Having to choose from the many movements in Rhetorical Theory throughout history, I found myself drawn to the Modern and Postmodern Rhetoric section of Bizzell’s introduction - I was especially pleased to see that this leaning of mine corresponded with Berlin’s opinion of the New Rhetoric. There were many connections between the two works but what I enjoyed most was the perspective I gained, a grand vista perhaps, of the evolution that rhetoric has had throughout our history. I think this view may have contributed to my greater appreciation for the Modern/Postmodern Rhetoric; it seems that we’ve finally stumbled upon a middle path between the strict empirical based methods of the Current Traditionalists - where “the world is still rational, but its system is to be discovered through the experimental method, not through logical categories grounded in a mental faculty” (Berlin 239), and the less physical realm of the Neo-Platonists who believe that “truth is instead discovered through an internal apprehension, a private vision of a world that transcends the physical” (Berlin 241). I welcomed the combination that evolved and our drive to “develop a rhetoric that implies that we are all citizens of an extraordinarily diverse and disturbed world, that the ‘truths’ we live by are tentative and subject to change” (Berlin 247). However, in addition to a classmate's observations about President Obama’s rhetoric, I see a great importance in acknowledging the world stage on which he spoke. Although he addresses the American people, it was also the world that was watching him that evening. I believe these beginnings of a global community have great implications for both rhetoric and composition now and especially in the future. It’s important that we’ve moved away from treating “all minds as essentially the same” (Bizzell 12), and have acknowledged the possibility that through writing “we are teaching a way of experiencing the world, a way of ordering and making sense of it” (Berlin 248).
What section in Bizzell speaks to you? Why?