212 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. oever removed from the best. It is one property of this system of notation. that whilst it furnishes the means of recording each person's ideas of gesture. it docs not presume lo dictate. It is a language, which may be used to express

      Unlike Sheridan's method, which was proposed as a universal system. Enlightenment dudes sure love their universal ideas.

    2. L e,l�H �•.d h"'-� � 1-..... � �ku--h1,,:, _.._ t...11-r l .,..;_, .a. lt •..

      Agreed. While most of the other texts/excerpts can stand alone to have the reader make of it what they will, I feel that these plates alone don't convey enough sense of their context or significance.

      No wonder Whately preferred Sheridan.

    3. 4

      Is that a sophist in the right corner?

    4. J7
    5. Il'<''l n-("J11 1.2. The wind was high, the window shakes;a R.2.

      Wow. This is...not very intuitive.

    6. the work is best known for the mechanical system

      In contrast to Sheridan's approach, which the RT editors noted was "non-mechanical"--what do they mean by this term?

    7. Symbols

      Uummm...just me or are there not symbols here?

    8. Whately praises Sheridan

      Nothing like a little rivalry to boost sales

    9. histrionics

      Histrionics rearing its head again.

    1. Na11tral therefore means "not mechanical," rather than "springing from human na­ture."

      So...not Borg? (cf. mholder on Astell)

      I'm a little puzzled by this. I understand the part clarifying that natural doesn't mean inherent to human nature, but what do they mean by "not mechanical"? If gestures are attached to ideas, does that make them a physical extension of thought (and thereby not solely bodily)? Is that (mechanical/bodily) what they are getting at? If so, the separation of language and thought and/or body and mind gets a bit blurry.

    2. risibility
    3. a language, dif

    4. the melancholy mournings of the turtle,

      gilmanhernandez already linked to the video I was considering, but (according to a cursory search of YouTube at least) videos of turtle sounds are also likely to be videos of turtles mating or attempting to mate, so how 'mournful' they are is perhaps up to interpretation... 😂

    5. it was necessary to socif:Wc.i,ss ety, and to the state of human nature in general,1MM--4fct.., that the language of the animal passions of man(J•� at least, should be fixed, self-evident, and univer­cl,,yli'.A.� sally intelligible; and it has accordingly been im-� pressed, by the unerring hand of nature, on the human frame.

      Sheridan claims that such "animal passions" are a universal thing (says emotions are "the same in all nations" in the next column), but this strikes me more as a cultural technique. (What also of those who don't experience emotions in the same way? Sociopaths or otherwise?)

    6. prejudices

      Prejudices come back again--Hume, Vico, Astell...those are three that in recent memory have used this word (or the intros to them did).

      Is it possible to have the situation that Sheridan refers to here, one without prejudice entirely? Even in a new subject, couldn't one jump to conclusions or make assumptions about (to pre-judge) it?

    7. civilized

      Being "civilized" isn't always what it's cracked up (or purported) to be.

    8. it is in itself, a manner of communication entirely diflercnt, and utterly independent of the other

      Complete opposite of Astell's claim on the lack of "material" difference between speaking and writing

    9. For they who are born deaf, can make themselves understood by visible signs; and we have it on the best authority, that the Mimes of the Ancients, were perfectly intelli-gible, without the use of words.

      Sheridan looks for a definition of language that holds weight across multiple types of humans and cultural techniques (people who are deaf, mimes, the literate). Is he then perhaps exploring the question "which languages?" instead of "what is language?"

    10. fix, the precise meaning

      In the style of Locke and Plato's Socrates, let us start....with definition!

    11. British Education:

      And of course he had to use a colon, too. Insult to injury, Dr. Rivers?

    12. orgo his acting career and become a proselytizer for elocution

      So he quit a lucrative career to take up arms against butchered language. What horrid playwrights drove him to this?

    1. no material difference

      Or nothing but material difference (paper) between them ;)

      Like kmurphy1, I was thinking Ong would likely disagree on this matter, but Astell does make room for their differences as "talents which do not always meet." For all the functional differences (oral vs pen and paper, intangible vs tangible), does Astell see them both as means of communication and therefore only different in those functions?

    2. humours

      These sorts of humours?

    3. we must needs allow that every one is placed in such a Station as they arc titted for.

      So if one is not able or fitted for one task, it does not mean that they are deficient but instead indicates that they are intended for that task? This seems a more generous reading of humanity and ability than previous thinkers.

    4. me Truth which was dry and Unaffecting in a vulgar Authors words, Charms and Subdues you when cloath'd in his

      It's often more than just the words themselves or the way they are delivered that make such a difference, though. The first example that came to mind is Thersites's and Achilles's speeches in Book 2 of The Illiad, where Thersites (a lowly, uncouth, and ugly soldier) says essentially the same speech (in mostly the same words) as Achilles--one is well received and the other is not, but the difference wasn't strictly in charm.

    5. they need only peruse what they've Writ, and consider whether they wou'd express 'cmsclvcs thus in Conversation

      And what of those who cannot see/sense writing in the same way they sense speech? What cut is she making here in ability?

    6. in spite of the mistaken Customs of the Age

      What does Astell see as the "Customs of the Age" since "Piety and Vertue" aren't?

    7. every Reader has a peculiar last of Books as well as Meats.

      What an odd juxtaposition.

    8. Sublime which subdues us with Nobleness of Thought and Grandeur of Expression, will fly out of sight and by being Empty and Bombast become con­temptible.

