Lacan in Public argues that Lacan’s contributions to the theory of rhetoric are substantial and revolutionary and that rhetoric is, in fact, the central concern of Lacan’s entire body of work.
Scholars typically cite Jacques Lacan as a thinker primarily concerned with issues of desire, affect, politics, and pleasure. And though Lacan explicitly contends with some of the pivotal thinkers in the field of rhetoric, rhetoricians have been hesitant to embrace the French thinker both because his writing is difficult and because Lacan’s conception of rhetoric runs counter to the American traditions of rhetoric in composition and communication studies.
Lacan’s conception of rhetoric, Christian Lundberg argues in Lacan in Public, upsets and extends the received wisdom of American rhetorical studies—that rhetoric is a science, rather than an art; that rhetoric is predicated not on the reciprocal exchange of meanings, but rather on the impossibility of such an exchange; and that rhetoric never achieves a correspondence with the real-world circumstances it attempts to describe.
As Lundberg shows, Lacan’s work speaks directly to conversations at the center of current rhetorical scholarship, including debates regarding the nature of the public and public discourses, the materiality of rhetoric and agency, and the contours of a theory of persuasion.
It’s no secret that, in most American classrooms, students are expected to master standardized American English and the conventions of Edited American English if they wish to succeed. Language Diversity in the Classroom: From Intention to Practice works to realign these conceptions through a series of provocative yet evenhanded essays that explore the ways we have enacted and continue to enact our beliefs in the integrity of the many languages and Englishes that arise both in the classroom and in professional communities.
Edited by Geneva Smitherman and Victor Villanueva, the collection was motivated by a survey project on language awareness commissioned by the National Council of Teachers of English and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.
All actively involved in supporting diversity in education, the contributors address the major issues inherent in linguistically diverse classrooms: language and racism, language and nationalism, and the challenges in teaching writing while respecting and celebrating students’ own languages. Offering historical and pedagogical perspectives on language awareness and language diversity, the essays reveal the nationalism implicit in the concept of a “standard English,” advocate alternative training and teaching practices for instructors at all levels, and promote the respect and importance of the country’s diverse dialects, languages, and literatures.
Contributors include Geneva Smitherman, Victor Villanueva, Elaine Richardson, Victoria Cliett, Arnetha F. Ball, Rashidah Jammi` Muhammad, Kim Brian Lovejoy, Gail Y. Okawa, Jan Swearingen, and Dave Pruett.
The volume also includes a foreword by Suresh Canagarajah and a substantial bibliography of resources about bilingualism and language diversity.
The Language of Judges
Lawrence M. Solan University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress KF8775.S65 1993 | Dewey Decimal 349.73014
Since many legal disputes are battles over the meaning of a statute, contract, testimony, or the Constitution, judges must interpret language in order to decide why one proposed meaning overrides another. And in making their decisions about meaning appear authoritative and fair, judges often write about the nature of linguistic interpretation. In the first book to examine the linguistic analysis of law, Lawrence M. Solan shows that judges sometimes inaccurately portray the way we use language, creating inconsistencies in their decisions and threatening the fairness of the judicial system.
Solan uses a wealth of examples to illustrate the way linguistics enters the process of judicial decision making: a death penalty case that the Supreme Court decided by analyzing the use of adjectives in a jury instruction; criminal cases whose outcomes depend on the Supreme Court's analysis of the relationship between adverbs and prepositional phrases; and cases focused on the meaning of certain words in the Constitution. Solan finds that judges often describe our use of language poorly because there is no clear relationship between the principles of linguistics and the jurisprudential goals that the judge wishes to promote.
A major contribution to the growing interdisciplinary scholarship on law and its social and cultural context, Solan's lucid, engaging book is equally accessible to linguists, lawyers, philosophers, anthropologists, literary theorists, and political scientists.
In Laying Claim: African American Cultural Memory and Southern Identity, Patricia Davis identifies the Civil War as the central narrative around which official depictions of southern culture have been defined. Because that narrative largely excluded African American points of view, the resulting southern identity was monolithically white. Davis traces how the increasing participation of black public voices in the realms of Civil War memory—battlefields, museums, online communities—has dispelled the mirage of “southernness” as a stolid cairn of white culture and has begun to create a more fluid sense of southernness that welcomes contributions by all of the region’s peoples.
