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Rhetoric and Psychology

Herbert W. Simons

Subject Psychology
Communication Studies » Rhetorical Studies

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


This entry examines the fields of rhetoric and psychology, each from the perspective of the other, and both from the meta-perspective of a psychologist-turned-rhetorician who retains equal measures of respect (and disrespect) for both. Rhetoric and psychology each study →  Persuasion but from radically different approaches that reflect their contrasting origins in the humanistic and scientific traditions of communication studies (→  Communication Theory and Philosophy ). With a view toward advancing consideration of the issues that divide rhetoric and psychology, we can imagine their representatives as engaged in a conversation of sorts on questions of relative worth to their students, to the general advancement of knowledge, and to each other (→  Psychology in Communication Processes ; Rhetorical Studies ). P sychologist : I don't know what I'm doing here. You're not even an academic discipline. R hetorician : What's that you say? P sychologist : To qualify as an academic discipline requires a clearly defined and distinctive area of inquiry, and a method or methods capable of adding to the stock of knowledge. You fail on all these counts, and I'll sit with you just long enough to tell you why (→  Communication as a Field and Discipline ). R hetorician : I'm all ears. Indeed, I'm honored that you've taken the time from your busy schedule to converse with me. P sychologist : Busy ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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