A vital contribution to legal theory and media and civic discourse
In the 1860s, northern newspapers attacked Abraham Lincoln's policies by attacking his character, using the terms "drunk," "baboon," "too slow," "foolish," and "dishonest." Steadily on the increase in political argumentation since then, the argumentum ad hominem, or personal attack argument, has now been carefully refined as an instrument of "oppo tactics" and "going negative" by the public relations experts who craft political campaigns at the national level. In this definitive treatment of one of the most important concepts in argumentation theory and informal logic, Douglas Walton presents a normative framework for identifying and evaluating ad hominem or personal attack arguments.
Personal attack arguments have often proved to be so effective, in election campaigns, for example, that even while condemning them, politicians have not stopped using them. In the media, in the courtroom, and in everyday confrontation, ad hominem arguments are easy to put forward as accusations, are difficult to refute, and often have an extremely powerful effect on persuading an audience.
Walton gives a clear method for analyzing and evaluating cases of ad hominem arguments found in everyday argumentation. His analysis classifies the ad hominem argument into five clearly defined subtypes—abusive (direct), circumstantial, bias, "poisoning the well," and tu quoque ("you're just as bad") arguments—and gives methods for evaluating each type. Each subtype is given a well-defined form as a recognizable type of argument. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate argumentation as fallacious or not in particular cases.
Using archival sources, newspapers accounts, and trade publications, Stole demonstrates that the war elevated and magnified the seeming contradictions of advertising and allowed critics of these practices one final opportunity to corral and regulate the institution of advertising. Exploring how New Dealers and consumer advocates such as the Consumers Union battled the advertising industry, Advertising at War traces the debate over two basic policy questions: whether advertising should continue to be a tax-deductible business expense during the war, and whether the government should require effective standards and labeling for consumer products, which would render most advertising irrelevant. Ultimately the postwar climate of political intolerance and reverence for free enterprise quashed critical investigations into the advertising industry. While advertising could be criticized or lampooned, the institution itself became inviolable.
What we don’t know can hurt us—and does so every day. Climate change, health care policy, weapons of mass destruction, an aging infrastructure, stem cell research, endangered species, space exploration—all affect our lives as citizens and human beings in practical and profound ways. But unless we understand the science behind these issues, we cannot make reasonable decisions—and worse, we are susceptible to propaganda cloaked in scientific rhetoric.To convey the facts, this book suggests, scientists must take a more active role in making their work accessible to the media, and thus to the public. In Am I Making Myself Clear? Cornelia Dean, a distinguished science editor and reporter, urges scientists to overcome their institutional reticence and let their voices be heard beyond the forum of scholarly publication. By offering useful hints for improving their interactions with policymakers, the public, and her fellow journalists, Dean aims to change the attitude of scientists who scorn the mass media as an arena where important work is too often misrepresented or hyped. Even more important, she seeks to convince them of the value and urgency of communicating to the public.Am I Making Myself Clear? shows scientists how to speak to the public, handle the media, and describe their work to a lay audience on paper, online, and over the airwaves. It is a book that will improve the tone and content of debate over critical issues and will serve the interests of science and society.
Appeals in Modern Rhetoric: An Ordinary-Language Approach introduces students to current issues in rhetorical theory through an extended treatment of the rhetorical appeal, a frequently used but rarely discussed concept at the core of rhetorical analysis and criticism. Shunning the standard Aristotelian approach that treats ethos, pathos, and logos as modes of appeal, M. Jimmie Killingsworth uses common, accessible language to explain the concept of the rhetorical appeal—meaning the use of language to plead and to please. The result is a practical and innovative guide to understanding how persuasion works that is suitable for graduate and undergraduate courses yet still addresses topics of current interest to specialists.
Supplementing the volume are practical and theoretical approaches to the construction and analysis of rhetorical messages and brief and readable examples from popular culture, academic discourse, politics, and the verbal arts. Killingsworth draws on close readings of primary texts in the field, referencing theorists to clarify concepts, while he decodes many of the basic theoretical constructs common to an understanding of identification. Beginning with examples of the model of appeals in social criticism, popular film, and advertising, he covers in subsequent chapters appeals to time, place, the body, gender, and race. Additional chapters cover the use of common tropes and rhetorical narrative, and each chapter begins with definitions of key concepts.
First published in 1986, this book offers the Latin text and English translation of a pivotal work by one of the most influential and controversial writers of early modern times. Pierre de la Ramée, better known as Peter Ramus, was a college instructor in Paris who published a number of books attacking and attempting to refute foundational texts in philosophy and rhetoric. He began in the early 1540s with books on Aristotle—which were later banned and burned—and Cicero, and later, in 1549, he published Rhetoricae Distinctiones in Quintilianum. The purpose of Ramus’s book is announced in the opening paragraph of its dedication to Charles of Lorraine: “I have a single argument, a single subject matter, that the arts of dialectic and rhetoric have been confused by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. I have previously argued against Aristotle and Cicero. What objection then is there against calling Quintilian to the same account?”
Carole Newlands’s excellent translation—the first in modern English—remains the standard English version. This volume also provides the original Latin text for comparative purposes. In addition, James J. Murphy’s insightful introduction places the text in historical perspective by discussing Ramus’s life and career, the development of his ideas, and the milieu in which his writings were produced. This edition includes an updated bibliography of works concerning Ramus, rhetoric, and related topics.
The written word has been a central bearer of culture since antiquity. But its position is now being challenged by the powerful media of electronic communication. In this penetrating and witty book James O'Donnell takes a reading on the promise and the threat of electronic technology for our literate future.In Avatars of the Word O'Donnell reinterprets today's communication revolution through a series of refracted comparisons with earlier revolutionary periods: the transition from oral to written culture, from the papyrus scroll to the codex, from copied manuscript to print. His engaging portrayals of these analogous epochal moments suggest that our steps into cyberspace are not as radical as we might think. Observing how technologies of the word have affected the shaping of culture in the past, and how technological transformation has been managed, we regain models that can help us navigate the electronic transformation now underway. Concluding with a focus on the need to rethink the modern university, O'Donnell specifically addresses learning and teaching in the humanities, proposing ways to seek the greatest benefit from electronic technologies while steering clear of their potential pitfalls.
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