Thomas Aquinas on Persuasion

Thomas Aquinas on Persuasion : Action, Ends, and Natural Rhetoric

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This analysis of the human need to persuade offers a new, creative, application of Aristotelian essentialism to human discourse. Using Thomas Aquinas's adaptation of essentialism as a starting point, Jeffrey J. Maciejewski argues that persuasion is natural to human beings and that it possesses dispositional properties that bring about stages of human action that ultimately harmonize the operations of the mind in addition to harmonizing human relationships. Aquinas's philosophy of human nature is reviewed and re-examined in order to discover why it is that humans need to persuade themselves and each other. The book should be of considerable interest to scholars of human nature, Thomist philosophy, and those interested in the history of rhetoric and rhetorical theory.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 120 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 15.24mm | 340.19g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739171283
  • 9780739171288

Review quote

This book is truly groundbreaking, insofar as nothing on the interface of natural law and rhetoric has been published in recent decades. Professor Maciejewski works comfortably with abstract principles in ethical theory, and analyzes their multiple relevant applications in the 'real world.' His analysis is unique in showing the ethical implications of the natural law of human sociality to the art/science of rhetoric. -- Howard P. Kainz, Marquette University Professor Maciejewski offers a concise treatment of rhetoric as a natural and distinctively human capacity directed toward the good of working discursively with others to accomplish the human telos of living a shared humanity. The social nature of human beings defines rhetoric's work on behalf of the good of living harmoniously in society, a defining element of human flourishing. Richly textured with scholarly references and practical examples, this volume integrates Aristotle, Aquinas, virtue ethics, and contemporary rhetorical theory to render an insightful and engaging treatment of the operation of rhetoric as internal self-persuasion and persuasion directed outwardly toward others to motivate virtuous human action. -- Janie Harden Fritz, Duquesne University, author of "Professional Civility: Communicative Virtue at Work"
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About Jeffrey J. Maciejewski

Jeffrey J. Maciejewski is associate professor in the Department of Journalism, Media and Computing at Creighton University.
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Table of contents


Chapter 1: Toward a Natural Rhetoric
Chapter 2: Natural Rhetoric and Acts of Understanding
Chapter 3: Natural Rhetoric and Defective Action
Chapter 4: Natural Rhetoric and the Apprehension of Virtue

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