      Astell seems to be using sublime in the sense "Of a person, personal attribute, action, etc.: morally, intellectually, or spiritually superior; of great nobility or grandeur. Hence: perfect, consummate; supreme" (usage starting around 1600)

      Not to be confused with the later concept of the sublime (starting around 1750, which I'm familiar with in reference to Romantic literature) as "Of a feature of nature or art: that fills the mind with a sense of overwhelming grandeur or irresistible power; that inspires awe, great reverence, or other high emotion, by reason of its beauty, vastness, or grandeur."


    9. Model on tl,t,t� which to form our selves. Or ruther to imitate

      Imitation makes another appearance, which (as mholder pointed out with Vico) "was one of the dominant methods of instruction in rhetoric up through the Enlightenment".

      I think imitation is particularly important in terms of women's education, as women often would have little to go by but a model, specifically one observed (over ones read about).

    10. make us swallow any thing, and lead us where he pleases? such an one seems to have an Intention to reduce us 10 the vilest Slavery, I 2 the Captivation of our u nderstanda ings,

      Echoes of Gorgias's Encomium of Helen again, where rhetoric is force of untold power, to the point where will is overtaken

    11. disuse of our Faculties we seem to have lost them if we ever had uny arc sunk into an Animal life wholly taken up with sensible objects

      She's making a cut here, where the use of certain faculties are what separate Human life from Animal life.

      By "sensible objects" does she mean those which can be sensed (tangible, concrete, as opposed to the other connotation of sensible as reasonable)? If so, then Animals are distinguished by living in a world of senses where Humans live in a world of both physical sensation and mental faculties (?).

    12. your Wit has lost nothing of its sail

    13. et if you will believe it impos­sible, and upon that nr any other prejudice for­hear t'attcmpl it, l'mc like lo go without my Wishes; my Arguments what ever they may be in themselves, arc weak and impertinent lo you, be­cause you make them useless and defeat them of the End they aim at

      Here Astell seems to be saying that if her audience is prejudiced against her, has already set in their minds that her task is impossible, then she'll get nowhere. Nice insight into the nature of the audience and their receptivity. Sometimes a fight is lost before it's ever begun, though that doesn't mean to stop trying. There's always another audience, one brought on by another exigence, context, or cultural technique (although below, she seems to be insisting that there's some kernel of perwasive opportunity left to her, can she but root it out).

    14. ou please your selves.

      A phrase that echoes Cavendish, who ponders her inability "Please All" (1), the desire for which kmurphy1 pointed out "hinders the progression of knowledge. Making this realization in the first sentence is remarkably important, for it immediately opens the door to discovery." For Astell and Astell's reader, the focus isn't on pleasing others but the self, and in doing so a woman can see ingeniousness not as an anomaly but as something within her grasp, if she takes the step toward discovery.

    15. he laller is a shame to Mankind, as being a plain sign that 'tho they discern and commend what is Good, they have not the Vcrtuc and Courage to Act accordingly

      I find this an interesting comment for Astell to make, particularly as the RT editors point out that the school Astell eventually does take over (the charity school) had "considerably more modest goals than her proposed women's college" (843). She could not put her own project into practice, though perhaps due to constraints on the situation outside of her control and not up to her own "Vertue and Courage to Act."

    16. PerswasiJre

      We know it's serious business because of the W.

    17. She asserts that nature is the best teacher of clo{1uencc. Rules help only a little, and only if they have been <lcrivcd from nature.

      This has echoes of Plato in it, where Socrates asks repeatedly whether rhetoric can be taught.

    18. the heart of her educational scheme was lo be a method of thinking that could be applied in any area

      Okay, this is is more specific, similar to Wollstonecraft, as curlyQ pointed out.

      What's interesting here is Astell's saying that she isn't "exceptional"--by that she seems to mean that she is no different or more outstanding than other women, that she doesn't have some special ability or nature (just the same natural inclinations as others).

      This resonates with Wollstonecraft's Rights in her insistence that women are not by nature the 'inferior' sex but are instead bred that way due to poor education. By distancing herself from the term "exceptional", Astell seems to be doing something similar, pointing not to any particularly special nature or natural ability but instead a sound education.

    19. naturally attracted them to these qualities when they were en­countered in the world. Additionally. innate human reason

      Would the belief in innate, natural qualities be contrary to John Locke's idea of the tabula rasa? I don't know enough of Locke to know whether innate qualities would be part of what's swept off the slate.

    20. a serious secular education

      This call for women's education (and not just in manners and fine arts) is largely ignored for some time, despite its repetition. In the Rhetorical Tradition reading from last week, they mentioned Archbishop Fénelon published a call for women's education in 1687; here Astell says something similar (1694); others are mentioned below; Wollstonecraft is still calling for it in 1792 (100 years later).

      Fénelon's call was for basic reading and writing; Wollstonecraft's was for equality in education with boys (much like Astell's education was). The nature of Astell's school is discussed here, but what was her vision of the curriculum (the "serious secular education")?

    21. hut they soon abandonl!d her.

      Wow. Mary just can't catch a break.

      Between her unusual education and loss hounding her, she couldn't help but become a writer, could she?

    1. and the whole is really the flower of wisdom)

      Vico seems to be opposed, then, to highly specialized education and in favor of breadth of knowledge. This has echoes of Aristotle and Cicero.

    2. they never thought of cs• tablishing universities where young minds could be cultivated and strengthened

      Does Vico mean "university" on a large scale? Because there was clearly "conditioning of the mind" happening, in localized schools and by educators who conditioned minds on a smaller scale (go, sophists). Was that not happening in a large-scale, communal location (see def. of university, tagged)?

