2012 July 14 by Dr. Tallmon
Scroll down for “Weaver on Being a Doctor of Culture”: RhetoricRing.com blogfest #2!
(*click on the title of the post to view comments. Register to post a comment.)
* So, for example, click on “Language is Sermonic” above, and you’ll be able to view the first 13 comments posted in blogfest #1, which began in July 2012 and went through August. (Note: Thus far, there is only one for blogfest #2)
2013 March 4 by Dr. Tallmon
This is our wrap-up discussion. How timely are these opening lines?!
Some while ago I read a remark in a newspaper, attributed to a Republican Congresswoman, to the effect that while in fact the conservative position was being presented from a number of sources in this country, somehow “the line was not selling.” . . . Like all remarks which contain a modicum of uncomfortable truth, these have proved a troubling consideration. This is more especially true because I feel that the battle between conservatives and liberals is now fully joined, and that in this battle the conservatives are the upholders of freedom.
Let’s be orderly about this, now! Don’t everyone post all at once! ;)
2013 February 17 by Dr. Tallmon
Two highlights from a recent discussion of this essay in my Rhetoric class:
- The cultural role of rhetoric goes well beyond “giving powerful speeches in order to influence the culture.” When Weaver says, “Dialectic alone in the social realm is subversive,” that begs the question: “Subversive of what?” Answer: social cohesion. As Coach Follette taught me, and so many others, the “enthymematic base,” or “deep rhetoric,” of a society is the taken-for-granted assumptions around which we cohere. Our surface rhetoric, as Weaver clearly explicates, replenishes the wellsprings of our social bonds by, enthymematically, communicating value presuppostions and so forth, in various and subtle ways. Much, much more to say on this topic, but I’ll leave it for now (NO TOME ZONE! heh, heh)
- Weaver offers an unusually cogent illustration of how the doctor of culture should operate in our day. Consider, for example, by what method he develops his cultural critique. He uses the trial of Socrates to illustrate his point, then turns his critique to the General Semanticists, whom, he argues, have a position that “eats away at the fibre of our society.” Question #1: Why is this especially important in our day? (Hint: postmoderns don’t much value logic.) Question #2: Who are these persons and/or groups whose positions “eat away at the fibre of our society” TODAY?
Weaver’s cultural critique is based, at bottom, on the imago dei. In other words, when a position advances an image of man that tends toward the denigration of man, it must be diagnosed and defeated, for the preservation of civil society. Question #3: By what methods should we conservatives engage those whose positions “eat away at the fibre of our society” TODAY? (Hint: vocation)
There are many, many implications regarding the nature of culture that would make for interesting points of inquiry, but this post is already too lengthy. Thoughts?
2013 February 4 by Dr. Tallmon
Dr. Charles Follette has graced us with a thinkpiece I expect will generate a good deal of discussion. He asked me to post it here for your consideration. Thanks.
UPDATE (18 May 2013): This is not the ideal way to begin this blogfest. On the other hand, the fact that my mentor took the time to craft this beautiful little reflection compels me to now recommend it for your consideration. I will re-read it and post a few questions to guide discussion between 19 and 21 May . . . so check back in, soon!) JMT
2013 January 27 by Dr. Tallmon
You will find Weaver’s “Status and Function” in Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of Our Time (available at ISI Press).
2013 January 20 by Dr. Tallmon
Well, friends, according to our schedule, we begin discussing “The Image of Culture” today. There is a version of it posted at “Weaver’s Top Ten” here on RhetoricRing.com for your convenience. I invite others to initiate this discussion, since, as I posted the other day, I have an aversion to talking to myself. (Please read “The Image of Culture,” whether or not you plan to post your thoughts. And you will have thoughts. Thoughts will flood your cerebral cortex like a tsunami. This is the essay that, above all others, raises the questions that shaped this blogfest. By the time you wade past the introductory paragraphs you will encounter Weaver on being a doctor of culture, his thought on cultural cohesion, and his notion of the “tyrannizing image.” Deep waters.)
If I don’t hear from anyone this week, I’ll assume the timing was bad and pull the plug on this little project. ;)
2013 January 13 by Dr. Tallmon
Next up . . .
we discuss the version of Weaver’s “Life Without Prejudice” included in Ted Smith’s In Defense of Tradition, pp. 88-96. This is an online discussion only, for the week between 13 and 20 January. I will post a question or two, beginning Monday, 14 Jan 13. Please post your thoughts and questions here.
2013 January 7 by Dr. Tallmon
13 Jan 13
- Simply sign up for a free Skype account if you do not have one. Then
- add dr.jmtallmon as a contact.
- I will accept your “contact request,” and,
- at the appointed hour, I’ll call everyone who has expressed an interest in discussing the “Epilogue.”
2013 January 1 by Dr. Tallmon
Page 389 of the “Epilogue” begs an important question: How ought we conservatives mount an offensive in 2013 America, and beyond? In other words, what are some of the elements that we will need to integrate into our “unorthodox defense of orthodoxy” as we attempt to bring our nation back to its roots? For example, on page 391, Weaver writes of the challenge to “save the human spirit by re-creating a non-materialist society.” This is certainly the kind of question we should answer during the coming weeks!
Speaking of challenges, I challenge all who participate in this blogfest to NOT answer that question YET. Rather, let’s all compile a record of poignant passages, throughout the next weeks, then we’ll have a really substantive “Wrap-up session,” on March 3-10, when we discuss “Arguing the Conservative Cause.” Okay? Sweet.
This is a direct question for you. The aim here is to “kick-off” our discussion, and I don’t expect you to post a response until January 6th. It will give us something to look forward to! Anticipation, what?! . . .
On page 390, Weaver posits that the South needs “a metaphysic of its position.” It seems to me that a good deal of Weaver’s scholarship was motivated by this very consideration. How much of Weaver’s thought would you say is devoted to this project? AND, What are the elements of the metaphysic of the Southern culture?
2012 December 26 by Dr. Tallmon
Bloviation is the quickest way to kill an endeavor of this nature!This blogfest aims to approximate the give-and-take of classroom (or, better yet, a coffee shop) discussion: succint thoughts, piggy-backing, brief challenges and/or efforts to extend a line of analysis, followed by pithy rebuttals.
If you want to write a treatise, please do! Offline. Then post a link here, along with an invitation to read it. And we will, when our busy schedules allow. Okay? (and let’s not forget, we’re going to do an occasional Skype chat session, precisely for the purpose of “teasing out” more fully some of the lines of inquiry introduced on the discussion threads.)
A good guideline is 5-6 lines max/post. Brevity is the soul of wit.
2012 December 23 by Dr. Tallmon
Here’s what you need to do to participate:
- subscribe below to rhetoricring.com (so you can post comments.) It’s free . . .
- Buy these two books, if you don’t already own them: Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of our Time (available here) and In Defense of Tradition, ed. Ted Smith III (available here).
Check back for updates. Much more to come between now and January 6, 2013. . . .
(To view comments click on the post “title” above: “Blogfest #2 launches on Epiphany!”)