José Luis Ramírez, Södertörn University
Speaking and saying is not the same thing. However, they are dependent on each other. Speaking is action, saying is doing. From that, two complementary views of rhetoric arise. José Luis Ramírez believes that ”the art of speaking” requires a fundamentally anthropological perspective. Then rhetoric, in competition with philosophy, becomes a basic science affecting all human knowledge, particularly practical knowledge consisting in preparation for action and problem solving.
José Luis Ramírez (2011) remarks
“The art of speaking – the art of saying” is a reminder of the origins of rhetoric in a society where all communication and all knowledge was built on the spoken word. With the arrival of writing, rhetoric was made self-conscious. The practical use of language became objectifying theory: an accumulated knowledge about language. Writing created the dichotomy Theory and Practice, which is built on a misleading metonymy and hides the true dichotomy: Praxis and Poiesis. In an oral culture, language is intersubjective and personal, not objectifying and impersonal. It builds on a praxis of thought, a theorizing activity which creates concrete expressions (poiesis) that are constantly changing. The technologization of the word and the transformation of art into technique creates the basis of the dismissive misconception of rhetoric to which we are still subjected.
About this article
- Part of: Scandinavian Studies in Rhetoric. Rhetorica Scandinavica 1997-2010, Kjeldsen & Grue (eds.), Retorikförlaget Publishers 2011.
- Article pp 76–87
- Original Swedish: “Konsten att tala – konsten att säga“, Rhetorica Scandinavica 3 (1997).
About José Luis Ramírez
José Luis Ramírez, currently retired, holds a doctorate in social planning, and has developed a human-scientific theory of action based on Aristotelian rhetoric and ethics. He was a professor of this subject at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and contributed to the development of rhetorical studies at Södertörn University College between 1997 and 2004. He maintains an interest in rhetorical studies in Spain.