On the Contrary: The Protocol of Traditional Rhetoric

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9780813208794: On the Contrary: The Protocol of Traditional Rhetoric

"Pursues a strikingly original and particularlytimely thesis about the importance of arguing both sides of anyquestion.... It contributes to the history, theory, and criticismof rhetoric as we know it, and it makes a powerful case foradjusting our attitudes toward all three to improve our students'current language skills and appreciation of literary techniques".

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From the Publisher:

A sustained study of traditional rhetorical invention. How does one create discourse? In antiquity rhetoricians answered that question by dividing the creative process into five arts: finding what to say, arranging the material discovered, fitting it with an appropriate style, delivering it orally or in writing, and storing it in memory. The first of these, called invention, is the most crucial and the most complex. But it has also been the most obscure, at least since the time of the English Renaissance. One cause of this obscurity is the severance of rhetoric from its ancient counterpart, disputation, or debate, a practice which required students to argue both sides of a question. Thomas O. Sloane's On the Contrary reconnects rhetoric with this inventive contrarianism.

The book addresses contemporary views of rhetoric, of its history, and of its impoverished protocol. But its major focus is on reconstructing the past through centering on three documents in particular: Cicero's De oratore (55 BC), Erasmus' De copia (1534), and Thomas Wilson's Discourse on Usury (1572). These often misread works, among others, reveal the contrarianism at the heart of traditional rhetorical invention, in which both, or all, sides of a question must be given a fair hearing.

Students of the history of rhetoric, antiquity, the English Renaissance, Cicero, Erasmus, or Thomas Wilson, as well as teachers of composition and even undergraduate debaters will find something of interest in this book. Written in an engaging style, the book will reshape our thinking about rhetoric. Long associated with public speaking, traditional rhetoric offers a stimulating way of creating discourse, a protocol that is cognizant of audiences and opposition, of what it means to speak in public.

About the Author:

THOMAS O. SLOANE is professor emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley. He taught rhetoric at the university for almost twenty-five years, and prior to that taught public speaking and oral interpretation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Sloane is best known for his writings on the rhetoric and poetry of the English Renaissance. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Rhetoric of Renaissance Poetry: From Wyatt to Milton (University of California Press, 1974) and Donne, Milton, and the End of Humanist Rhetoric (University of California Press, 1985).

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Sloane, Thomas O.
Published by Catholic Univ of Amer Pr (1997)
ISBN 10: 0813208793 ISBN 13: 9780813208794
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Thomas O. Sloane
Published by Catholic Univ of Amer Pr (1997)
ISBN 10: 0813208793 ISBN 13: 9780813208794
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