247 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2017
    1. trust to accumulation of facts· ao; a substitute for accuracy in the logical processes.

      Oh look, it's our conspiracy theorists, building a flat roof.

    2. consequently Man must al some period have received the rudiments of civilization from a s11perl111ma11 instructor.

    3. bailiff.

      Def: British usage, "the agent or steward of a landlord," who oversees farming.

    1. The social evils they attacked were, they claimed, so offensive to God that pious Christian women must speak out, even at risk of social censure.

      This was an excellent logical grasp at authority for women. Since they were expected to be models of morality within the family (though they were denied the authority of the pulpit or even of the home), these women were able to turn that moral authority outward to shine it on social justice issues in the name of God.

    2. heterogeneous and hostile audi-ences, lo claim a hearing that their very appear.ince would often seem lo deny them, and thus to add entirely new elements lo the Western rhetorical tradition

      This is a historical moment in which the body of the rhetor must be taken into account, as well as the bodies of the audience.

    3. von Humboldt ar-gues that language use reHects one's inner state, in two senses: the personal and the national or cultuml. Language is a tool for studying both personality and culture

      This sounds like it is dancing around the issue of embodiment, as well.

    4. women's mental and moral equality to men, which placed on them the same responsibility to combat social evils,

      I think this is key. Women were held to exacting (actually, impossible) standards regarding morality, while completely disregarded intellectually. However, restrictions on women did not stop there, but continued into a swirling confusion of contradictory stereotypes:, for example, that women are naturally inclined to corrupt men through seduction and lasciviousness, yet are also naturally innocent, naive and in need of protection. Some early feminists mistakenly began their argument for women's rights with the premise that women deserved recognition for their moral authority, while giving in to accusations that they were not as intellectually capable. This naturally left any of their arguments suspect, as they were admitting (even if only for the sake of humility) that they might not be able to match the arguments of men intellectually. By positing that men and women are equal in terms of BOTH intellect and morality, Grimke builds herself a more sturdy rhetorical platform.

    5. They retain enough references to the heroes of the classical tradition and enough illustrations translated from great Greek and Latin works to provide an overview for scholars not versed in the originals

      Like watching the Wishbone version?

    1. not ones that just picked at unanswered questions in other people's work.

      So conspiracy theorists argue that when they are not allowed to publish, it is because they are being censored. Those opposed to the conspiracy theorists say that it is because their papers fail to offer actual evidence, but instead merely seek to pick apart the findings of others. This argument points to Blair's irritation towards those who have a limited view of rhetoric as merely negating. ("criticism has been considered as merely the art of finding faults," but Blair believes it is actually a "liberal and humane art." 952

    2. ny gaps or contradictions in the evidence presented by mainstream researchers,

      Campbell: "the possibility of error attends the most complete demonstration" (922).

      That is, errors occur even in well-performed experiments. A single error is not enough to implode oft-repeated findings by many scientists.

    3. Progress can be measured by the accumulation of a solid, verifiable body of knowledge with a very high probability of being correct

      "Now, to apply this observation: a botanist, in traversing the fields, lights on a particular plant, which appears to be of a species he is not ac-quainted with. The flower, he observes, is mono-petalous, and the number of flowers it carries is seven. Here are two facts that occur to his ob-servation; let us consider in what way he wiIJ be disposed to argue from them: From the first he does not hesitate to conclude, not only as prob-able, but as certain, that this individual, and all of the same species, invariably produce mono-petalous ftowers. From the second, he by no means concludes, as either certain, or even prob-able, that the flowers which either this plant, or others of the same species, carry at once, will al-ways be seven. This difference, to a superficial inquirer, might seem capricious, since there ap-pears to be one example, and but one in either case, on which the conclusion can be founded. The truth is, that it is not from this example only that he deduces these inferences. Had he never heretofore taken the smallest notice of any plant, ..) he could not have reasoned at all from these re-f marks. The mind recurs instantly from the un-1 known to all the other known species of the same :t' genus, and thence to all the known genera of the same order of tribe; and having experienced in the one instance, a regularity in every species, genus, and tribe, which admits no exception; in the other a variety as boundless as that of season, soil, and culture, it learns hence to mark the dif-1,\ ference." Campbell 917

      Conspiracy theorists do the first step of Campbell's botanist, but not the second.

    4. People who believe in one conspiracy are more likely to believe in others

      Like Hume's individual "prejudiced" by previous taste-making experiences?

    1. nd when they rise, of themselves, from the subject, without being sought after.

      As though any stylistic choices just float to the surface of language, rather than existing as the product of real work and thought on the part of the author? I could buy into an argument that such "ornamentation" comes more easily/naturally to some authors than others, but this phrasing seems to imply that artful language is the product of beauty from the thing itself, as though it is truth shining through. (Which, to be clear, I think is bullshit.)

