By Stephen J McKenna
The 1st book-length therapy of Adam Smith’s rhetorical thought.
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Additional info for Adam Smith: The Rhetoric of Propriety
Nonetheless, he would have more than enough in financial support to undertake his remaining “great works,” though the valuable commodity of time would now be put in short supply. ”This latter included not only the two aforementioned “great works,” but subsequent editions of WN and TMS. , 287). , 276). , 248). He managed to produce substantially revised and expanded editions of WN (the third) and TMS (the sixth) in 1784 and 1790 respectively, the latter including, among other additions, several elements probably designed to dissociate his views from those of the French revolutionaries; such insinuations had been, and would continue to be made.
485b–c) Socrates probably still has this jibe in mind when he raises one of the central issues of the dialogue: namely, whether orators should speak with an aim to perfect or merely gratify their hearers (502e). As Socrates had earlier explained, in his view rhetoric is not an art, but a “knack” (empeireia) akin to cookery, because, unlike legitimate arts, it “can produce no principle in virtue of which it offers what it does, nor explain the nature thereof, and consequently is unable to point to the cause of each thing it offers” (465a); instead, it “preserves by mere experience and routine a memory of what usually happens” (503a).
9). Above all let no arrogance accompany your speech, and reveal nothing impious in your peaceful eyes, from your respectful face. And remember to be submissive: you are an alien, a fugitive, and in need. Bold speech does not suit [ou prepei] the weak. Thus, to the four characteristics of appropriate speech listed above may be added: (5) appropriateness may involve a mean, seen here in “mê proleschos mêd epholkos”—literally “neither forward nor lagging” (though this mean aspect of propriety is perhaps already apparent in Odysseus’s uncomely speaker’s “sweet modesty” [aidoi meilichiêi]); and (6) propriety is constrained by the circumstances of the specific situation, especially the disposition of the audience.