Laying Claim offers insightful and penetrating examinations of African American participation in Civil War reenactments; the role of black history museums in enriching representations of the Civil War era with more varied interpretations; and the internet as a forum within which participants exchange and create historical narratives that offer alternatives to unquestioned and dominant public memories. From this evolving cultural landscape, Davis demonstrates how simplistic caricatures of African American experiences are giving way to more authentic, expansive, and inclusive interpretations of southernness.
As a case-study and example of change, Davis cites the evolution of depictions of life at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Where visitors to the site once encountered narratives that repeated the stylized myth of Monticello as a genteel idyll, modern accounts of Jefferson’s day offer a holistic, inclusive, and increasingly honest view of Monticello as the residents on every rung of the social ladder experienced it.
Contemporary violence and attacks about or inspired by the causes, outcomes, and symbols of the Civil War, even one hundred and fifty years after its end, add urgency to Davis’s argument that the control and creation of public memories of that war is an issue of concern not only to scholars but all Americans. Her hopeful examination of African American participation in public memory illuminates paths by which this enduring ideological impasse may find resolutions.
Learning from Language
Walter H. Beale University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009 Library of Congress PE1403.B43 2009 | Dewey Decimal 808.042
In Learning from Language, Walter H. Beale seeks to bring together the disciplines of linguistics, rhetoric, and literary studies through the concept of symmetry (how words mirror thought, society, and our vision of the world).
Citing thinkers from antiquity to the present, Beale provides an in-depth study of linguistic theory, development, and practice. He views the historic division between the schools of symmetry and asymmetry (a belief that language developed as a structure independent of human experience), as built into the character of language itself, and as an impediment to literary humanism (the combined study of language, rhetoric, and literature to improve the competence and character of the individual).
In his analysis, Beale outlines and critiques traditional claims of symmetry, then offers new avenues of approach to the subject. In doing so, he examines how important issues of human culture and consciousness have parallels in processes of language; how linguistic patterns relate to pervasive human problems; how language is an active participant in the expression, performance, and construction of reality; the concepts of designating versus naming; figurative language as a process of reenvisioning reality; and the linking of style to virtue by the ancients.
Beale concludes that both asymmetrical and symmetrical elements exist in language, each with their own relevance, and that they are complementary, rather than opposing philosophies. The basic intuitions of symmetry that relate language to life are powerful and important to all of English studies. Combined with a love for the workings, sounds, and structures of language, Beale says, an understanding of symmetry can help guide the pursuit of literary humanism.
Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres
Hugh Blair. Edited by Linda Ferreira-Buckley and S. Michael Halloran Southern Illinois University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PE1402.B6 2005 | Dewey Decimal 808.04209033
This new edition of Hugh Blair’ s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, edited by Linda Ferreira-Buckley and S. Michael Halloran, answers the need for a complete, reliable text. The book seeks to generate a renewed interest in Blair by provoking new inquiries into the tradition of belletristic rhetoric and by serving as both aid and incentive to others who may join in the project of improving understanding of this landmark rhetorical scholarship.
This edition contains forty-seven lectures and remains faithful to the text of the 1785 London edition. The editors contextualize Hugh Blair’ s motivations and thinking by providing in their introduction an extended account of Blair’ s life and era. The bibliography of works by and about Blair is an invaluable aid, surpassing previous research on Blair.
Although the extent of its influence cannot be measured fully, Blair’ s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres was undoubtedly a primary vehicle for introducing many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholars to classical rhetoric and French belletristic rhetoric— its success due in part to the ease with which the lectures combine neoclassical and Enlightenment thought, accommodating emerging social concerns. Ferreira-Buckley and Halloran’ s extensive treatment revives the tradition of belletristic rhetoric, improving the understanding of Blair’ s place in the study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century discourse, while finding him relevant in the twenty-first century.
An interdisciplinary work that draws on the fields of rhetorical studies, Native American and Indigenous studies, and museum studies, Legible Sovereignties considers the creation, critical reception, and adaptation of Indigenous self-representation in three diverse Indigenously oriented or owned institutions.
King tracks the exhibit spaces at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s Ziibiwing Center, Haskell Indian Nation University’s Cultural Center and Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Washington, DC branch of the National Museum of the American Indian over their first ten years, from their opening until the summer of 2014. Far from formulaic, each site has developed its own rhetorical approaches to reaching its public, revealing multiple challenges and successes in making Native self-representation legible and accessible.
