Ethics And The Orator: The Ciceronian Tradition Of Political Morality

Hardcover | March 22, 2017

byGary A. Remer

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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.

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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, ...

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.

other books by Gary A. Remer

Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration
Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration

Paperback|Apr 15 2008

$45.94 online$45.95list price
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:March 22, 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

“Is the art of persuasion inherently immoral? Can a person who speaks well be counted on to use that skill in an ethical manner? These are questions that have animated debate among political and moral thinkers from Greco-Roman antiquity up to the present day. Working through the lens of the great Roman politician, rhetorician and philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, Remer directly responds to these quandaries in a book of exceptional vision and profundity. Remer both makes a substantial contribution to the study of the history of Western political thought and offers a highly relevant reflection on the situation in which modern democracies find themselves at this moment in time.”