Category Archives: Classic Rhetoric

Electric Rhetoric – An Isocratic Literacy Theory

I contend that we do not now know Isocrates’ rhetorical theories well enough, because we have not understood classical Greek rhetoric and writing practices for our electrified time. (33) Welch, Kathleen E. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and a New Literacy. The MIT Press, 1999. In this Chapter 2 of Electric Rhetoric, Welch argues that…

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Presence of the Word – Plato’s Take

Spoken words are events, engaged in time and indeed in the present. Plato’s ideas were the polar opposite: not events at all, but motionless “objective” existence, impersonal, and out of time. (34). Ong, Walter J. The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History. The Terry Lectures. New Haven: Yale University Press,…

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Avatars of the Word– O’Donnell– 1: Plato’s Phaedrus

“A drug of ambiguous power may heal or poison.” – highly paraphrased Derrida O’Donnell, J. J. (2000). Avatars of the word: From papyrus to cyberspace: Harvard University Press. A point that O’Donnell raises early in this text is the public-vs-private setting of the pre-Gutenberg writer, who wrote, copied, and distributed his texts in hand-written manuscript…

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