[KB] Burke, Rhetoric of Neutrality

Pierre Smolarski pierre.smolarski at fh-bielefeld.de
Thu Apr 16 19:58:45 EDT 2015


Dear Burkeans,

while writing my PhD Thesis on 'Rhetoric of Design', I'm now at the point discussing rhetorical dimensions in information-desgin (especially in map-design, timetables at busstops, etc.) Long story short: This chapter is (or should be) embedded in a 'Rhetoric of Neutrality'. My question is: Is Burke writing somewhere about this topic?
The simple baseline goes that:
neutrum = neither of both
Since rhetoric is based on 'one of both' (metaphorically: 'both' means the possibility of choice, the Agon; 'one' means the attitude, the partisanship, the aim of persuasion) it is contrary to the neutral 'neither of both'. Neutrality negates the rhetorical usefulness and/or meaningfulness of the Agon. Not in the way of 'neither of both, but a third' (this wouldn't break the logic of the agon), but in the way 'neither of both as third' (this might be the kind of neutrality of switzerland) This kind of neutrality is obviously. It is the disputatious position of having no position. (The use- and meaningfulness of the rhetorical agon is only negated on the first level. On the meta-level, concerning the motives of neutrality, there are still rhetorical strategies at work.)
>From there we come to other forms of neutrality: the (sorry or my english) 'one of one' (going with terms like: the truth, the causal, the logical necessary, the natural, the antipersuasive (close to the sense of Kierkegaard) and, maybe: denotation) The neutrality is here not obvious, everything seems to be as it is: It is what it is. So is it. (Thats maybe the point, where scientific maps claim there objectivity and neutrality)
Another form of neutrality might be the 'both of both' (going with terms like: mediation, diplomatic, etc.) 
Mayber everything is confusing: So my question is just: Is there any rhetorical theory of neutrality? (Kinross is not very helpful)

Thank you much and greatings from Bern in Switzerland
Pierre Smolarski
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