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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Kenneth Burke on the Necessity of Rhetoric

Kenneth Burke explains that rhetoric is the solution for the human condition of symbol usage. To communicate with one another Burke explains one needs to identify with the other through the knowing of each others’ symbols and their meanings. Burke finds that the most serious problem of humans is alienation or separation and therefore he sees rhetoric as the solution for this problem. The separation caused by the symbol usage leads to the breaking of the order thus leading to guilt-redemption cycle, which is the real reason for all human communication. Thus rhetoric is the way in which humans can communicate and persuade each other of their language and meaning.

Presenter: Anleel Shabdin (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 111 Holmes
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)