The Rhetoric of Philosophy

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The book claims that philosophy can be defined by its distinct rhetoric. This rhetoric is shaped by two values: humanism and critique. Humanism is defined as preferring the individual human deliberation to any external authority or method. Self-conviction is the touchstone of truth in philosophy. Critique is defined as suspecting your beliefs and convictions. This is the reason why the book uses Nietzsche’s definition of "the will to truth" – "the will not to deceive, not even myself" – for explaining the nature of philosophical thinking and argumentation. This rhetorical analysis reveals that the danger of self-deception is a constitutive yet irresolvable problem of philosophy.<br />The subjects of the book are: the relations between philosophy and rhetoric, the speaker and the addressee of philosophical arguments, the subordination of logic to rhetoric in philosophy and the philosophical problem of self-deception. <br />This work, unburdened with philosophers’ jargon, fits well in the current critical debate about the relevance of pragmatic features of the concepts of subjectivity and truth.

Subjects: Philosophy; Pragmatics; Discourse studies

  • Affiliations: 1: Tel Aviv University

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