Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2006


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Ronald C. Arnett

Committee Member

Kathleen Glenister Roberts

Committee Member

Richard H. Thames


dialogue, nietzsche, rhetoric


What is the nature of the relationship between communication ethics and rhetoric? How may study of the interplay between dialogue as a communication ethic and ground of rhetoric contribute to greater understanding and constructive meeting of the narrative and virtue contention that characterizes the contemporary postmodern historical moment? A prominent alleged source of postmodern value contention and a neglected source for advancing the study of the interpenetration of ethics and rhetoric, Friedrich Nietzsche, as a novel hermeneutic entry to engage these questions and demarcates the fields of inquiry this study addresses.

The present work begins with meeting the contemporary historical moment characterized by metanarrative disintegration. With metanarrative disintegration, difference and multiplicity are now privileged. The privileging of difference communicates a turn to dialogue rather than the modern bias towards telling in shaping communicative activity. Meeting the alterity within the temporal existential moment occurs through the operative of metaphor. Levinas' focus on the dialogic tension between saying and said displays the manner in which meeting emerges to offer temporal ground. The multiplicity of ways meanings emerge to offer temporal ground become realized through the imbricating architectonic Nietzschean metaphors of perspectivism, genealogy, and revaluation of values, producing a dialogic ethic of meeting. This outcome interprets otherwise the work, as Levinas also does, of whom many consider the founder of deconstruction, Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche's dialogic ethic displays the ongoing interplay of recognition of decaying said and the ongoing hope in the saying as meeting.