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Title:The Communication of Beliefs: An Inquiry Into the Rhetoric of Collective Identity and the Origins and Uses of Normative Logic
Author(s):Dowdy, Earl Edward, Jr
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nerone, John
Department / Program:Communications
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Abstract:Four areas of contemporary academic discussion are assessed---"intercultural communication," "social psychology," "social semiotics," and "historiography"---wherein the normative dimension of human affairs has become a topic of special interest. Next the inquiry looks into the origins of our peculiarly "Western" forms of normative logic; and indeed, we find that the ancient Greeks talked and wrote extensively about questions generally concerning "collective identity" and "normative logic," they mounted a number of serious attempts to treat related matters in systematic fashion, and their discussions were urgently motivated by cultural changes underway in the pre-Christian Greek world. Next the dissertation examines some of the uses to which discourses about collective identity and normative logic have been put since ancient times, so as to give shape to the content of Western beliefs about humanity, our place in the world, and the social-political arrangements deemed necessary and proper to human existence and dignity. Lastly analysis is made of some recent situations and strategies in political discourse; here, modern political appeals to the public sense of collective identity offer demonstration of both the historical continuity and the dazzling fluidity of our norms of belief about the good and the right and the real and the true in human affairs.
Issue Date:1998
Description:538 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9912221
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1998

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