Zero Squared #137: On the Radical Empiricism of Rhetoric

Jan 5th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Zero Squared

Daniel Coffeen is the author of the Zero Books title "Reading the Way of Things" and a frequent guest on this podcast and many others including the Partially Examined Life.

In this episode we discuss his essay: "On the Radical Empiricism of Rhetoric."

Here's an excerpt:

A rhetorical reckoning riles many people up as it doesn't try to ground itself or its going in anything outside itself — in a truth or axiom or universal claim. It is indifferent to such things except in as much as such things are arguments, things to reckon. And so rather than ever being tethered or even seeking a tether, the rhetorician begins to enjoy all the different ways different things can go. It reads multiple ways to reckon a puppy or ballet or chair. Rather than stake a single claim, she — our rhetorician — takes delight in the going of things, in the possible ways of things. Which can be infuriating to someone who's adamant in a single belief. This is what ballet is!

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2 Comments to “Zero Squared #137: On the Radical Empiricism of Rhetoric”

  1. dmf says:

    nice summary from Oliwia Tarasewicz-Gryt’s online essay Homo seriosus and homo rhetoricus in the political discourse:
    Stanley Fish (2008: 422), thinking about antirhetorical topoi and the eternal conflict between the postulates concerning the necessity of persuading with the arguments that can be not Real in nature, but convincing and agreeable with the common knowledge, uses the terminology of Richard Lanham: homo seriosus i homo rhetoricus. The first type can be characterized as having the central I and communicates the facts and ideas concerning nature and the society – objectively existing reality. It’s a serious person. A rhetorical man is an actor concentrated on the “local situation”, on “here and now”. He skillfully changes the orientation, has many structures of values and accepts the running paradigm and uses its resources. He perfectly knows how to manipulate the reality. The reality is not considered as an objective but as an utility.(Lanham 1976: 4).

  2. briand says:

    this might be my favourite episode yet (or at least one of them) Among many thoughts it reminds me of my habit of misreading texts. sometimes because i imagine it would be better if the author meant it that way, like with some great undertones or hidden meaning, even if later i step back and know that probably those didn t exist for the author. but in my misreading i have become a sort of creator and made them so even if only for myself. i don t know if i explain that well, but my favourites (of SO many zero books) starry speculative corpse and tentacles longer than night in an absolutely wonderful way let me know i’m not the only one who enjoys this.
    great show, thank you it and everything

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