    3. abstraction is in itself but a dull and inert thing

      That "in itself" is an important qualifier. My initial thought was how this idea contrasts with Hume's discussion of the uses of general concepts, but the "in itself" poses abstractions by themselves, when not employed to a particular use. When abstractions are put to work, do they do something similar to Hume's generalities? (How closely related are abstractions and general principles?)

    4. And let them develop skill in debat­ing on either side of any proposed argument.

      Good ol' dissoi logoi. What defects can't it resolve? ;)

    5. verisimilitude

      Interesting word choice--not truth but verisimilitude

      The fact or quality of being verisimilar; the appearance of being true or real; likeness or resemblance to truth, reality, or fact; probability.


    6. master a multiple, diversified, almost boundless domain of culture.

      Another apparatus (printing) which greatly opens up our understanding of the world and our access to others, allowing us to ask the question "which one?"

    7. Some of our researchers have applied chemistry to physics; others, mechanics to medicine.

      Inter (or supra?)-disciplinary!

    8. strume11ts

      New apparatuses with which to see and understand the world differently than did the Ancients.

      The connection to Barad becomes even more apparent below when Vico calls "critique" an instrument.

      Another instrument that Vico uses/alludes to is the act of classification ("set up a distinction," "the orderly reduction of systematic rules").

    9. fcction

      The idea of or desire for perfection is common through this week's readings. What impact does that desire have on these authors' views on humanity and what's human?

      How also does that desire war (agonisticly?) with the idea that man is flawed ("No doubt all that man is given to know is, like man himself, limited and imperfect," below)?

    10. historical circumstances dctennine the characteristics and purposes of social institutions and individual actions

      Cf. Rickert's rhetorics

    11. Mathematical proof is ultimately based on our acceptance of the system of axioms created by human beings

      This sounds rather like Latour (or would it be that Latour sounds like Vico?), where institutions like science (and math) are based on practices and methods we trust but that are also of our own development.

    12. free from academic prejudice.

      Nice aspiration.

      What prejudices do the texts themselves inculcate?

    1. tothevolum

      The list seems to cater to taste (cf. Hume) and to variety. After visiting the newly built agora, there will be "some time of Refreshment" before moving on to legislative matters and affairs of the court; then we "may Rest [our] Selves" before hearing charitable orations, and so on. If one cares to hear something in particular, one may do so or take alternative pleasures ("if you regard not what Women say", "if you like not their Pastime").

      The selections seem a carefully chosen buffet or perhaps a finely planned 10 (or whatever number)-course meal, with each element serving to compliment but also counter-point those that come before and after.

      In seeing these particular examples of orations, perhaps we shall take away a sense of the general?

    2. you to Arm your Selves, supposing you to be of the Masculine Sex, and of Valiant Heroical Natures, to enter into the Field of Warr;

      Interesting call for the reader to put themselves into this perspective, to immerse themselves in this context; the following list is a map of the journey she plans on taking the reader through with her orations, the diversity of which illustrate the breadth and scope of rhetoric and persuasion.

    3. Chief Market-place
    4. Perfect or Right Orations, but Adulterated, or rather Hermophrodites.

      Like Hume's use of pervert, deform, and defect, there's an assumption of the human and the ideal here

    5. Silently Wife, than Foolish in Rhetorick.

      I assume that's a typographical f that's intended as an s (Wise as opposed to Wife, Wise to counter Foolish)?

      Parallels again to Pizan, who urged women to use both manners and silence with rhetorical precision, as well as to Ratcliffe and Glenn's Silence and Listening as Rhetorical Arts

    6. Spouts do VVine into Bottels;

      Wine and liquor again

    7. Defect

      Language similar to that of Hume, here and in the "General Orations" remark below (where generalities are more likely to be universally true than particulars)

    8. Force to Perswade
    9. Unjust Judges.

      Is it not also unjust to categorically close the door on each of the preferences she lists above? (still smarting from the sophistry jab)

      She makes a clear cut of her own here, with particular 'tastes' on one side falling into the "foolish" class and all the 'tastes' on the other not foolish.

    10. Sophistry

      Poor sophistry...always getting the bad rap.

    11. Skil nor Art to Form

      According to Hume, genius is another type of knowing (though he still calls genius a way by which to know the 'rules').

    12. twenty-one.

      This synopsis of Cavendish's accolades sounds similar in many ways to Christine de Pizan's: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_de_Pizan

      Putting into play another sort of story, a la Le Guin

    1. .

      This section brings to mind Rickert's rhetorics.

    2. perverts

      Word choice throughout is noteworthy (and charged): perverts, deforms, defective...

    3. affect the mind of a peasant or Indian with lhe highest admiration

      Another set of cuts here (and with the "person, familiarized to superior beauties").

      Those who have limited exposure to observe or practice (and thereby to increase refinement of taste) are in another category altogether.

      Who is cut off by the inability to increase taste and whose voices are silenced?

    4. he taste of the one was still equally delicate, and that of the other equally dul

      I'm not following. One tasted leather, the other iron; a key (presumably iron?) on a leather thong was found in the cask. How is one's taste 'delicate' and the other 'dull' if both were correct? Is the key not iron?

    5. And if the same qualities, in a continued composition and in a smaller degree, affect not the organs with a sensible delight or uneasiness, we exclude the person from all pretensions to this delicacy.

      Limitations are being set. If organs cannot be affected or if the affect isn't "sensible", what of the one experiencing it?

    6. t must be allowed, that there are certain qualities in objects, which arc fitted by nature to produce those particular feelings.

      The companion piece to the idea that beauty is in the mind of the observer (above): "Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty" (832). Beauty has roots in the object that then evokes the feeling of beauty in the mind.

