Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Finding a Home for a Humanist Paradigm

John Arthos.

In Schleiermacher's schematism, rhetoric is the art of speaking and hermeneutics the art of listening. The elegant symmetry and completeness of this relation is no accident. It describes a programme that encompasses the studies of ethical argument, prudence, practical reasoning, deliberative discourse, political judgment, in short, the principles of a humanist philosophy. Between the arts of listening and speaking, of relating to each other meaningfully, lies the whole field of human endeavour and understanding. So rather than speak vaguely of a humanist perspective, I would argue that we speak clearly of rhetoric and hermeneutics as an encompassing humanist discipline, and as the alternative to rational empiricism. My paper will redraw schematically the coordinates of a humanist programme centered in rhetoric and hermeneutics. My argument will be that this orientation is a historical development that has emerged unobserved as the productive resources of the ancient rhetorical cultures have merged with the reflective practices of textual cultures.


John Arthos  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor of Communication
Denison University

  • Rhetoric
  • Hermeneutics
  • Humanism
Person as Subject
  • Gadamer, Hans-Georg

(Virtual Presentation, English)