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By Thomas M. Carr Jr.

A cautious research of the rhetorical considered Ren? Descartes and of a unusual staff of post-Cartesians. masking a special variety of authors, together with Bernard Lamy and Nicolas Malebranche, Carr assaults the belief, which has turn into ordinary in modern feedback, that the Cartesian process is incompatible with rhetoric.Carr analyzes the writings of Balzac, the Port-Royalists Arnauld and Nicole, Malebranche, and Lamy, exploring the evolution of Descartes’ suggestion into their varied theories of rhetoric. He constructs his arguments, probing each one author’s writings on rhetoric, persuasion, and a spotlight, to illustrate the root for rhetorical proposal found in Descartes’ concept of persuasion whilst it truly is mixed together with his psychophysiology of consciousness.

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Introduction 1 2. Descartes and Guez de Balzac: Humanist Eloquence Spurned 6 The Eloquence of L'Honnête Homme 6 Fellow Modernists 9 The Zeal for Truth: Descartes' Defense of Balzac's Eloquence 11 Divergent Views: Style and Sincerity 14 Rhetorical Training and Philosophy 19 Action versus Science 22 3. Descartes' Rhetoric of Generosity 26 The Rules of Evidence: Rhetoric in Jeopardy 27 A Rhetoric of Philosophy: From Self-Persuasion to the Persuasion of Others 29 Rhetoric and the Affairs of Life 31 Disposition as Audience Adaptation 34 The Epistemological Foundations of a Rhetoric of Attention 37 Attention as the Core of Method and Ethics 41 The Psychophysiology of the Rhetoric of Attention 43 The Limitations and Dangers of the Senses 45 The Imagination in a Rhetoric of Attention 48 The Passions in a Rhetoric of Attention 52 Générosité and the Ethical Proof 56 False versus Authentic Eloquence 58 4.

In his retreat in Holland Descartes found the freedom from inopportune demands that allowed him to pursue his meditations and experiments. His most Page 10 evocative description of his solitude in the midst of the bustle of city life is offered in a 5 May 1631 letter sent to Balzac at his home near Angoulême: Everyday I go out strolling among the throngs of a great people with as much freedom and ease as you have in the paths of the parks of your estate, and I only heed the men I see with the attention that I would give the trees in your forest or the animals that graze among them.

But as they make one crave more knowledge rather than quench one's thirst, they could not satisfy me in the least. Latiora eloquentiae flumina cupidissime sitiebam. Neque vero his, quae scilicet sciendi sitim dant potius quam sedant, ullo modo satiatus. Descartes, Dedication of his thesis for his law degree Descartes' earliest texts attest to his frustration with eloquence. The recently discovered dedication of the theses he defended at age twenty for his law degree at Poitiers in 1616 indicts the rhetoric he had studied with the Jesuits for its failure to satisfy his thirst for knowledge.

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