    2. Figures, in general, may be described to be thal language, which is prompled either by lhe imagination, or by lhe passions.

      Wait, but couldn't we say all language is prompted by either the imagination or the passions? What has he clarified here? Or would he not agree that all language is a result of either imagination or passion?

    3. But this is the criticism of pedants only. True criticism is a lib-eral and humane art.

      This is still a complaint I hear a lot regarding academia--that we have fallen into criticism as a mode of deconstruction and not of information-gathering or improvement. I have always found that it sounds a little like an old man muttering "in my day, we weren't so negative about the canon!" and then being super angry and offended when you tell him his novel is pretty racist. I can take the point that criticism should not be solely destructive to the point of belittling otherwise valuable texts for the attention one gets for criticizing the popular, but it seems suspicious to say "criticism should only do this thing that I* want it to do!"

      *This mental image might exist because I have found that it is mostly older (white) male academics who don't like their students criticizing the canon. That's just my personal experience, though.

    4. rude uncultivated tribes,

      Yikes indeed.

    5. met with nearly universal approval and a pedagogy that won nearly universal application

      Well that's enough to make me suspicious right out of the gate.

    6. it is "polite" to know the ancienls,

      This sounds like it could have been a sick burn, with the proper context and snooty tone. Like Byron (who offers an elaboration on "polite literature" below, I was surprised and amused by this usage of "polite." This OED definition helped a bit:

      "2.a.Of language, the arts, or other intellectual pursuits: refined, elegant, scholarly; exhibiting good or restrained taste."

    1. I shall call sister-graces, daughters of the same father E.r:perience, who is the progeny of Memory, the first-born and heir of Sense. These daughters £rperie11ce had by differ· ent mothers. The elder is the off spring of Rea.wn, the younger is the child of Fancy.

      This sounds like a super-boring Austen Novel.

    2. The sublime

      Reflections on the sublime

      Proposed rejection: the sublime should be considered as one of the things that addresses the passions (that is, the sublime is therefore a purpose of speech?)

      Response: The sublime does not qualify as something that addresses the passions because it is merely a reflection of internal (and therefore personal?) taste. It is more of a reflex/instinct than a conscious effect of speech.

    3. Testimony, timony within the proper bounds. Hence we are lherefore, is the foundation of history, which is taught to consider many attendant circu~sta~ces, occupied about individuals.

      This is a little misleading, or is, at least, a very limited view of history. I mean, I understand that he's trying to make a broad claim to emphasize the importance of testimony, but although we certainly have a lot of narratives about individuals, history is mostly dictated by what we as a group (that is, not individuals creating their own testimonies) choose to preserve or erase/ignore.

    4. The first is properest for, dissuading; Che second, as halh been already hinted, for pcrsuad· ing; the third is equally accommodated to both.

      Summary: "The First" = the "inert, torpid" passions like "sorrow, fear, shame"

      "The second" = passions that "elevate the soul" and move to action, like "hope, patriotism, ambition"

      "The third" = passions that are "intermediate" and can go either way, such as "joy, love, esteem and compassion"

    5. pathos

      This answers my earlier question about his use of pathetic, despite knowing that it has a context contrary to his desired meaning.

    6. pathe-tic,

      If he's aware that impassioned is the better word, why does he us pathetic in the first place? Is he wanting to build on the Greek pathos?

      Edit: the context of his later invocation of pathos seems to indicate that was, indeed, his thought.

    7. In contemplating a human creature, the most nat-ural division of the subject is the common divi-sion into soul and body

      Here's that dualism Nathaniel forewarned us about . . .

    8. truth

      No capital "t"? (I don't necessarily have an argument with his point, I'm just surprised at the use of the lowercase.

    9. Truch, as such, is the proper aim of ,.1 L-· the examiner
    10. Herc, loo, is Campbell's now•famous fonnulation of the principle of correct usage: Use, he explains, "is the sole mistress of language," and proper usage is "reputable, national, and present."~ By reputable, he means the generally accepted usage of ed-ucated people and particularly of well-regarded writers.

      I was totally onboard until that last bit about "educated people" and "well-regarded writers." Why'd you gotta go and be so classist, Campbell? (This is mostly in jest--just drawing attention to the underlying classist assumptions that dominated the field in the historical moment.)

    1. catholic

      Def.: Here catholic is defined as "including a wide variety of things; all-embracing." I'm not entirely sure how Hume means this word to indicate something different from "universal," but he is not a writer given to redundancies, so I imagine there is something subtle I'm missing here.

  2. Jan 2017
    1. The subtitle

      There was a subtitle?!?!!?!?

    2. tones, it will be necessary lo fix, the precise meaning, of the term language; lo know what it comprehends, and what are its bounds.