    7. phantasm

      How does one recognize when colour is "true and real" as opposed to phantasm?

    8. sound and a defective state

      And who/what determines those states? Where are the cuts made between the two?

    9. genius or observation

      Not, though, through book learning (unless that counts as observation?).

      Calls again to Cicero's discussion of art, where the 'rules' come from observed and practiced successes (not handbooks)

    10. practical sciences, experience; nor are they anything but general observations, concerning whathas been universally found to please in all coun­tries and in all ages.

      Rules, then, are not prescribed by some Truth but are those "universally found to please," to have the most consensus.

    11. Among athousand different opinions which different menmay entenain of the same subject, there is one,and but one, that is just and true;

      Aaaand there we have it, the rejection of relativism that was also in Locke. "Come, John! There is one Truth and we must seek it out!"

    12. explanation ofthe tenns commonly ends the controversy

      Hence why definition is needed to start, not once the argument's already gathered steam (as Locke also points out). While I find merit to this, I dislike agreeing with anything Socratic/Platonic on principle.

    13. rigid adherence to rules does not guarantee favorable response and that deviating from rules often produces wonderful results

      I don't know about anyone else, but part of my personal pedagogical imperative is teaching the 'rules' just so students know how and when to break them well. "Look. Here's what's expected. Now that we're on the same page, let's burn it, shall we?"

    14. empiricism

      A doctrine or theory that emphasizes or privileges the role of experience in knowledge, esp. claiming that sense experience or direct observation rather than abstract reasoning is the foundation of all knowledge of reality


      I still can't really get over the part where "sensation" (which seems deeply personal and individualized to me) is a way to experience something universal (but that's my beef with Locke, not necessarily Hume, so we'll see!).

    15. reviewed negatively

    1. owerful instrument of error and deceit,

      Weak defense much?

    2. books of rhetoric which abound in the world,

      How many copies of Blair's Lectures (62 editions, 51 abridgments, and 10 translations) did he stumble across? (see Rhetorical Tradition Enlightenment intro)

    3. perfect cheats

    4. he fault of the man,

      And now back to flaws in comprehension (instead of language), so what is the implication of that 'man's' failing? There's the caveat "yet" leaving open the possibility that the 'man' has simply not encountered the name or devoted time to learning it, but what of the 'man' who has attempted both and still fails?

    5. different countries and re-mote ages, wherein the speakers and writers had very different notions, tempers, customs, orna-ments, and figures of speech, &c., every one of which influenced the signification of their words

      Brings to mind Rickert's rhetorics and Siegert's cultural techniques

    6. noise

      What is Locke's notion of "noise"? He seems to be using it with a negative connotation, where noise is meaningless and incomprehensible, a clamor of sound and incongruencies that prevent understanding.

      But noise does not necessarily have to be meaningless or incomprehensible--it just takes the right way of listening to make sense of it (Cf. Ratcliffe's Rhetorical Listening).

    7. an imperfection rather upon our words than understandings

      Hm, okay. So what I took (above) as comments on humanity, Locke is saying are comments on language. (Or is it both?)

    8. Who ever that had a mind to under· stand them mistook the ordinary meaning

      Locke assumes that such a person does not exist, defining human as "one who understands all simple modes/ideas."

    9. universal propositions, and would settle in their minds universal truths,

      The desire for both universality and essence is interesting. Universality is a concept with breadth, applicable on a large scale and encompassing many things. Essence, on the other hand, is extremely narrow, focused and boiled down to a pinpoint. It's a juggling act to attempt both.

    10. much easier got, and more clearly retained

      And if one does not "get" or "retain" what's deemed a "simple idea," what does that mean for that one's sense of self or personhood?

      Does that mean the concept of the simple changes or does the person's status change?

    11. before they went any further on in this dispute, they would first examine and estab-lish amongst them, what the word liquor signi-fied.

      Thanks, Socrates (she said sarcastically).

    12. where by chance there arose a question, whether any liquor passed through the filaments of the nerves.

      Whereby drunk rhetoric takes on mixed modes

    13. the union in nature of these qualities being the true ground of their union in one complex idea,

      Union as a type of love, of reaching out to one another (Cf. Corder)

    14. real constitution, or (as it is apt to be called) essence, being utterly unknown to us, any sound that is put to stand for it must be very un· certain in its application;

      Basically, be careful about naming anything that has an essence that's unknown to us, and it seems that most everything has an uncertain essence, so...

    15. quite lost the sense of it,

      Stage 2 to Stage 4 is a quick drop

    16. rcti

      To me it seems that Locke is pointing out that people have different notions of complex concepts, and they are presented as fact, as insurmountable; Corder sees the presence of different notions of concepts and urges that we attempt to reach out to one another and understand those differences. We don't have to (or perhaps even can't) eliminate those differences or come to a common understanding of those concepts, but we at least have to acknowledge that we have our own notions, shaped by our rhetorical contexts.

    17. Names, therefore, that stand for collections of ideas which the mind makes at pleasure must needs be of doubtful signification, when such collections are nowhere to be found constantly united in nature

      Significance of names again, which play a role in Annihilation

      When people/things are stripped of their names (aka "doubtful significations"), are they brought to more simple concepts? Are they more easily understood?

      Or are they the same complex concept, only now without a name?

      Or perhaps the loss of name illustrates the complexity of the concept, where a name might lull us into confidence, into thinking we have a handle on the concept...

    18. xactly the same idea

      Is this even possible?

