The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Dialectical Rhetoric By Bruce McComiskey

Submitted by syntaxfactory on June 23, 2015 - 6:29pm

Dialectical Rhetoric
By Bruce McComiskey

"What the author proposes here is not found anywhere else, and his development of a third dialectic--that is, an entirely new model for understanding dialectic--well, this is not mere appropriation; this is theory making."
---Frank Farmer, University of Kansas, author of
After the Public Turn and Saying and Silence

In Dialectical Rhetoric, Bruce McComiskey argues that the historical conflict between rhetoric and dialectic can be overcome in ways useful to both composition theory and the composition classroom.

Historically, dialectic has taken two forms in relation to rhetoric. First, it has been the logical development of linear propositions leading to necessary conclusions, a one-dimensional form that was the counterpart of rhetorics in which philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific truths were conveyed with as little cognitive interference from language as possible. Second, dialectic has been the topical development of opposed arguments on controversial issues and the judgment of their relative strengths and weaknesses, usually in political and legal contexts, a two-dimensional form that was the counterpart of rhetorics in which verbal battles over competing probabilities in public institutions revealed distinct winners and losers.

The discipline of writing studies is on the brink of developing a new relationship between dialectic and rhetoric, one in which dialectics and rhetorics mediate and negotiate different arguments and orientations that are engaged in any rhetorical situation. This new relationship consists of a three-dimensional hybrid art called "dialectical rhetoric," whose method is based on five topoi: deconstruction, dialogue, identification, critique, and juxtaposition. Three-dimensional dialectical rhetorics function effectively in a wide variety of discursive contexts, including digital environments, since they can invoke contrasts in stagnant contexts and promote associations in chaotic contexts.
Dialectical Rhetoric focuses more attention on three-dimensional rhetorics from the rhetoric and composition community.

Paper: $24.95
ISBN: 978-0-87421-981-4
Pages: 240
Adobe Digital Edition Ebook*: $19.95
Order now!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.