Title

The Rhetorical Construction of Virtue: Communication in Character Education

Defense Date

8-22-2005

Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2005

Availability

Campus Only

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Communication and Rhetorical Studies

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Janie M. Harden Fritz

Committee Member

Richard Thames

Committee Member

Patricia Arneson

Keywords

communication, education, vitue

Abstract

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 others’ beliefs. In this project, I support a shift from toleration of others’ 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.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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