      (Cf. Kent's Paralogic Rhetoric, where he discusses the uncodifiable ways that we communicate, particularly in the face of needing to make jumps and guesses to even approach understanding another's meaning)

    19. which another has not organs of faculties to attain; as the names of colours to a blind man, or sounds to a deaf man, need not here be mentioned.

      Restrictions on intelligibility and comprehension, which by extension imply a restriction on what's human or universal

    20. certain and undoubted

      "Certain and undoubted" brings to mind the classical sense of logos, where it's meaning isn't logic or reasoning (as we tend to think of it now) but is more about the commonly accepted truth. It's a truth that people believe--but that doesn't make it correct. Locke undoubtedly is not intending this meaning but is instead calling for an objective Truth.

    21. First, One for the recording of our own thoughts. Secondly, The other for the communicating of our thoughts to others.

      Cf. Foucault's "Self Writing" with hupomnemata as recorded thoughts and correspondence as sending those thoughts to others.

    22. imperfection there is in language

      Our creations are flawed (puts a wrench in the "we made it, we trust it" idea).

    23. Rhetoricians responded strongly

    24. nonrelativistic view of knowledge.

      Objective knowledge of Truth

    25. ideas, which are also universally the same

      I already have a problem.

      Is sensation a universal phenomenon? If so, that doesn't mean that human's experience sensations in the same way and therefore the ideas generated from those sensations would naturally vary.

      The desire for "universal" anything seems fraught with problem, even for seemingly "simple" ideas.

    26. incomplete or inaccurate idea

      Incomplete or inaccurate according to whom? Some objective Truth?

    1. 011 1/w Ed11catio11 of Girls (published in 1687),

      Cf. Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, written about 100 years later, making a similar argument. Specifically, Wollstonecraft argues that women are not naturally inferior or frivolous but have been bred that way through poor education. Taken in comparison to the Enlightenment's exploration of human nature and with a lack of significant progress between 1687 and 1792 (outside of literacy, noted below), it seems clear that "human nature" really means "man's nature."

    2. fundamental

      Which "fundaments"? What foundations are the ones that "all people" start with?

    3. >ixty•two editions, fifty.one abridgments, and ten tr..inslations

      It's been quite a long way since Cicero's eye-rolling at handbooks...

    4. Hugh Blair and George Campbell,

      Key players in shaping rhetoric and university curriculum in the 18th and 19th centuries (Cf. James Berlin's account of composition instruction in American universities)

    5. a belief thal we have an accurate memory of a past fact or demonstration or a belief that others have been correct in their proofs.

      We must trust in our memories, our senses and observations, and in others. Which of these do we have faith in more/most? And what are the consequences when we make ourselves vulnerable to that trust (and are proven wrong)?

    6. an action of will.

      And where does agency fall in all this?

    7. spiders spin· ning filthy weh, nut or 1heir own guts

      Lovely imagery

    8. he study of "man," as Pope and his classical forebear Horace put it, to be the proper activity of the poet.

      Cf. Le Guin's hero-killer story

      What other stories were lost under this focus?

    9. Chirmw­mia

      Chironomy: The art or science of gesticulation, or of moving the hands according to rule in oratory, pantomime, etc.


    10. we can know what we ourselves have made

      This brings to mind an issue from last week, where we place more trust in words because they are our own construct (see Barad 801: "How did language come to be more trustworthy than matter?").

    11. hound up in human reason. pas­sion, and imagination; that human beings function in social groups an<l arc limited by historical circumstances

      Sounds like the human-measure doctrine and casuistry. Vico = 18th C sophist. He's a bit dour, though:

    12. university

      I hadn't thought about the etymology of university before, but the juxtaposition with "universal grammar" spurred my curiosity about their common roots:

      From community, corporation (1214 in Old French; also in Old French as universitei , universiteit , etc.), totality, universality (13th cent.)


    13. "universal

      I'm noticing a theme here, with the desire of universal ideals, truths, …people. In a time/place where the world (as people knew it) was still relatively small, there seems a pervading sense of attempted connection, of finding common ground, to unify. In our current time/place with a greatly expanded sense of the world and its variety, have we mostly given up on that desire for uniformity? Do we like to think we have? Recent events indicate that perhaps we haven't given up that desire as much as we had thought, but are those events anomalous outliers or an ugly truth?

    14. Locke argues that all ideas arc mental combinations of sense perceptions and 1hat words refer not directly to things but to menial phenomena, the ideas we retain and build from sense impressions.

      Like Locke, Karen Barad is pushing against the idea of words as representational of things, with her performative model?

      "A performative understanding of discursive practices challenges the representationalist belief in the power of words to represent preexisting things" (Barad 802).

      In what ways does performance differ from "mental phenomena"? Mental = internal only where performance = internal and external?

      Side note: every time someone says phenomena, I hear this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ytei6bu7kQ

    15. reflecting upon many instances or seeing particular trees and abstracting their common features

      Inductive reasoning

    16. Chinese, says Bacon, is written "in Character� Real, which express neither letters nor words ... but things or notions;

      This notion of Chinese language is one that carries into the 20th century and has pretty far influence; Ernest Fenollosa's notes on Chinese characters and translations of Chinese poetry hugely influenced Ezra Pound and (by extension) 20th C poetry at large.

      In terms of this class, Chinese characters pose an interesting alternative to the subject-object grammar of English.

    17. We all value one another M> much

      And who, precisely, does he count as "one another"?

    18. indb-•i' putablc truth

      The belief in capital T truth strikes again. For the Greeks, search for Truth was under the purview of the philosophers; here, it's sought by practitioners of science. Interesting parallels between scientists and philosophers.

