Teresa Beth Henning

Ethics and the scope of rhetoric: Constructions of moral and rhetorical agency in selected cultural critical rhetorics

Teresa Beth Henning

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 1998; pp: 189
  • Advisor: Porter, James E.
  • Source: DAI-A 60/07, p. 2473, Jan 2000
  • Subjects: Language, Rhetoric and Composition (0681)
  • ProQuest Document Number:
  • ISBN: 0-599-40699-2
  • UMI Number: AAT 9939355

Abstract:

    • This dissertation examines the degree to which cultural critical writing pedagogies resist and accommodate an anti-rhetorical ethic—– an ethical and rhetorical position that does not account for the roles of language and rhetoric in the determination of ethical precepts and moral values and often leads to alienation, paralysis or violence. A theoretical assessment of these pedagogies is made by considering private, public and classroom cases of incommensurable moral debate. Through this assessment, questions are raised about rhetoric’s relationship with ethics and the ability of cultural critical rhetorics to adequately respond to such debates while allowing for some type of rhetorical agency for teachers, students, writers, and audiences. This study finds that cultural critical pedagogies can resist anti-rhetorical ethics if they are revised to account for communitarian, postmodern, and feminist theories of subjectivity and James Porter’s criteria for rhetoricizing the writer. Such revisions will help preserve the liberatory emphasis of cultural critical pedagogies while also allowing cultural critical pedagogies to theorize about rhetorical agency in such a way that difference is respected.