Nietzsche and rhetoric
Watt, Alan Norman (1992) Nietzsche and rhetoric. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1412664~S15
The thesis maintained here is that Nietzsche belongs to and revitalizes
a rhetorical tradition which has competed with philosophy for cultural
and educational dominance. The general strategy of the thesis is to
draw comparisons between Nietzsche and those aspects of the Sophists'
activity that were attacked by Plato, in order to challenge
philosophy's claim to moral and intellectual superiority over rhetoric.
The first chapter considers the allegation that philosophy is
demonstrably superior to rhetoric because it has a proper method and
can achieve positive results. Against this, it is argued that
philosophy is distinguished from rhetoric by its values, not its
methodological purity; the remaining chapters probe this conflict of
Chapter two explores the charge that rhetoric is both
manipulative and open to manipulation, notes how Nietzsche's texts have
been subject to these two criticisms, and counters them by challenging
philosophy's models of manipulation and education.
Chapter three examines the rival educational ideals of
philosophy and rhetoric, arguing that the key differentiating feature
is rhetoric's pragmatism. It shows how this feature has been used to
disparage rhetoric, and argues that Nietzsche develops a form of
pragmatism that meets the philosophical attack effectively.
Chapter four considers the suggestion that rhetoric is less
rational than philosophy because it employs looser argumentation, and
argues that, at least as manifested by Nietzsche, rhetorical
argumentation produces a superior rationality - according to an
alternative perspective on reason and science.
Chapter five considers the claim that the eloquence of
rhetoric is to be condemned for seducing and confusing the seeker after
truth; this is countered by developing the Nietzschean dictum that art
is worth more than truth.
The main conclusion is that, through Nietzsche's development
of the ancient tradition, rhetoric emerges as a real alternative "love
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900 -- Criticism and interpretation, Rhetoric, Philosophy|
|Official Date:||April 1992|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Philosophy|
|Extent:||iv, 299 leaves|
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