Speech Writing and Rhetoric in Society Analytical Essay

An analysis of the beliefs of various philosophers on written text vs. human speech/rhetoric.
# 146206 | 2,156 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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The paper explores the progression from the ancient rhetorician to the modern rhetorician through an examination of the works of Plato, Rousseau and Derrida. The paper examines the debate between these philosophers on whether writing can adequately represent and match speech. The paper shows how while Greek legislators once presented elaborate speeches to the ancient senates without the need for writing, today, politicians recognize the importance of writing as a tool for constructing their speeches. The paper highlights how rhetoric continually adjusts according to the public attitude.

From the Paper:

"Before delivering the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln first wrote it - an unreliable and dangerous practice for the Platonic philosopher. This divergence reveals that from the time of the ancient Greek orators to today's politicians, writing became an inextricable element of speech composition. How did such a transformation occur, and what spurred it? It was Plato who first assembled the foundations of rhetorical philosophy which placed speech above writing as a more sincere means of communicating knowledge. Over time, many philosophers modified and revised Plato's hierarchy of language; at last, Jean-Jacques Rousseau altogether severed the link between speech and writing. However he kept writing in the subordinate position, where it remained until Jacques Derrida took another intellectual leap for philosophy by equating text with speech. By deconstructing Plato's classic concept of language, Derrida separated writing from the writer and nullified any communicable context."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Coward, Harold G. "'Speech versus Writing' in Derrida and Bhart hari." Philosophy East and West 41.2 (1991): 141-62. Print.
  • Derrida, Jacques. "Signature, Event, Context." Limited Inc. Trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988. 1-23. Print.
  • Norris, Christopher. Derrida. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1987. Print.
  • Plato. "Phaedrus." Plato on Rhetoric and Language. Ed. Jean Nienkamp. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 1999. 165-214.
  • Taylor, A. E. "The Phaedrus." Plato: The Man And His Work. New York: Dial, 1936. 299-319. Print.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Speech Writing and Rhetoric in Society (2010, December 22) Retrieved July 05, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/speech-writing-and-rhetoric-in-society-146206/

MLA Format

"Speech Writing and Rhetoric in Society" 22 December 2010. Web. 05 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/speech-writing-and-rhetoric-in-society-146206/>