Volume 38, Number 1, 2012, pp. 119122 Marc Hanvelt. The Politics of Eloquence: David Hume's Polite Rhetoric. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012. Pp. xi + 217. ISBN 978-1-4426-4379-6, Cloth, $50.00. ISBN 978-1-4426-9695-2, E-book, $49.95. Hanvelt's analysis in The Politics of Eloquence can be summarized as follows: Hume sees faction and fanaticism as significant problems. While rhetoric can contribute to these problems, neither is necessarily caused by rhetoric. In fact, rhetoric of a certain kind can cure these ills, specifically a rhetoric characterized by accurate and just reasoning, politeness, and an idealized ancient eloquence comprising Aristotelian, Ciceronian, and Demosthenic elements. Hanvelt's three major aims are to demonstrate that Hume's conception of mind commits him to assigning rhetoric an important role in political life, synthesize Hume's writings on eloquence in order to describe his conception of rhetoric, and show that Hume's conception of rhetoric continues to be relevant today (7). In the introduction Hanvelt describes and defends his objects of study and method. He chooses to limit "rhetoric" to "political oratory," based on Hume's writings and interests, as well as on his (Hanvelt's) interest in addressing a significant question: what ought to be the role of rhetoric in democratic
Hume Studies – Hume Society
Published: Aug 23, 2012
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