“a Plain Public Road”: Evaluating Arguments for Democracy in a Post-Metaphysical World

Stephen Hartnett, Ramsey Eric Ramsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Section One of this essay addresses Patrick Buchanan's political discourse by interweaving traditional rhetorical terms (catachresis, cataplexis, and categorical propositions) with more politically charged terms (specious nomenclature, escalation, and maximalism), hence enabling us to analyze the dialectical relationships among rhetorical tropes, the structures of arguments, and political ideologies. As historical grounding for our argument evaluation of Buchanan, Section Two then addresses the role of rhetoric in arguments for American democracy during the colonial, revolutionary, and federal periods. We close the essay by posing a series of questions addressing some of the paradoxical possibilities of illusion and imagination within arguments concerning American democracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-114
Number of pages20
JournalArgumentation and Advocacy
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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