Ethan Sproat

Inexorable burden: Rhetoric and togetherness

Ethan Sproat

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2013 pp: 251
  • Advisor: Rickert, Thomas
  • Source: DAI-A 75/06(E)
  • Subjects: Language, literature and linguistics; Philosophy, religion and theology; Aristotle; Deliberation; Democracy; Kenneth burke; Technical communication; Telos; Ethics; Philosophy; Rhetoric;
  • ProQuest Document Number: 1512238107
  • ISBN: 9781303762888
  • UMI Number: AAT 3613426

Abstract:

This dissertation employs philology and cultural analysis to reassess longstanding notions in rhetorical theory and moral philosophy (via classical rhetoric and technical communication). In particular, I use diachronic analyses of the terms telos, symbouleutikon, and sympheron (from Aristotle to present) as a theoretical springboard to reassess more contemporary issues in rhetoric and technical communication. The technical communication topics this dissertation covers include criticisms of expediency as a motive in technical communication; the changing landscape of instruction manual composition; the role of purpose-completion and stakeholder awareness in visual rhetoric; and the futility of advancing ideology-free technical writing pedagogies. More theoretical topics this dissertation covers include Kenneth Burke’s notions of rhetorical “war” and entelechy; the pluralistic underpinnings of Kantian moral philosophy; and the rhetorical utility of democratic inefficiency.