The thesis that rhetoric is epistemic has gained widespread acceptance and has influenced rhetorical theory. The thesis suggests that argumentative justification in rhetorical contexts is fundamentally epistemic. Unfortunately, however, much of the literature developing the thesis has employed vague or inconsistent definitions of key terms, resulting in theoretical errors and needless complications. This essay clarifies the definitions of “rhetoric,” “knowledge,” and “certainty,” showing how the notion that rhetoric is epistemic might be developed in a clearer and more useful way.
Postprint version. Published in Philosophy and Rhetoric, Volume 37, Issue 4, 2004, pages 335-352.
Harpine, W. D. (2004). What do you mean, rhetoric is epistemic? Philosophy and Rhetoric, 37(4), 335-352.
© Philosophy and Rhetoric, 2004, Project Muse