Sean M. Conrey

Coming to terms with place: Toward a phenomenological technique of rhetorical placemaking

Sean M. Conrey

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2006; pp: 255
  • Advisor: Sullivan, Patricia
  • Source: DAI-A 67/10, April 2007
  • Subjects: Rhetoric, Composition, Philosophy
  • ProQuest Document Number: 1216751541
  • ISBN: 9780542945458
  • UMI Number: AAT 3239751

Abstract:

    • Building on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Edward S. Casey, a phenomenological approach to rhetorical topics, as “places in language,” is developed as a means to artfully contend with the creation of a sustainable language environment. By reading Aristotle’s rhetoric across a variety of phenomenalogical models, it is proposed that we live within a topical environment that must be “come to terms with” if we are to adequately find a place for ourselves and others in the world. To ground the model in both radically empirical experience and positive empirical data, the work of cognitive scientist Andy Clark is drawn on to reconcile the phenomenalogical with current cognitive science models. Once reconciled, the phenomenological concepts of lifeworld and intentionality are examined as they relate to rhetorical place and placement. These concepts provide grounds to critique the works of Jurgen Habermas and Daniel Dennett, who do not adequately account for rhetoric in their respective theories and whose theories subsequently suffer for not doing so. Proposing a definition of rhetoric that involves our lived experience with language, this project offers an ethical ground for a technique that allows us to come to terms with the places and topics with which we live. It also posits some explicit directions that such a technique could take in the future, given the ethical position derived.