    19. inductive

      For anyone like me who always has to stop and think about which is which:

      Observation --> theory (inductive)

      Theory --> observed confirmation (deductive)

      Latour's actor-network theory and grounded theory follow inductive reasoning.

    20. reasoning was not enough

      This is a pretty lie that we like to tell ourselves, that reasoning and logic are what we allow to guide our choices and actions. Cf. Haidt's The Righteous Mind, where he argues that our gut responses (those not based on logic) come first and reason/rationalizations come second.

    21. The Ramistic doctrines that dominated rhetoric al the beginning of the seventeenth century limited rhetoric to style and delivery

    22. marked by revolutions in science, philosophy, and politics.

      Funny that (as the margin note points out) technology is left out of this list. Is this perhaps because RT addresses technology separately or that the significance of technological revolutions is overshadowed by these other changes?

  2. Jan 2019
    1. they were human, fully human, bashing, sticking, thrusting, killing

      One definition of being human

    2. imperial
    3. home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a con-tainer for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred,

      These places, these larger containers, have their own purposes and functions, and, according to Rickert's Ambient Rhetoric, they also have a rhetoric of their own. They speak to us in various ways. For Le Guin, these containers speak of her status as human, enable her to feel part of humankind.

    4. We've heard it, we've all heard all about all the sticks ond spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained.

      Phallic vs vaginal stories--one prevalent, the other less so

    5. give little Oom to make her shut up

      Ah, parenting

    6. The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero
    7. fifteen-hour work week

      Wouldn't that ease of gathering only be viable for a certain amount of time, in certain areas? With larger populations and in scarcer areas, that time increases. I wonder what other statistics or sources provide similar or disparate numbers, and how those numbers change over time. When did gathering become less efficient?

    1. cumenical

      Belonging to the whole world; universal, general, world-wide.


    2. technicity

      Technical quality or character, technicality; the extent to which a people, culture, etc., possesses technical skills or technology.


      Siegert seems to be saying that the focus on "the distinction between human and non-human" has been taken too far, that it's a matter of technicality that serves little to no purpose for all its specificity.

    3. teaching docile bodies

      Cf. Foucault's Discipline and Punish

    4. Macho

      I'm sorry to everyone, but I can't not hear this every time I see his name, and now you must suffer, too.


    5. recede the media concepts they generate

      This brings to mind Cicero's De Oratore, where Crassus discusses art (in the sense of a skill, systematic knowledge of a particular field) and eloquence. Instead of a theory of rhetoric/oratory leading to eloquence, "certain people have observed and collected the practices that eloquent men have followed of their own accord. Thus, eloquence is not the offspring of art, but art [is the offspring] of eloquence." The skill itself always precedes the systematization of the skill.

    6. elevision andinformation and communications technology were added in the 1980s.

      Is this where cave paintings would fit as a cultural technology?

    7. labelled

      Again with labels and names

    8. However, while US post-cybernetic media studies are tied to thinking about bodies and organisms,German media theory is linked to a shift in the history of meaning arisingfrom a revolt against the hermeneutical tradition of textual interpretationand the sociological tradition of communication

      So in Siegert's assessment, US posthumanism is focused on the body whereas German posthumanism is focused on meaning and signification.

      To grasp the distinction, I think I need better understanding of where meaning was and where it shifted to (and how that becomes posthuman).

    9. diffe ́rance

      Cf. Biesecker's "Rethinking the Rhetorical Situation from within the Thematic of Difference"

    10. he conditions of representation

      Rhetorical context shapes meaning, much like context shapes rhetorics.

    11. an appropriate nam

      This brings to mind Annihilation, where names (and the significance of names) have such high stakes that they are not used at all (nameless characters) or points of contention (tower, tunnel).

    12. chains of operations thatlink humans, things, media and even animals

      Cf. Muckelbauer and Hawhee's discussion, where "humans, animals, and machines [are linked] so intimately that it makes very little sense to attempt to distinguish among these three categories" (767)

    1. becoming

      Every time I see this term (including un.becoming) I can't help but think of the alternative meaning: befitting, suitable, having graceful fitness.


    2. to foreclose any easy distinctio

      Foreclose: To bar, exclude, shut out completely, but also many other senses, including to take away the power of redeeming or to close beforehand http://www.oed.com.ezp.slu.edu/view/Entry/72991?redirectedFrom=foreclose#eid

      I think this phrase lies at the heart of where I'm wrapping my head around what posthumanism means. As Dr. Rivers said in class, there's this assumption of the human (the 'easy distinction' of what the human is), but when we foreclose--when we do away with--that ease, we might consider posthumanism as "post (the assumption of what it means to be) human". Instead of assuming we have a good/clear/universal understanding of what it is to be "human," posthumanism does away with that assumption and instead seeks to explore, to ask questions, to address multiple and varied possible definitions (like we do with rhetoric).

    3. of memory from thebrain to giant servers and microchips forces a consideration of “the bodyproblem”—the loss of the body
    4. ew weapons” (

      Hopefully not the indispensable whacker?

    5. require a different kind of response.

      Perhaps this is akin to asking "which one?" instead of "what is?"

    6. convergence of virtuality/actuality and human/machine,

      The need to categorize collides with situations where the lines are blurred, where categories abut or merge.

    7. humans, animals, and machines so intimately that it makesvery little sense to attempt to distinguish among these three categories

      There persists a need to categorize, classify, divide, arrange...

      This need was mentioned in the NOVA documentary, where people so often wish to fit findings into neat little categories only to find that there are often overlaps that muddy the water (or 'braided stream', if you prefer).

    8. n amalgam of amphibian neural webbing andsynthetic DNA

      Because that's always a good idea...