      What the hell is going on with his comma usage? It makes him sound like William Shatner. (But seriously, are they meant to denote emphasis?)

    3. the melancholy mournings of the turtle

      This has been a thoroughly strange reading.

    1. s for the aim of all kinds of intellectual pur-suits: one only is kept in view, one is pursued, one is honored by all: Truth

      Here Truth is mentioned entirely unqualified/defined and with a capital "T"!

    2. hree stages through which human history evolves: the poetic, the heroic, and the human.

      This feels very Platonic in organization. I'm not sure why, though. Maybe it's just because it is a three-tiered division.

    1. They Write best per haps who do't with the gcn-111.uc..~ so., tile and easy air of Conversation;

      It is interesting that she is claiming that the best writers are excellent, gentle speakers in smaller, private conversations while also declaring that women have no role behind the pulpit. She seems to imply both that women are naturally the best at speaking privately and conversationally, and implying that the best public speakers would be those who conduct themselves similarly, yet she clearly states that women should not speak publicly. There is some strange logical contortionism happening here.

      In previous coursework, I've read feminist theory in which the authors would work within the acceptable framework of what authority women did have in society--typically, this was religious authority (but only as lay people, not religious leaders), or in morality and gentility. Although her declaration that women "have no business with the Pulpit, the Bar or St. Stephens Chapel," perhaps she is merely trying to suggest that gentility (which women are granted by nature) should give women more authority in private relationships, rather than public ones. The argument for private authority was sometimes prioritized over the argument for public authority, with the assumption that if women were treated equally as private citizens, public equality would follow.

      Then again, the rest of this section is very black-and-white (and boring as hell) and does not seem to include any subversive plans to overthrow the patriarchy. So I might be giving her a little too much credit with this addition.

    2. memory under the domain of rhetoric either.

      I still don't fully understand the role of memory in rhetoric at this point in history, either. I know that it was eventually rejected as an outdated practice of the Greeks, but when exactly did that push-back begin? Was it already underway here, or was memorization-and-oration-as-rhetoric still in vogue? I'm struggling a bit to follow the chronology.

    1. Now, since sounds have no natural connection with our ideas, but have all their signification from the arbitrary imposition \ l .;.s.~l' of men,

      I always thought the most helpful evidence (that was once pointed out to me) that sound-symbols are arbitrary is proof that even onomatopoeia varies from language to language. So even the sounds that we claim represent most directly are not necessarily similar from language to language. Here are some good examples:



      (This video is also interesting in that the more complex the animal's sound, the more dramatically onomatopoetic words vary from language to language. A cat's "meow" sounds almost the same in any language, whereas there are many different ways of representing a dog's bark, or a rooster's crow. I guess "meow" is the closest humanity can get to non-arbitrary language. Meow = Truth???)

    1. After the French Revolution, this new form of ‘seeing’ afforded physicians and anatomists a more accurate perception and experience of body’s variation allowing them an unparalleled proximity to the ‘truth.’

      Can we perhaps track times that "truth" appears explicitly? I think that might be a useful tag to collect, if we could figure out a way to track all the different invocations of "truth" throughout the semester -- when it appears in scare quotes, when it is capitalized, etc.

      It might turn out to be too big a thing to track, though.

    2. His quantification of variation under the influence of the Aristotelean ‘Golden Mean,’ developed by the latter in the second volume of the Nichomachean Ethics whereby virtue is the desirable mean between deficiency and excess.

      Ah, so here (and in the highlighted portion below) is the first moment when we see the bodily "mean" or "average" being connected to virtuosity and societal ills. I mean, we have not yet jumped to "if you have a birthmark you must be a witch," but I think Lemos is identifying the scientific/historical moments which later devolved into such trends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglyFwTjfDU

    3. probabilistic

      Def.: based on or adapted to a theory of probability; subject to or involving chance variation.

      Even with the definition, I'm still not entirely sure what an example of this type of study would be. Aren't errors in probability studies just . . . part of probability studies? The whole phrase seems odd, but maybe isn't necessary to understanding the rest of the article. If someone else has a clear understanding of an example of this type of study, I'd appreciate understanding it better.

    1. Women and men of color also addressed new audiences, although, as Maria Stewart learned, African American women sometime!> faced stiff resistance lo their public speaking even within the black community; and as Frederick Douglass expe-rienced, white audiences oflen attempted to impose racist stereotypes on African American speakers

      Of course, black women faced discrimination when trying to speak in front of and among white women, as well. For example, see the stylized portrayals of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech. Truth is a particularly good example, because she, too, draws upon religious authority to justify her position as a speaker, as indicated here.

