Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Christopher Tindale

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics, Philosophy, religion and theology, Cognitive science of argumentation, Cognitive science of rhetoric

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This thesis explores the issue of whether Aristotle's Rhetoric is consistent with the principles and tools of contemporary science. The approach is to review Aristotle's Rhetoric (along with several modernizing ideas) in light of explanatory mechanisms from psychology, biology, cognitive science and neuroscience. The thesis begins by reviewing Aristotle's Rhetoric and modern rhetorical contributions from Chaim Perelman and Christopher Tindale. A discussion of several psychological principles of reasoning and their relevance to philosophical rhetoric follows. Next, a computational cognitive science framework on emotions and cognition and its applicability to rhetoric is provided, followed by a discussion from principles of evolutionary biology on language evolution and morality and their relevance to rhetoric. The thesis concludes with a brief discussion of rhetorical ideas relative to the neuroanatomy of deductive and inductive reasoning and relative to a view of morality founded on brain neurochemistry.

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