1 as the British people's 'finest hour'. He, with other imperialists, was delighted by the fact that, when it came to the sticking-place, it was the old-fashioned loyalty of the reactionary British Empire to all that was symbolised by allegiance to Crown and country that came forward to save European civilisation from utter overthrow by German tyranny... The days of showing the flag-even for only a momentary glimpse, such as wall that inhabitants of Greece and Crete and Dieppe had of it-had returned. The Empire was the Empire once more, and to 10, Downing Street returned that imperial control that two generations of Dominion opinion had combined to condemn as sinister.
Sometimes when a person is not being heard, it is appropriate to blame him or her. Perhaps he or she is speaking obscurely; perhaps he is claiming too much; perhaps she is speaking rather too personally. And one can, perhaps, charge Spielrein on all three counts. But, on balance, her inability to win recognition for her insight into repression was not her fault; it was Freud's and Jung's. Preoccupied with their own theories, and with each other, the two men simply did not pause even to take in the ideas of this junior colleague let alone to lend a helping hand in finding a more felicitous expression for her thought. More ominously still, both men privately justified their disregard by implicitly casting her once more into the role of patient, as though that role somehow precluded a person from having a voice or a vision of his or her own. It was and remains a damning comment on how psychoanalysis was evolving that so unfair a rhetorical maneuver, one so at odds with the essential genius of the new therapeutic method, came so easily to hand. In the great race between Freud and Jung to systematize psychoanalytic theory, to codify it once and for all, a simpler truth was lost sight of: Sometimes a person is not heard because she is not listened to.
[Professor Greene's] reaction to GAMAY, as published in the Yale Daily News, fairly took one's breath away. He fondled the word "fascist" as though he had come up with a Dead Sea Scroll vouchsafing the key word to the understanding of God and Man at Yale. In a few sentences he used the term thrice. "Mr. Buckley has done Yale a great service" (how I would tire of this pedestrian rhetorical device), "and he may well do the cause of liberal education in America an even greater service, by stating the fascist alternative to liberalism. This fascist thesis... This... pure fascism... What more could Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin ask for... ?" (They asked for, and got, a great deal more.) What survives, from such stuff as this, is ne-plus-ultra relativism, idiot nihlism. "What is required, " Professor Greene spoke, "is more, not less tolerance-not the tolerance of indifference, but the tolerance of honest respect for divergent convictions and the determination of all that such divergent opinions be heard without administrative censorship. I try my best in the classroom to expound and defend my faith, when it is relevant, as honestly and persuasively as I can. But I can do so only because many of my colleagues are expounding and defending their contrasting faiths, or skepticisms, as openly and honestly as I am mine." A professor of philosophy! Question: What is the 1) ethical, 2) philosophical, or 3) epistemological argument for requiring continued tolerance of ideas whose discrediting it is the purpose of education to effect? What ethical code (in the Bible? in Plato? Kant? Hume?) requires "honest respect" for any divergent conviction?
William F. Buckley Jr.
Google and Apple offer the image of a pseudo-commons to Internet users. That image recalls Nick Dyer-Whiteford's claim that, in light of the structural failures of neoliberal policies, capital could "turn to a 'Plan B', in which limited versions of commons, pollution trading schemes, community development and open-source and file-sharing practices are introduced as subordinate aspects of a capitalist economy, where voluntary cooperation subsidizes profit. One can think here of how Web 2.0 re-appropriates many of the innovations of radical digital activists, and converts them into a source of rent." Indeed, with the rise of the trademarked Digital Commons software platform and with the proliferation of university-based digital and media commons (which are typically limited to fee-paying and/or employed university community members), the very concept of the digital commons appears to be one of these reappropriations. But if, as part of what James Boyle describes as the "Second Closure Movement, " this very rhetorical move signals the temporary defeats of the after-globalization and radical hacker movements that claimed the language of the commons, perhaps the advocacy for ownership of digital wares (or at least a form of unalienable, absolute possession, whether individual or communal) would provide a strategic ballast against the proprietary control of large swathes of information by apparently benevolent corporations and institutions. While still dangling in mid-air, the information commodity's consumption might thereby be placed more solidly on common ground.
Darwin singled out the eye as posing a particularly challenging problem: 'To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.' Creationists gleefully quote this sentence again and again. Needless to say, they never quote what follows. Darwin's fulsomely free confession turned out to be a rhetorical device. He was drawing his opponents towards him so that his punch, when it came, struck the harder. The punch, of course, was Darwin's effortless explanation of exactly how the eye evolved by gradual degrees. Darwin may not have used the phrase 'irreducible complexity', or 'the smooth gradient up Mount Improbable', but he clearly understood the principle of both. 'What is the use of half an eye?' and 'What is the use of half a wing?' are both instances of the argument from 'irreducible complexity'. A functioning unit is said to be irreducibly complex if the removal of one of its parts causes the whole to cease functioning. This has been assumed to be self-evident for both eyes and wings. But as soon as we give these assumptions a moment's thought, we immediately see the fallacy. A cataract patient with the lens of her eye surgically removed can't see clear images without glasses, but can see enough not to bump into a tree or fall over a cliff. Half a wing is indeed not as good as a whole wing, but it is certainly better than no wing at all. Half a wing could save your life by easing your fall from a tree of a certain height. And 51 per cent of a wing could save you if you fall from a slightly taller tree. Whatever fraction of a wing you have, there is a fall from which it will save your life where a slightly smaller winglet would not. The thought experiment of trees of different height, from which one might fall, is just one way to see, in theory, that there must be a smooth gradient of advantage all the way from 1 per cent of a wing to 100 per cent. The forests are replete with gliding or parachuting animals illustrating, in practice, every step of the way up that particular slope of Mount Improbable. By analogy with the trees of different height, it is easy to imagine situations in which half an eye would save the life of an animal where 49 per cent of an eye would not. Smooth gradients are provided by variations in lighting conditions, variations in the distance at which you catch sight of your prey-or your predators. And, as with wings and flight surfaces, plausible intermediates are not only easy to imagine: they are abundant all around the animal kingdom. A flatworm has an eye that, by any sensible measure, is less than half a human eye. Nautilus (and perhaps its extinct ammonite cousins who dominated Paleozoic and Mesozoic seas) has an eye that is intermediate in quality between flatworm and human. Unlike the flatworm eye, which can detect light and shade but see no image, the Nautilus 'pinhole camera' eye makes a real image; but it is a blurred and dim image compared to ours. It would be spurious precision to put numbers on the improvement, but nobody could sanely deny that these invertebrate eyes, and many others, are all better than no eye at all, and all lie on a continuous and shallow slope up Mount Improbable, with our eyes near a peak-not the highest peak but a high one.