The Rhetoric Conspiracy: Why Rhetoric is Too Powerful and Had to Be Lobotomized (Part 1 of 3 in the Rhetoric Series)
David C. Logan
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business
CultureSync; University of Colorado
July 6, 2006
Barbados Group Working Paper No. 06-05
Historically, rhetoric as an art has been considered both nefarious and weak. The authors, in a three part series on rhetoric, describe the "lobotomization" of rhetoric, its true power, and its applications with individuals and organizations. This first working paper describes the historical context of the lobotomization - the separation of "Invention" from the other four canons of rhetoric, leaving rhetoric the basis of Freshman Composition and Public Speaking. It then discusses the power of rhetoric, beginning with the human capacity to name objects and people, resulting in leverage over the action of others. Finally, the article suggests a new definition for rhetoric: "The means through which one creates and populates worlds of meaning (language-based realities)."
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: Rhetoric, Corporate Culture, Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Change
JEL Classification: D23, M14
Date posted: July 10, 2006 ; Last revised: January 2, 2008
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