The Rhetorical Construction of Virtue: Communication in Character Education
Communication and Rhetorical Studies
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Janie M. Harden Fritz
communication, education, vitue
This work provides a philosophical grounding for rhetorical engagement in the public sphere. This project seeks to illustrate how the virtues of authenticity and tolerance, elements necessary for participation in a democratic society, are fostered in students of speech courses and further demonstrates how these virtues are beneficial to students in becoming active participants in civic life, effectively forming character for civic engagement. This pragmatic, praxis union of philosophy and rhetoric meet in the public speaking classroom to establish ground for conversation about ideas that students can develop for participation in a democratic society.
Two concepts central to this work are authenticity and tolerance. First, authenticity is investigated in terms of its connection to narrative structure. Authenticity is considered, here, as a quest for genuine truthfulness to oneself about one's own beliefs and level of knowledge about those beliefs. Second, tolerance is investigated in terms of tolerance toward the Other. The common understanding of tolerance is tied to othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ beliefs. In this project, I support a shift from toleration of othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ beliefs, which sometimes compromises our authenticity and leads to moral relativism, to toleration of the Other as a human being. Key scholarly voices on authenticity and tolerance are Martin Heidegger, Charles Taylor, Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas.
Deisler, C. (2005). The Rhetorical Construction of Virtue: Communication in Character Education (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1680