Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent

Overview


When should I change my mind? What can I believe and what must I doubt? In this new "philosophy of good reasons" Wayne C. Booth exposes five dogmas of modernism that have too often inhibited efforts to answer these questions. Modern dogmas teach that "you cannot reason about values" and that "the job of thought is to doubt whatever can be doubted," and they leave those who accept them crippled in their efforts to think and talk together about whatever concerns them most. They have willed upon us a "befouled ...
See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$30.00
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $3.40   
  • New (7) from $28.59   
  • Used (13) from $3.40   
Sending request ...

Overview


When should I change my mind? What can I believe and what must I doubt? In this new "philosophy of good reasons" Wayne C. Booth exposes five dogmas of modernism that have too often inhibited efforts to answer these questions. Modern dogmas teach that "you cannot reason about values" and that "the job of thought is to doubt whatever can be doubted," and they leave those who accept them crippled in their efforts to think and talk together about whatever concerns them most. They have willed upon us a "befouled rhetorical climate" in which people are driven to two self-destructive extremes—defenders of reason becoming confined to ever narrower notions of logical or experimental proof and defenders of "values" becoming more and more irresponsible in trying to defend the heart, the gut, or the gonads.

Booth traces the consequences of modernist assumptions through a wide range of inquiry and action: in politics, art, music, literature, and in personal efforts to find "identity" or a "self." In casting doubt on systematic doubt, the author finds that the dogmas are being questioned in almost every modern discipline. Suggesting that they be replaced with a rhetoric of "systematic assent," Booth discovers a vast, neglected reservoir of "good reasons"—many of them known to classical students of rhetoric, some still to be explored. These "good reasons" are here restored to intellectual respectability, suggesting the possibility of widespread new inquiry, in all fields, into the question, "When should I change my mind?"

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author


Wayne C. Booth (1921–2005) was the George Pullman Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. His many books include The Rhetoric of Fiction, A Rhetoric of Irony, The Power and Limits of Pluralism, The Vocation of a Teacher, and For the Love of It, all published by the University of Chicago Press.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Introduction
1. Motivism and the Loss of Good Reasons
The Crisis in Our Rhetoric
When Should I Change My Mind?
The Factual "Is" and the Wishful "Ought"
Five Kinds of Modern Dogma
"Good Reasons Apply to Means, Not Ends"
Some Consequences of Motivism
2. Bertrand Russell's Rhetoric and the Dogmas of Doubt
Russell as Representative Modern
Motivism in Russell
Dogmas Two and Three, the Agent and the Scene: Man as an Atomic Mechanism in a Universe That Is Value-Free
Dogma Four, the Principles of Knowing
The Preacher Liberated
Dogma Five, the Purposes of Argument
The Triumph of Russell's Modernism
3. The Dogmas Questioned
Changes of Scene and Dramatis Personae
Nature and Knowledge Revivified
Nature as Will or Act
Reality as Feeling: The Wisdom of the Body
Divers Orders, Divers "Logics"
Doubt and Assent
The Criterion of Falsifiability
Systematic Assent
What Do We Know About Ourselves and Our World?
The Self as a Field of Selves
The Purposes of Rhetoric
4. Some Warrants of Assent, with Notes on the Topics of Protest
The Great Reservoir of Good Reasons
Value Terms and Substantive Proofs
Example 1: Finding a Concurring Public vs. Getting on the Bandwagon
Example 2: Relevance
Ethical Proof and the Demonstration of Value
Example: Sincerity
"Gut" Issues and Emotional Proof
Example 1: Dialysis Machines
Example 2: The Pocketbook
Art as the Changing of Minds
What Art Teaches
Stories as Reasons: Explicit Messages
Saying Yes and No in Literature
The Habit of Negative Rhetoric
Communal Affirmation and Denial
Appendix A. "Self-Evidently Absurd" Rhetoric: Some Pronouncements Reprinted, without Comment, by the "Other Side"
Appendix B. Two-Score and More of Witnesses Against the Fact-Value Split
Bibliography
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)