    1. e essay as assemblage
    2. we are ceasing to be and what we are in theprocess of becoming

      Ceasing to be --> un.becoming

    3. royal

      When I was looking up real for another annotation, I kept coming across meanings referring to monarchs and royals. Funny that Braidotti uses it here when one might think of 'real' science.


    4. conceptual persona, a navigational tool

      A lens through which to see the world?

    5. s opposed to the dynamic,insurgent and more cyclical time of becoming orAion

      The "time" represented by Aion is unbounded, in contrast to Chronos as empirical time divided into past, present, and future: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aion_(deity)

      Unlike both Aion or Chronos, kairos is a particular moment of time, a timely or opportune moment. It is situated in a particular context or need (a rhetorical situation).

    6. ‘supra-disciplinary’ character.

      Rhetoric, too, is a supra-disciplinary field, to the extent that it's sometimes mistaken as not even having a 'subject' (re: the protest that you can't teach writing until students have enough of a subject to write about under their belts first).

    7. actor network theor

      Actors (human or otherwise) function together in systems (networks), and those systems must be observed and described rather than "explained": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor%E2%80%93network_theory

      The notion that a system should be examined prior to bringing in theories and frameworks is also one held by the qualitative research approach called grounded theory (a theory grounded in observed data).

    8. ubjectivity canthen be re-defined as an expanded self, whose relational capacity is notconfined within the human species, but includes non-anthropomorphicelements.

      Like mholder pointed out, this also speaks to Foucault's "Self Writing." In this case, I think the connection to the notebook and/or letter (correspondence) is important, where the "expanded self" is due in large part thanks to the non-anthropomorphic materials the writer interacts with (a la Barad's intra-activity, if I'm making that connect aright).

    9. on-humans (animals, insects, plants, tress,viruses, fungi, bacteria and technological automata)

      Cf. Kennedy's "A Hoot in the Dark"

    10. a set of technologically inter-linkedmaterial culture

      This resonates with many of the other articles: Rickert's materialist rhetorics, Barad's materiality, ...

    11. colossal

      These readings would probably go quicker if I stopped looking up images to go with every joke/aside I think of (most of which don't even make it to post)...


    12. the nomadic subjects

      Muckelbauer has a whole riff on nomads, traveling, and sophists in Future of Invention that resonates here and also above when Braidotti was talking about affirmation, negativity, and binaries.

      For Muckelbauer, traveling and repetition are central to discovery (even if the travel is over the same ground). I particularly like when he says, "we cannot know what a sophist is before setting out" (86)--and that lack of knowing makes the search more difficult because how will one know the sophist when one encounters him or her? Repetition is even more important as one must continue searching even after one has found a sophist, if for nothing else to make sure it was really a sophist.

    13. qualitative leap

      I think I found a typo; I fixed it ;)

    14. 1

      Endnotes, huh? 😒

    15. humanist ideal of ‘Man’ as the allegedly universal measureof all things,

      Protagoras's human-measure doctrine strikes again. (Cf. end of Barad article)

    16. posthuman times, and the posthuman subjects ofknowledge constituted within them, are producing new fields of transdis-ciplinary knowledge, which I call the critical posthumanitie

      At least she laid it out front and center. If this piece is anything like the Barad essay, then we can at least walk away with this sentence.

    17. embrainment of the body

      I am very disappointed at the Google image results of the term "embrainment." I was expecting more sci-fi (it's mostly text-based charts or lists).

    1. we are partofthe worldin its ongoing intra-activity

      This brings to mind Protagoras's human-measure doctrine. The only way to know the world is through the lens of our humanity; we are inherently part of the world and are literally unable to remove ourselves from it in order to see it any other way.

    2. anguage come to be more trustworthy than matter?

      People seem to trust in themselves more than what's outside themselves. Even though language is constructed, it's our construct, something we made, and therefore (?) something we can place our faith in more so than in matter, something we had less of a hand in making. When we place our faith in things outside ourselves, we become more vulnerable--we open ourselves to other things as well as to the possibility of being wrong.

    3. 1

      I need to pause here for a moment to say how deeply appreciative I am for articles that use footnotes instead of endnotes. I'll scroll to the bottom of the page, but I'll be damned if I'm going to flounder around jumping from front to end and back again.

    4. epresentations and entities to be represented.

      Cf. Muckelbauer's Future of Invention, where the Model is an entity to be represented and representations are Copies or Simulacra.

      Muckelbauer points out that a Copy, while true (or truer) to the Model to a certain extent, does less than a Simulacrum, which is just 'off' enough from the Model to have a distinct existence, to function in a different way. When Barad (a few lines below) questions whether these representations function accurately, she's questioning the purpose of the Copy, where its only role is to emulate the original. To me, it seems that an inaccurate representation might prove more interesting, to take on life of its own, separate from the Model.

    5. likeness

      Likeness: The external form or outward appearance of something; esp. a shape, form, or appearance which resembles that of a particular thing; a guise, a semblance.


      ...as opposed to...

      Real: Having an objective existence; actually existing physically as a thing, substantial; not imaginary.


      Interesting that "objective existence" requires separation, removal from others, where likeness requires a subject to be modeled after.

    6. nature—as opposed to cul-ture—is ahistorical and timeless?

      Doreen Massey has an interesting book that touches on this (Space, Place, and Gender), where she points out that time and space are treated as binaries, where time is typically masculine and dynamic and space is feminine and static. Nature (gendered feminine) is spatial, a place, and therefore not a time ("ahistorical and timeless"). Culture, on the other hand, is temporal, dynamic, masculine. It's a very particular rhetoric which begs the "which one?" question.