    2. Highly ornamented styles have often been valued for their beauty and ingenuity, and stylistic rhetoric came in time to be as closely allied with poetry as it was with oratory. Stylistic rhetoric docs nol Lypically address the question of generating ideas, which is the province of invention. But for some rhetoricians, the search for effec-tive figures is akin to invention. The rhetorical figures, like the topics of invention, can be seen as parallel to human thought processes. Hence, fonnulating ideas in fig· ures and ornamenting arguments will make them structurally more understandable, memorable, and convincing. At the same time, the process of stylistic formulation can be seen as a heuristic method, in which ideas arc discovered by the search for figurative expression. Metaphor in particular has been regarded as generative.

      This is very close to the sort of thing I was wondering about in my annotation on Lanham. While Lanham is entirely correct (in my opinion) to lambast proponents of the Great Texts method, I wouldn't necessarily reject the use of memorization or stylistic formulation as a learning tool.

    1. excavate

      This is an excellent invocation of "excavate"! The project here (especially when characterized as an excavation) seems to tie nicely into Latour's conclusion that "it is practice all the way down," or--as will be the case in our class--annotations all the way down. The use of the term excavation is an excellent reminder of the many-layered-ness and history we must keep in mind when we discuss rhetoric.

    2. as if the walls simply neededfinishing touches from the painters. This ideais given further credence by the investigations of the role of sound, discussed above, sothat other senses are engaged in the performative rituals.

      This is a really interesting attitude towards space. It seems to indicate that these artists interpreted the spaces as having a pre-formed purpose/argument/intentionality and that the space itself used the artists to complete it with their images.

    1. TheanswerforProfessorBloomisthatthebookofbooksisPlato'sDialogues,andtherewelearnthatthetruthsthebookscommunicatearePlatonicabsolutes.LiketheWordofGodinanabsolutistreligion,theyrequirenointerpretation,noculturalProtestantism.Andsohe solvesthe"Q"question,orbegsit,byaprivateactofreligiousrevela-tion.Becauseheknowsthetruth,andwheretoseekit,likeErasmushewillalwaysreadaright.Suchbiblicalteachingisindeedself-validating.Anditbringsitsowncurriculumwithit,andsosolvesthatquestiontoo

      Bloom's logic is excellently summarized here. Its circularity is both mesmerizing and difficult to resist, especially when you are faced with an already-built canon that ascribes to this logic. The Great Books problem is already outlined in this article, but I am wondering if there are similar examples in other fields. Bloom does not answer the "Q" question because "he doesn't think that any [answer] is needed" (176). What other fields might experience this kind of problem, and what field-specific responses might exist? (I am cheating a little in that I am thinking about Art, for example, which I know we will be discussing next week.)

    2. ThisgreatcurricularJudgmentDaywhenallthingsthathuman-istspecializationhasrentapartwillcometogether,thoughwecontinuallybelieveinandplanonit,continuestoeludeu

      I love the phrase "great curricular Judgement Day," but I wanted to discuss it in reference to the formula I've highlighted above. "Great text + right reading = moral truth" is almost certainly something Bloom would wear emblazoned on a t-shirt, based on his defense of the Great Texts below (on 175-76). However, one of the benefits of the split of rhetoric from philosophy (and further divisions into specializations) is that it seems to have resulted in a new formula: great texts (to the extent that they exist) + multiple right readings = moral "eh?" As Nathaniel pointed out on Thursday, a moral "eh" does not lead to a Holocaust.

      Does it truly seem to you all that we really are waiting for a "great curricular Judgment Day" as Lanham claims? Does a rejoining of rhetoric and philosophy (and the other fields that relate to them) seem possible or desirable?

    3. Andifthemeticulouspatternsofroterepetitionandmemoriza-tion,verbalanalysis,anddramaticrehearsalwhichmadeupthecoreofrhetoricaleducationinLatinhadanyrealconnectionwithproducingeitherscoundrelsorstatesmen,ratherthanunthinkingparrotsandposeurs,noonethenwasabletodemonstrateit

      The larger argument here is that the traditional college education for young men--when it was only (wealthy) young men who went to college--did not inherently lead these young men to become good people. I wanted to do a quick close-reading of the particular phraseology here before zooming out and reapplying this thought to the Weak-Defense/Strong-Defense issue.

      First, I personally enjoyed the alliteration in this sentence, but the phrase "scoundrels or statesmen rather than parrots or poseurs" implies that one cannot be a scoundrel and a statesmen, and that both scoundrels and statesmen are separate from "parrots or poseurs." I think we can agree that none of these terms are necessarily mutually exclusive. However, I am interested in the accusation that memorization is separate from the critical thinking necessary in the Strong Defense. Do you all think we are meant to understand this section as arguing that rote memorization is inherently separate from critical thinking, and therefore only belongs to the weak defense? Or could it be that rote memorization is only demonized here because it occurred (for these young men of the past) without contextualization? Is there any way in which memorization can exist as an aspect of critical thinking?