Rhetoric, Common Sense and the American Revolution

James Cianciola
7 p.m.
Feb. 10
Baldwin Hall 176 (Little Theatre)
Presented by the Truman Faculty Forum

Presentation abstract:
The concept of common sense, which emerges from the rhetorical and philosophical theories of Aristotle, Cicero, Giambattista Vico and the Scottish School of Common Sense, contains specific coordinates that American colonists adapted to the cause of independence in the American Revolution. This lecture argues that the architects of American Revolutionary rhetoric appropriated and applied principles of common sense philosophy to the invention of their discourses. A rhetorical analysis of their efforts is a means of exploring some ways in which rhetoric is essential to democracy.

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