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Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Power: A Response to Critics


The paper distinguishes Mark Bevir’s logical approach to the theory of history from the historiography of Hayden White and the sociology of Michel Foucault. Rather than seeing these approaches as inherently contradictory, it suggests that historiography and sociology must rest on some kind logical assumptions. An adequate logic provides the necessary context for both a sociological study of power and a historiographical study of rhetoric. Against this background, the paper considers the comments made by Professors Ankersmit, Megill, Palonen, and Stuurman on Bevir’s work. It shows how properly understood Bevir’s analyses of intentionality and rationality provide a necessary basis for the study of power and rhetoric.

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