Ideas and Consequences: Richard Weaver, Sharon Crowley, and Rhetorical Politics
Although it has been ten years since Sharon Crowley called for Richard M. Weaver's exclusion from the canon of rhetorical history, Weaver's rhetorical positions have never been stronger, utilized in movements such as the Tea Party and current conservative rhetoric. While Crowley (2001) argued that Weaver's Platonism came from his reaction to Roosevelt's politics, this archival study suggests that Weaver was much more pragmatic than his political pronouncements have led scholars, such as Crowley, to believe. Before Weaver wrote polemical works such as "To Write the Truth," he operated within the constraints of the philosophically rigid institutional culture of neo-Aristotelianism, and the archival record demonstrates his attenuation to this rhetorical situation. The implications for these findings diminish the effectiveness of his appropriation by political movements that are based in foundationalistic rhetoric. These implications also demonstrate how rhetorical scholarship has utilized the polemical nature of Weaver's writings in the advancement of the professionalization of the discipline. © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Beasley. (2013). Ideas and Consequences: Richard Weaver, Sharon Crowley, and Rhetorical Politics. Rhetoric Review, 32(3), 271–294. https://doi.org/10.1080/07350198.2013.797876