The Rhetoric of Plato's Republic: Democracy & the Philosophical Problem of Persuasion

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James L. Kastely, "The Rhetoric of Platos Republic: Democracy & the Philosophical Problem of Persuasion"
English | ISBN: 022627862X | 2015 | PDF | 280 pages | 0,8 MB


Plato isnt exactly thought of as a champion of democracy, & perhaps even less as an important rhetorical theorist. In this book, James L. Kastely recasts Plato in just these lights, offering a vivid new reading of one of Platos most important works: the Republic. At heart, Kastely demonstrates, the Republic is a democratic epic poem & pioneering work in rhetorical theory. Examining issues of justice, communication, persuasion, & audience, he uncovers a seedbed of theoretical ideas that resonate all the way up to our contemporary democratic practices.

As Kastely shows, the Republic begins with two interrelated crises: one rhetorical, one philosophical. In the first, democracy is defended by a discourse of justice, but no one can take this discourse seriously because no one can see-in a world where the powerful dominate the weak-how justice is a value in itself. That value must be found philosophically, but philosophy, as Plato & Socrates underst& it, can reach only the very few. In order to reach its larger political audience, it must become rhetoric; it must become a persuasive part of the larger culture-which, at that time, meant epic poetry. Tracing how Plato & Socrates formulate this transformation in the Republic, Kastely isolates a crucial theory of persuasion that is central to how we talk together about justice & organize ourselves according to democratic principles.
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Tags: Rhetoric, Republic, Democracy, Philosophical, Problem, Persuasion

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