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Rhetoric in South Asia

Amitava Chakraborty

Subject Linguistics
Communication Studies » Rhetorical Studies

Place Asia » Central Asia

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


South Asia usually refers to the geo-cultural area traditionally known as the Indian subcontinent and consists of contemporary Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and the Maldives. The region has a rich tradition of conceptualization of the arts of argumentation, oration, and literary embellishment, marked by a flair for categorizing even the subtlest features. In ancient India, the understanding of various forms of rhetoric practice was necessitated by cultural practices, including public deliberations in Vedic assemblies and post-Vedic republics, urban leisure cultures’ adulation of oratory ( vacanam ) and the aesthetic, the tradition of public debates to establish and defend academic and religious thoughts, and well-organized judicial and political systems (→  Rhetorical Studies ). Comprehensive theorizations of scholarly argumentation were reached at in logic ( Nyāya ) and other disciplines (→  Argumentative Discourse ; Rhetoric, Argument, and Persuasion ). Caraka (400 bce ), in his treatise on medicine, classifies debate into two types: friendly discussion between two scholars ( Sandhāya sambhā ā) and argumentation of two hostile scholars ( Vigraha ). Gautama (c. 200 ce ), the founder of Nyāya , however, classifies argumentation ( Kathā ) into three categories: discussion for truth without fear of losing ( Vāda ), a debate where the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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