StarteKapitelWho’s to Judge What’s Good Rhetoric?

Who’s to Judge What’s Good Rhetoric?

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(eKapitel) To those who merely consider rhetoric as persuasion by any means the ­answer is plain: The audience is to judge! From a normative rhetorical per­spective, this article disputes such a view as one-sided. It is argued that the rhetorical critic’s

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Charlotte Jørgensen, Copenhagen University

Courts of Appeal for Evaluating Rhetorical Discourse. To those who merely consider rhetoric as persuasion by any means the ­answer is plain: The audience is to judge! From a normative rhetorical per­spective, this article disputes such a view as one-sided. It is argued that the rhetorical critic’s evaluation must transcend the level of the addressee and include other criteria than the actual persuasive effect on the audience. To this end, reflections on the role of the audience in contextual evaluation are followed by a discussion of Booth’s implied audience, Black’s second persona and Perelman’s universal audience.

Charlotte Jørgensen (2011) remarks

The selected article for the present context appeared in Rhetorica Scandinavica 15, 2000. In retrospect, it advances views and discusses issues that have been, and still are, important to me, both for research and teaching pur­poses in my position as associate professor at the Rhetoric Section, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen. The translation reproduces the Danish original as closely as possible; only a few notes and later references are added. Especially Perelman’s theory of audience has occupied my interests in the later years. As a follow up to this section of the translated article, I refer to Jørgensen (2009), in which I compare and ­dis­cuss James Crosswhite’s and Alan Gross’ rather different interpretations of Perelman’s universal audience. In Jørgensen (2003), I apply the theory to Thucydides’ account of the Mytilene Debate. For readers who are interested in analyses that apply the universal audience in an approach similar to Crosswhite’s and mine, I recommend the case studies in Tindale (1999).

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About Charlotte Jørgensen

con infoCharlotte Jørgensen is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Copenhagen at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Rhetoric Section.

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