Through documentation and analysis of the inaugural exhibits and recent installations, interviews with curators and staff, and investigation into audience reception of these spaces, Legible Sovereignties argues that there can be no single blanket solution for effective Indigenous self-representation. Instead, Legible Sovereignties demonstrates the nuanced ways in which each site must balance its rhetorical goals and its audience's needs, as well as its material constraints and opportunities, in order to reach its visitors and have Indigenous voices heard.
Lend Me Your Ear
Brenda Jo Brueggemann Gallaudet University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HV2380.B69 1999 | Dewey Decimal 362.42
The tradition of rhetoric established 2,500 years ago emphasizes the imperative of speech as a defining characteristic of reason. But in her new book Lend Me Your Ear, Brenda Jo Brueggemann exposes this tradition’s effect of disallowing deaf people human identity because of their natural silence.
Brueggemann’s assault upon this long-standing rhetorical conceit is both erudite and personal; she writes both as a scholar and as a hard-of-hearing woman. In this broadly based study, she presents a profound analysis and understanding of this rhetorical tradition’s descendent disciplines (e.g., audiology, speech/language pathology) that continue to limit deaf people. Next to this even-handed scholarship, she juxtaposes a volatile emotional counterpoint achieved through interviews with Deaf individuals who have faced rhetorically constructed restrictions, and interludes of her own poetry and memoirs.
The energized structure of Lend Me Your Ear galvanizes new thought on the rhetoric surrounding Deaf people by posing basic questions from a rhetorical context: How is deafness constructed as a disability, pathology, or culture through the institutions of literacy education and science/technology, and how do these constructions fit with those of deaf people themselves? The rhetoric of deafness as pathology is associated with the conventional medical and scientific establishments, and literacy education fosters deafness as disability, both dependent upon the premise that speech drives communication. This kinetic study demands consideration of deafness in terms of the rhetoric of Deaf culture, American Sign Language (ASL), and the political activism of Deaf people. Brueggemann argues strenuously and successfully for a reevaluation of the speech model of rhetoric in light of the singular qualities of ASL poetry, a genre that adds the dimension of space and is not disembodied. Ironically, without a word being spoken or printed, ASL poetry returns to the fading, prized oral tradition of poets such as Homer. The speech imperative in traditional rhetoric also fails to present rhetorical forms for listening, or a rhetoric of silence. These and other break-out concepts introduced in Lend Me Your Ear that will stimulate scholars and students of rhetoric, language, and Deaf studies to return to this intriguing work again and again.
Distinguished Book Award, Philosophy of Communication Division, National Communication Association, 2017
Top Book Award, Communication Ethics Division, National Communication Association, 2017
Philosopher Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics as first philosophy explicates a human obligation and responsibility to and for the Other that is an unending and imperfect commitment. In Levinas’s Rhetorical Demand: The Unending Obligation of Communication Ethics, Ronald C. Arnett underscores the profundity of Levinas’s insights for communication ethics.
Arnett outlines communication ethics as a primordial call of responsibility central to Levinas’s writing and mission, analyzing it through a Levinasian lens with examination of social artifacts ranging from the Heidegger-Cassirer debate to Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World story concerning illicit possession of information.
Levinas’s Rhetorical Demand offers an account of Levinas’s project and the pragmatic implications of attending to a call of responsibility to and for the Other. This book yields a rich and nuanced understanding of Levinas’s work, revealing the practical importance of his insights, and including a discussion of related theorists and thinkers.
Figures of protection and security are everywhere in American public discourse, from the protection of privacy or civil liberties to the protection of marriage or the unborn, and from social security to homeland security. Liberalism and the Culture of Security traces a crucial paradox in historical and contemporary notions of citizenship: in a liberal democratic culture that imagines its citizens as self-reliant, autonomous, and inviolable, the truth is that claims for citizenship—particularly for marginalized groups such as women and slaves—have just as often been made in the name of vulnerability and helplessness.
Katherine Henry traces this turn back to the eighteenth-century opposition of liberty and tyranny, which imagined our liberties as being in danger of violation by the forces of tyranny and thus in need of protection. She examines four particular instances of this rhetorical pattern. The first chapters show how women’s rights and antislavery activists in the antebellum era exploited the contradictions that arose from the liberal promise of a protected citizenry: first by focusing primarily on arguments over slavery in the 1850s that invoke the Declaration of Independence, including Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fiction and Frederick Douglass’s “Fourth of July” speech; and next by examining Angelina Grimké’s brief but intense antislavery speaking career in the 1830s.
