This important volume explores alternative ways in which those involved in the field of speech communication have attempted to find a philosophical grounding for rhetoric. Recognizing that rhetoric can be supported in a wide variety of ways, this text examines eight different philosophies of rhetoric: realism, relativism, rationalism, idealism, materialism, existentialism, deconstructionism, and pragmatism. The value of this book lies in its pluralistic and comparative approach to rhetorical theory.
Although rhetoric may be the more difficult road to philosophy, the fact that it is being traversed by a group of authors largely from speech communication demonstrates important growth in this field. Ultimately, there is recognition that if different thinkers can have solid reasons to adhere to disparate philosophies, serious communication problems can be eliminated. Rhetoric and Philosophy will assist scholars in choosing from among the many philosphical starting places for rhetoric.