By Barbara A. Biesecker
Addressing Postmodernity examines the connection among rhetoric and social switch and the methods humans remodel social kinfolk during the useful use of symbols. via a detailed analyzing of Kenneth Burke's significant works, A Grammar of causes, A Rhetoric of causes, and The Rhetoric of faith: reports in Logology, Barbara Biesecker addresses the severe subject of the fragmentation of the modern lifeworld. In revealing the entire diversity of Burke's contribution to the opportunity of social switch, Biesecker offers an unique interpretation of Burke's most important principles. Addressing Postmodernity can have an enormous influence on Burkeian scholarship and at the rhetorical critique of social kin in general.
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Additional info for Addressing Postmodernity: Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change (Studies in Rhetoric and Communication)
Again, however, the deconstruction of Burke's texts will not be motivated by a desire to simply locate and expose an error on Burke's part. Rather, textual discrepancies will be grasped as irreducible moments that move us beyond the declared claims of the particular texts, as critical self-transgressions that put us on the track of something resolutely other, of something that each text only imperfectly postpones-a "new" conception of the relations of structure and subject, of history and rhetoric, which, to borrow the phrase from Derrida once again, "no longer allows itself to be understood in terms of the previous regime" (1976, lxxvii).
II What all of this suggests is that for Burke the double genesis of motives that makes its appearance in human acts belongs not to the acts proper but, rather, to the subject that produces them. That is to say, whereas the action/motion differential makes its appearance in symbolic action, as a structure it resides in the human being. It is precisely this relation between action and motion, itself structured in and by an irreducible distance, that constitutes the economy of the subject. Read in this way, motive is the name for the structural differential that is the condition of possibility for the historical emergence of the human being in a world.
S. Copyright law is illegal and injures the author and publisher. For permission to reuse this work, contact the University of Alabama Press. as such, Burke constructs a morphology of human action (the pentad) through which he can grammatically analyze a multiplicity of human acts as "demonstrations" or "illustrations" of the general structure of human activity and, thus, of human being. Conceived as dialectical manifestations or particular determinations of the "permanent principles that underlie the process of becoming" (73), the analysis of human acts in the Grammar serves as an inquiry, albeit at one remove, into the subject proper or, as he puts it, into the "motives and relations generic to all mankind ...
Addressing Postmodernity: Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change (Studies in Rhetoric and Communication) by Barbara A. Biesecker