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By Barbara A. Biesecker

Addressing Postmodernity examines the connection among rhetoric and social swap and the methods humans remodel social family members throughout the practical use of symbols. via an in depth examining of Kenneth Burke's significant works, A Grammar of reasons, A Rhetoric of reasons, and The Rhetoric of faith: stories in Logology, Barbara Biesecker addresses the severe subject of the fragmentation of the modern lifeworld. In revealing the total diversity of Burke's contribution to the potential of social switch, Biesecker offers an unique interpretation of Burke's most vital rules. Addressing Postmodernity may have an important impression on Burkeian scholarship and at the rhetorical critique of social family in general.

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Extra resources for Addressing Postmodernity: Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change (Studies in Rhetoric and Communication)

Example text

Again, motive proper is for Burke a principle of structuration rather than a positive presence; an irreconcilable relation between the passive and the active in the human being that is the condition of possibility for being human. 9 I belabor this point because its importance cannot be overemphasized: if we thinl< upon the fact that for Burke motive is the name for the structural differential out of which the human being produces itself, then it becomes possible for us to discern the importance of Burke's use of the term "homo dialecticus" (235) as a primary descriptor of the human being.

For permission to reuse this work, contact the University of Alabama Press. that matter or insist upon the necessity of a counterfactual realm of self-transparency and idealized discourse. Inscribed within Burke's "principle of the negative," I will argue, are the resources for a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency that, to modify Stuart Hall's phrase ever so slightly, allows us to discern the ways in which we may transform ourselves in the mirror of politics and, thus, become its new subjects.

In vibrant contrast to the philosophical tone of the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, the scientistic tone of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, and the analytical tone of Capital I, II and III, the tone of The Communist Manifesto is highly dramatic. It is written in a lyrical prose and, indeed, has often been described as a great revolutionary hymn. I am not suggesting that Burke was at all unaware of the rhetorical weight of this document; in fact, if the protocols of his own text did not prohibit it, we might be tempted to interpret the very selection of the text as a rhetorical move on Burke's part, the intended effect of which would be something like the positioning of an ultimate context of justification for his method.

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