New conditions after the Civil War and Emancipation changed the way arguments about civic inclusion and exclusion could be advanced. Henry considers the issue of African American citizenship in the 1880s and 1890s, focusing on the mainstream white Southern debate over segregation and the specter of a tyrannical federal government, and then turning to Frances E. W. Harper’s fictional account of African American citizenship in Iola Leroy. Finally, Henry examines Henry James’s 1886 novel The Bostonians, in which arguments over the appropriate role of women and the proper place of the South in post–Civil War America are played out as a contest between Olive Chancellor and Basil ransom for control over the voice of the eloquent girl Verena Tarrant.
Liberating Language identifies experiences of nineteenth-century African Americans—categorized as sites of rhetorical education—that provided opportunities to develop effective communication and critical text-interpretation skills. Author Shirley Wilson Logan considers how nontraditional sites, which seldom involved formal training in rhetorical instruction, proved to be effective resources for African American advancement.
Logan traces the ways that African Americans learned lessons in rhetoric through language-based activities associated with black survival in nineteenth-century America, such as working in political organizations, reading and publishing newspapers, maintaining diaries, and participating in literary societies. According to Logan, rhetorical training was manifested through places of worship and military camps, self-education in oratory and elocution, literary societies, and the black press. She draws on the experiences of various black rhetors of the era, such as
Frederick Douglass, Frances Harper, Fanny Coppin, Charles Chesnutt, Ida B. Wells, and the lesser-known Oberlin-educated Mary Virginia Montgomery, Virginia slave preacher "Uncle Jack," and former slave "Mrs. Lee."
Liberating Language addresses free-floating literacy, a term coined by scholar and writer Ralph Ellison, which captures the many settings where literacy and rhetorical skills were acquired and developed, including slave missions, religious gatherings, war camps, and even cigar factories. In Civil War camp- sites, for instance, black soldiers learned to read and write, corresponded with the editors of black newspapers, edited their own camp-based papers, and formed literary associations.
Liberating Language outlines nontraditional means of acquiring rhetorical skills and demonstrates how African Americans, faced with the lingering consequences of enslavement and continuing oppression, acquired rhetorical competence during the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century.
During the 1920s and 1930s at the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, working-class women were educated in the liberal arts and instructed in writing to assume more powerful roles in the industrial workplace. In Liberating Voices: Writing at the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, Karyn L. Hollis tells the remarkable story of how this multiclass, multiethnic American institution rooted in composition pedagogy, literary history, and leftist thought emerged from the broad social, economic, and ideological trends of the era. The summer school curriculum, Hollis shows, enhanced the individual and collective self-confidence of the 1,800 women who studied there between 1921 and 1938.
Drawing heavily on the women’s writings—including autobiography, poetry, labor drama, humor, and economic reporting—Liberating Voices adds significantly to the small oeuvre of published writing by working-class women, who were, in this case, mostly nontraditional students, immigrants, and minorities. Outlining a materialist pedagogy that centers on the women’s daily economic struggles as well as their family and community experiences, Hollis reveals the tensions that stemmed from differences in race, ethnicity, class, and religion. She also shows how the students exploited cultural scripts and drew strength from their diversity, eventually insisting on a democratic sharing of power with faculty and administrators at the Summer School.
Hollis provides a thorough ethnography of the Summer School with respect to its place in the social and political history of the 1920s and 1930s, and then situates the school’s pedagogy within the history of American education and composition instruction. Concepts from literary criticism and composition theory provide the framework for an analysis of the working women’s autobiographical writing, revealing how the narrative voice of their prose grew from weak and individualized to empowered and collective as the women described their families, childhood, work, unions, and education over time. The volume is complemented by sixteen illustrations.
Additional analysis of the women’s poetry points to their skill as both producers and consumers of literature. The common theme of body versus a powerful machine in the workplace bears witness to the industrial exploitation the women endured. Taking up postmodern questions of agency and voice, Hollis argues that the women used a variety of cultural texts to construct discourses that reflected their needs and desires. Liberating Voices not only provides a previously untold chapter in the history of American worker education, it also showcases a liberating pedagogy that has salient implications for contemporary classrooms.