      (While Massey points out this common way of conceiving of time/space and binaries in general [A vs. Not A], she argues that the concept of space needs to be defined on its own merit, distinct from its binary opposite.)

    7. StrongDefenseofrhetoricposthumousl

      Lanham says, "The Strong Defense assumes that truth is determined by social dramas, some more formal than others but all man-made. Rhetoric in such a world is not ornamental but determinative, essentially creative" (156). If that defense is not just restricted to "man-made" social dramas but cultural dramas, to dramas rooted in a particular historical and cultural context (joining Rickert's sense of rhetorics), then it can also be opened up to material forces beyond the human.

    8. causality

      Anyone care to paraphrase this page?

    9. challenges the positioning of materiality as either a given or a mereeffect of human agency.

      I'll be the first to admit I wasn't able to follow all of what Barad is tackling here, but I'll take a stab at a summary: Barad argues that we need to bring matter/the material into our concepts of rhetoric, agency, and performance--to not bind these issues only to the human but to see them posthumanly, to leave behind the assumption that these concepts can only be 'wielded' or conducted by humans.


    10. as if Nature isa container.

      Why does Kirby reject the notion of Nature as container? Is she posing containers as inert objects, 'mere' holders? Cf. Le Guin's notion of the container as another type of story.

    1. ausality

      Anyone care to paraphrase this page?

    2. epresentations and entities to be represented

      Cf. Muckelbauer's Future of Invention, where the Model is an entity to be represented and representations are Copies or Simulacra.

      Muckelbauer points out that a Copy, while true (or truer) to the Model to a certain extent, does less than a Simulacrum, which is just 'off' enough from the Model to have a distinct existence, to function in a different way. When Barad (a few lines below) questions whether these representations function accurately, she's questioning the purpose of the Copy, where its only role is to emulate the original. To me, it seems that an inaccurate representation might prove more interesting, to take on life of its own, separate from the Model.

    3. 1

      I need to pause here for a moment to say how deeply appreciative I am for articles that use footnotes instead of endnotes. I'll scroll to the bottom of the page, but I'll be damned if I'm going to flounder around jumping from front to end and back again.

    1. embarrassmcnt

      These emotional appeals make them so...emotional?

    2. where no clear 1ruth was availahlc

      When there's no Truth (in subjective situations), rhetoric comes to the rescue.

    1. esearchershave discovered that it takes about 45 minutes to craft a single bead; to make 10,000 suchbeads totals 7,500 hours of work, or three years of labor by skilled craftspeople

      Cf. Le Guin's discussion of gatherers and labor/leisure time

    2. cognition is thus ecological:

      Cf. Ong's examination of how literacy changes how we think

    3. material forms.

      Placing rhetorics in a realm beyond the typical verbal/written/oral/aural.

    4. all rhetorics are enculturated and materialized

      We often think of rhetoric as one specific thing, one that is used in particular situations and cultures, but Rickert is positing a view of rhetoric that makes it shaped by situations and cultures. The influence doesn't only go one way (hence the "two-way street").


      Throughout this section, Foucault characterizes correspondence as a way to reveal the self: "a certain way of manifesting oneself to oneself and to others," to "show oneself," "a decipherment of the self by the self as an opening one gives the other onto oneself."

      This sort of 'opening' is to make oneself vulnerable, to be seen by others. (cf. Marback's "A Meditation on Vulnerability in Rhetoric")

      This is characteristic particularly of writing that is intended for others (correspondence), but in what ways are other forms of writing equally--if not more--revealing of the self?

      (That also makes me question whether any writing is truly for the self and not intended in some way for others. Even diaries/journals are written with the possible eventuality that someone other than the writer will read it.)

    2. Seneca dwells for a moment on the ethical problem of resemblance, of faithfulness and originality.

      As does Muckelbauer in Future of Invention, where one must be on the lookout for resemblances, dangerous because it is "difficult to tell them [resemblances] apart" from the things they resemble--the "two different things exist, two different and discrete identities, which blend with each other" (89). Of those resemblances, some are 'true'/faithful copies while others are "resemblance-effects," simulacra (88-90).

      What I felt was interesting about Muckelbauer's examination is that he ultimately seems to say that the Simulacrum is the more compelling of the two (Copy vs Simulacrum) as it does more than the copy. Instead of existing only as imitation (as the Copy does), the Simulacrum has an existence which exceeds that.

    3. excessive reading has a scattering effect: “In reading of many books is distraction.”

      I feel personally attacked. ;)

    4. capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self

      The OG self-help book?

    5. notebooks serving as memory aids. Their use as books of life, as guides for conduct

      Hm. So in the analogy above, does that mean "others" in a community serve as reminders of how not to live (in the case of non-ascetics) or how to live (other ascetics)?

      Plato wouldn't like that (Phaedrus, writing as destructive to memory).

    6. As an element of self-training, writing has, to use an expression that one finds in Plutarch, an ethopoietic function: it is an agent of the transformation of truth into ethos.

      This reminds me of Robert Yagelski's Writing as a Way of Being, where writing as the act, the experience, is what's valuable, not so much the product that results. The experience of writing allows a transformation of the writer.

    7. what others are to the ascetic in a community, the notebook is to the recluse

      I don't quite follow here. What are "others" to the ascetic?

      I would assume that an ascetic (one who practices austerity and self-denial, http://www.oed.com.ezp.slu.edu/view/Entry/11367?redirectedFrom=ascetic#eid) would eschew others, to deny themselves the (so-called) pleasures of the company of others, but would a recluse thereby eschew the notebook? Are "others" potential converts?