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The Recovery Of Rhetoric

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Friedrich Kratochwil's claim - which, despite its force and potential does not seem to have been picked up in any significant manner by others writing within the discipline - that central to any attempt to respond to the critical challenge to international law is a re-evaluation of the ancient notion of rhetoric. It describes how the idea of rhetoric has been degraded from the central role it once occupied in classical Greek thought to its almost exclusively negative usage today. Rhetoric, in some of the conceptualisations outlined in the chapter, is a promising candidate to frame the new paradigm within which one can rethink ethics and international law. There is, however, much work to be done in order to flesh out this proposal; and the first, necessary step is the recovery of rhetoric to something like the status it enjoyed in Aristotle's work.

Keywords:classical Greek thought; ethics; Friedrich Kratochwil; international law; new paradigm; rhetoric



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