The Rhetoric Department Presents: Daniel Gross – Heidegger and Rhetoric

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The purpose of this presentation is threefold: 1) to outline what exactly Heidegger found in Aristotle’s Rhetoric just as he was radically reformulating the history of Western metaphysics against his contemporaries in philosophy 2) to indicate how this moment also rewrote – with a debt to Dilthey and also Bultmann’s sacred rhetoric – the conventional history of rhetoric per se, and 3) to identify our new historiography that foregrounds rhetorical topics Heidegger found interesting around his 1924 lectures on Aristotle’s Rhetoric: emotion, orientation, and rhetoric as the art of listening. Finally I explain how and why Heidegger later left this material behind, as he took up Weimar politics and consequently lost faith in the analysis of factical life Aristotle’s Rhetoric made possible.


Daniel M. Gross (1998 Berkeley Rhetoric PhD) is Professor of English at UC Irvine, and Affiliated Faculty in the Critical Theory Emphasis. His books include a co-edited collection Heidegger and Rhetoric (SUNY 2005), The Secret History of Emotion: From Aristotle’s Rhetoric to Modern Brain Science (Chicago 2006), and Uncomfortable Situations: Emotion between Science and the Humanities (Chicago 2017). He has recently completed a book manuscript Being-Moved: Rhetoric As the Art of Listening.