Sophistication: Rhetoric and the Rise of Self-Consciousness

4.5 avg rating
( 2 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780918024916: Sophistication: Rhetoric and the Rise of Self-Consciousness
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The years since its publication in 1991 have proven this book's central thesis--that our digitized, technological culture is controlled by five principles of language and reality that were first enunciated during the fifth century BCE in the city-states of Greece as the basis of the art of rhetoric:

  • Words are tools
  • Images are real
  • Information is power
  • Change is inevitable
  • Truth is relative
These rhetorical principles have enlivened Western Culture ever since, and they flow into our time in the guise of conflicting concepts of history, politics, education, ethics and aesthetics. These principles shape our innermost thoughts about living well in a world that depends on technological innovation and the embodiment of theory in products as well as in practice. They invest our art and literature with the archetypal themes and symbols by which we portray the most rudimentary emotions. They control the processes of decision-making by which we choose the goods we consume, the leaders we follow, the things we study, and the opinions we believe or doubt. They give rise to the fundamental concepts and methods of our political, cultural, and educational institutions. Most important, as recent history demonstrates, the sophistication of our culture is a Faustian bargain of epic proportions that is played out in all the realms of self-consciousness, self-expression, and self-realization that are defined by rhetoric.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

When I set out to write this book in 1990, I intended to investigate "sophistication" as an organizing concept of culture that accounted for the flowering of the Greek Enlightenment in the fifth century BCE and the emergence of the mass-communicating, technology-driven world culture of the late 20th century. In the process, I ended up revealing the central paradox of both ages: on one hand, sophistication makes possible great material wealth and profound individual enrichment by emphasizing novelty, criticism, and reorganization. On the other hand, it undercuts the very basis of community and fellowship by imperiling stability, common values, and traditional beliefs. Now, well into the second decade of the 21st century, we are only just beginning to appreciate the costs and consequences of our paradoxical sophistication. Anyone interested in exploring further the nature, scope, and impact of the developments discussed in this book might consult the collection of essays on rhetoric by Richard McKeon I edited and introduced, Rhetoric: Essays in Invention & Discovery, available on Amazon. And the truly adventurous reader will find these themes amplified and explored at greater length in Ghost Writ: The Desert Wells Dialogues of Gilmartin Jacobsen, written for private circulation and available at Lulu. com and ghostwrit. net.

About the Author:

Mark Backman spent over 30 years working as a strategic communicator with executives in technology, wealth management, law, insurance, public affairs, healthcare, and government. He edited and introduced a collection of essays on rhetoric by Richard McKeon, Rhetoric: Essays in Invention & Discovery. And he's written and privately circulated Ghost Writ: The Desert Wells Dialogues of Gilmartin Jacobsen.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Mark Backman
Published by Ox Bow Pr (1991)
ISBN 10: 0918024919 ISBN 13: 9780918024916
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ox Bow Pr, 1991. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0918024919

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 24.31
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Mark Backman
Published by Ox Bow Pr (1991)
ISBN 10: 0918024919 ISBN 13: 9780918024916
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ox Bow Pr, 1991. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0918024919

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 27.54
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Mark Backman
Published by Ox Bow Pr (1991)
ISBN 10: 0918024919 ISBN 13: 9780918024916
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ox Bow Pr, 1991. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0918024919n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 101.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Mark Backman
ISBN 10: 0918024919 ISBN 13: 9780918024916
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0918024919

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 104.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds