Logos without Rhetoric: The Arts of Language before Plato

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Robin Reames
Univ of South Carolina Press, Jun 19, 2017 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 208 pages
How did rhetoric begin and what was it before it was called “rhetoric”? Must art have a name to be considered art? What is the difference between eloquence and rhetoric? And what were the differences among poets, philosophers, sophists, and rhetoricians before Plato emphasized—or perhaps invented—their differences? In Logos without Rhetoric: The Arts of Language before Plato, Robin Reames attempts to intervene in these and other questions by examining the status of rhetorical theory in texts that predate Plato’s coining of the term “rhetoric” (c. 380 B.C.E.). From Homer and Hesiod to Parmenides and Heraclitus to Gorgias, Theodorus, and Isocrates, the case studies contained here examine the status of the discipline of rhetoric prior to and therefore in the absence of the influence of Plato and Aristotle’s full-fledged development of rhetorical theory in the fourth century B.C.E. The essays in this volume make a case for a porous boundary between theory and practice and promote skepticism about anachronistic distinctions between myth and reason and between philosophy and rhetoric in the historiography of rhetoric’s beginning. The result is an enlarged understanding of the rhetorical content of pre-fourth-century Greek texts.

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Series Editors Preface
Unity Dissociation and Schismogenesis in Isocrates
Theodorus Byzantius on the Parts of a Speech
Genre Purpose and Testimonia
Philosopher Rhetorician Skywalker
The Paradoxical Origins of Rhetorical Logos
Odysseus Presentation of the Female Shades
Mētis Themis and the Practice of Epic Speech
An AthensCentered Analysis of
Persistent Questions in the Historiography of Early Greek
A New Testimonium of Theodorus Byzantius
A Timeline of the Life of Gorgias of Leontini

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About the author (2017)

Robin Reames is an assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Edward Schiappa, head of Comparative Media Studies/Writing and John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides an afterword.

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