Ethics And The Orator: The Ciceronian Tradition Of Political Morality by Gary A. Remer

Ethics And The Orator: The Ciceronian Tradition Of Political Morality

byGary A. Remer

Hardcover | March 14, 2017

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For thousands of years, critics have attacked rhetoric and the actual practice of politics as unprincipled, insincere, and manipulative. In Ethics and the Orator, Gary A. Remer disagrees, offering the Ciceronian rhetorical tradition as a rejoinder. He argues that the Ciceronian tradition is based on practical or “rhetorical” politics, rather than on idealistic visions of a politics-that-never-was—a response that is ethically sound, if not altogether morally pure.

Remer’s study is distinct from other works on political morality in that it turns to Cicero, not Aristotle, as the progenitor of an ethical rhetorical perspective. Contrary to many, if not most, studies of Cicero since the mid-nineteenth century, which have either attacked him as morally indifferent or have only taken his persuasive ends seriously (setting his moral concerns to the side), Ethics and the Orator demonstrates how Cicero presents his ideal orator as exemplary not only in his ability to persuade, but in his capacity as an ethical person. Remer makes a compelling case that Ciceronian values—balancing the moral and the useful, prudential reasoning, and decorum—are not particular only to the philosopher himself, but are distinctive of a broader Ciceronian rhetorical tradition that runs through the history of Western political thought post-Cicero, including the writings of Quintilian, John of Salisbury, Justus Lipsius, Edmund Burke, the authors of The Federalist, and John Stuart Mill.

About The Author

Gary A. Remer is associate professor of political science at Tulane University. He is the author of Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration and coeditor of Talking Democracy: Historical Perspectives on Rhetoric and Democracy.
Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration
Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration

by Gary Remer

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Title:Ethics And The Orator: The Ciceronian Tradition Of Political MoralityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:March 14, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022643916X

ISBN - 13:9780226439167

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Prologue: Quintilian and John of Salisbury in the Ciceronian Tradition
1          Rhetoric, Emotional Manipulation, and Morality: The Contemporary Relevance of Cicero vis-à-vis Aristotle
2          Political Morality, Conventional Morality, and Decorum in Cicero
3          Rhetoric as a Balancing of Ends: Cicero and Machiavelli
4          Justus Lipsius, Morally Acceptable Deceit, and Prudence in the Ciceronian Tradition
5          The Classical Orator as Political Representative: Cicero and the Modern Concept of Representation
6          Deliberative Democracy and Rhetoric: Cicero, Oratory, and Conversation

Conclusion

Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Few groups are as widely distrusted in democratic societies as politicians. Even as this is the case, political theorists and philosophers have sought to show that political morality is not a contradiction in terms. In this timely, original, and well-argued book, Remer turns to Cicero—and the Ciceronian tradition —to show how the Roman orator-philosopher’s understanding of the interrelationship between rhetoric and morality can inform contemporary discussions of political morality. Few scholars are as well-suited to the task as Remer, and he pulls it off superbly. Engaging an impressive range of rhetoric, philosophy, classics, and political theory scholarship, Remer convincingly shows that Cicero’s defense of rhetoric’s intrinsic morality can help to resolve our own worries about rhetoric and politics.”