By the end of the nineteenth century, rhetoric had not yet been established as a legitimate discipline. Fred Newton Scott (1860-1931) spent his life broadening the scope of rhetoric studies through his imaginative, interdisciplinary research. Scott was both a pragmatic reformer and a visionary scholar who used empirical methods and cognitive psychology to expand this field. In this study, Donald Stewart and his wife Patricia examine Scott's essays, speeches, and books to write the first comprehensive biography of the man who became one of the most influential figures in language studies during the early twentieth century.
Winner of the Speech Communication's Winans-Wichelns Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address.
Zarefsky examines the dynamics of the seven 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, placing them in historical context and explaining the complicated issue of slavery in the territories, their focal point. He elucidates the candidates' arguments, analyzes their rhetorical strategies, and shows how public sentiment is transformed.
Despite its centrality to much of contemporary personal and public discourse, sexuality remains infrequently discussed in most composition courses, and in our discipline at large. Moreover, its complicated relationship to discourse, to the very languages we use to describe and define our worlds, is woefully understudied in our discipline. Discourse about sexuality, and the discourse of sexuality, surround us—circulating in the news media, on the Web, in conversations, and in the very languages we use to articulate our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It forms a core set of complex discourses through which we approach, make sense of, and construct a variety of meanings, politics, and identities.
In Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy, Jonathan Alexander argues for the development of students' "sexual literacy." Such a literacy is not just concerned with developing fluency with sexuality as a "hot" topic, but with understanding the intimate interconnectedness of sexuality and literacy in Western culture. Using the work of scholars in queer theory, sexuality studies, and the New Literacy Studies, Alexander unpacks what he sees as a crucial--if often overlooked--dimension of literacy: the fundamental ways in which sexuality has become a key component of contemporary literate practice, of the stories we tell about ourselves, our communities, and our political investments.
Alexander then demonstrates through a series of composition exercises and writing assignments how we might develop students' understanding of sexual literacy. Examining discourses of gender, heterosexuality, and marriage allows students (and instructors) a critical opportunity to see how the languages we use to describe ourselves and our communities are saturated with ideologies of sexuality. Understanding how sexuality is constructed and deployed as a way to "make meaning" in our culture gives us a critical tool both to understand some of the fundamental ways in which we know ourselves and to challenge some of the norms that govern our lives. In the process, we become more fluent with the stories that we tell about ourselves and discover how normative notions of sexuality enable (and constrain) narrations of identity, culture, and politics. Such develops not only our understanding of sexuality, but of literacy, as we explore how sexuality is a vital, if vexing, part of the story of who we are.
The era of national liberation and decolonization may have come and gone, but postcolonialism remains a largely elusive ideal in the early twenty-first century. In Literature, Law, and Rhetorical Performance in the Anticolonial Atlantic, Anne W. Gulick uncovers a dynamic literary history of African and Caribbean critical engagements with First World law. This transatlantic archive attests to the continuing vitality of anticolonialism as a model for intellectual inquiry and political performance. Gulick argues that experimentation with declarative forms is a vital rhetorical strategy in the anticolonial Atlantic—one through which writers have asked: Who gets to “write” the law, and under what circumstances?
Responses to this question take shape across the black Atlantic from Haiti to South Africa, in texts ranging from Haiti’s Declaration of Independence and work by C. L. R. James to South Africa’s Freedom Charter, Aimé Césaire’s poem Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat. These texts constitute a robust transatlantic tradition of challenging colonial and imperial authority through rhetorical performance. Drawing on the cosmopolitan aspirations and emancipatory energies of the political declaration, this tradition aims to radically reinvent the possibilities for law and political belonging in the postcolonial future.
How writers, activists, and artists without power resist dominant social, cultural, and political structures through the deployment of unconventional means and materials
In Lives, Letters, and Quilts: Women and Everyday Rhetorics of Resistance, Vanessa Kraemer Sohan applies a translingual and transmodal framework informed by feminist rhetorical practice to three distinct case studies that demonstrate women using unique and effective rhetorical strategies in political, religious, and artistic contexts. These case studies highlight a diverse set of actors uniquely situated by their race, gender, class, or religion, but who are nevertheless connected by their capacity to envision and recontextualize the seemingly ordinary means and materials available to them in order to effectively persuade others.
