By Stephen J McKenna
The 1st book-length therapy of Adam Smith’s rhetorical idea.
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Additional info for Adam Smith: The Rhetoric of Propriety
Furthermore, as outsiders to Athenian culture, the sophists bear some resemblance to the position of the Scots, who would similarly craft a rhetorical propriety apposite to their own alien status with respect to English culture. Less known than Protagoras’s view that “man is the measure of all things” is his doctrine of orthos logos—literally “straight,” “true,” or “correct” discourse. 4 It is worth noting, however, that taken together, the four possibilities suggested here—grammatical correctness, stylistic appropriateness, speaker character, and regard for audience—anticipate the later development of to prepon in Aristotle as a concept denoting a harmonic response to all the exigencies of the rhetorical situation.
Gorgias implies that the success—and truth—of one’s remarks is determined neither by the essential nature of a putative “reality” lying beyond every discourse, nor in an individual speaker’s arbitrary inspiration or whim, but rather through the recognized protocols and criterion of the specific discourse being spoken. ” The sensationalist-emotivist ethics entailed by Hume’s philosophy of human nature would in turn make rhetoric purely a matter of emotional appeal (as it largely was for Gorgias).
221). , 251). For one who viewed himself as such a severe antagonist to the British mercantile system, it is perhaps rather curious that Smith’s next major move in life would be to secure a rather important post as an official of that system. , 248). Smith was returning, in other words, to the material of his early days as lecturer at Edinburgh and professor at Glasgow, and evidently he had made significant progress in developing and synthesizing it Smith and the Problem of Propriety 23 into these major works.
Adam Smith: The Rhetoric of Propriety by Stephen J McKenna