Up to the EServer » Lectures on Demand » The Marriage of Rhetoric and Pragmatics
Up to Lectures on Demand
Up to Lectures
Contribute a Lecture
About this Site
Up to Lectures on Demand
The Marriage of Rhetoric and Pragmatics
Alan Gross format: audio
length: 0:35:54
Date Added: 02/06/1998


The current proliferation of hermeneutic resources with a linguistic base--pragmatics, speech act theory, classical rhetoric theory, Burkean analysis, conversational analysis, Habermasian communicative action--is an embarras de richesse. Surely, at this point, we need, not another theory, but rather an attempt at synthesis, an attempt to turn this hermeneutic plentitude into a single theory. In this paper, we propose to take an initial step in this direction, to attempt to marry pragmatics and rhetoric. But given the theoretical exfoliation that has marked these areas, such a marriage can be managed only by imposing very strict limitations on the scope of our enterprise. We believe, however, that we can take a step in our preferred direction by addressing the more specific problem of whether the theory of Paul Grice, the father of pragmatics, is compatible with the theory of Aristotle, the father of rhetoric. We intend to do so by reconstructing Aristotelian rhetoric as a pragmatics.

About the Author

Alan Gross is currently on sabbatical leave as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. he is the author of Rhetoric of Science (Harvard 1996) and senior editor of Rhetorical Hermeneutics: Invention and Interpretation in the Age of Science (SUNY 1996), and of the forthcoming Rereading Aristotle's "Rhetoric" (Southern Illinois). His current projects include two books on scientific rhetoric and a critical work on the philosopher and rhetorical theorist, Chiam Perelman. This month and next he will be a British Association Visiting Professor at the Imperial College in London. He is a Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Play the Lecture