The Great Depression provides the backdrop for the first case study, a movement whereby thousands of elderly citizens proselytized and fundraised for a monthly pension plan dreamt up by a California doctor in the hopes of lifting themselves out of poverty. Sohan investigates how the Townsend Plan’s elderly supporters—the Townsendites—worked within and across language, genre, mode, and media to enable them for the first time to be recognized by others, and themselves, as a viable political constituency.
Next, Sohan recounts the story of Quaker minister Eliza P. Kirkbride Gurney who met President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Their subsequent epistolary exchanges concerning conscientious objectors made such an impression on him that one of her letters was rumored to be in his pocket the night of his assassination. Their exchanges and Gurney’s own accounts of her transnational ministry in her memoir provide useful examples of how, throughout history, women rhetors have adopted and transformed typically underappreciated forms of rhetoric—such as the epideictic—for their particular purposes.
The final example focuses on the Gee’s Bend quiltmakers—a group of African American women living in rural Alabama who repurpose discarded work clothes and other cast-off fabrics into the extraordinary quilts for which they are known. By drawing on the means and materials at hand to create celebrated works of art in conditions of extreme poverty, these women show how marginalized artisans can operate both within and outside the bounds of established aesthetic traditions and communicate the particulars of their experience across cultural and economic divides.
Diabetes, referred to as an epidemic for more than a decade, remains one of our most significant health issues in the twenty-first century. Because self-management is an important component of living with the disease, the biomedical concept of patient agency has long stressed notions of individual responsibility and autonomy. However, dramatic shifts in both health care and cultural practices call for a reassessment of traditional definitions of patient agency.
Lora Arduser’s Living Chronic: Agency and Expertise in the Rhetoric of Diabetes answers this call with a unique rhetorical examination of one of the most critical issues in contemporary health: how we live and work with being chronic. Through her perceptive analysis of the discourse of both people with diabetes and health care providers, Arduser presents a new model for patient agency—one that advocates for a relational, fluid concept of agency that blurs the boundaries between medical experts and patients. Her thought-provoking use of bodily and rhetorical plasticity crafts a multidimensional picture of patient agency that profoundly affects how rhetorical scholars, people living with chronic illness, and health care providers can forge patient-centered discourse and practices.
In Local Histories, the contributors seek to challenge the widely held belief that the origin of American composition as a distinguishable discipline can be traced to a small number of elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale, and Michigan in the mid- to late nineteenth century. Through extensive archival research at liberal arts colleges, normal schools, historically black colleges, and junior colleges, the contributors ascertain that many of these practices were actually in use prior to this time and were not the sole province of elite universities. Though not discounting the elites' influence, the findings conclude that composition developed in many locales concurrently.
Individual chapters reflect on student responses to curricula, the influence of particular instructors or pedagogies in the context of compositional history, and the difficulties inherent in archival research. What emerges is an original and significant study of the developmental diversity within the discipline of composition that opens the door to further examination of local histories as guideposts to the origins of composition studies.
In the twenty-first century there are two ways to study logic. The more recent approach is symbolic logic. The history of teaching logic since World War II, however, casts doubt on the idea that symbolic logic is best for a first logic course. Logic as a Liberal Art is designed as part of a minority approach, teaching logic in the "verbal" way, in the student's "natural" language, the approach invented by Aristotle. On utilitarian grounds alone, this "verbal" approach is superior for a first course in logic, for the whole range of students.
For millennia, this "verbal" approach to logic was taught in conjunction with grammar and rhetoric, christened the trivium. The decline in teaching grammar and rhetoric in American secondary schools has led Dr. Rollen Edward Houser to develop this book. The first part treats grammar, rhetoric, and the essential nature of logic. Those teachers who look down upon rhetoric are free, of course, to skip those lessons. The treatment of logic itself follows Aristotle's division of the three acts of the mind (Prior Analytics 1.1). Formal logic is then taken up in Aristotle's order, with Parts on the logic of Terms, Propositions, and Arguments.
The emphasis in Logic as a Liberal Art is on learning logic through doing problems. Consequently, there are more problems in each lesson than would be found, for example, in many textbooks. In addition, a special effort has been made to have easy, medium, and difficult problems in each Problem Set. In this way the problem sets are designed to offer a challenge to all students, from those most in need of a logic course to the very best students.