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Rhetoric, Discourse and Knowledge


Edited By Maria Załęska and Urszula Okulska

The authors of this volume explore rhetorical and discursive strategies used to negotiate and establish legitimate knowledge and its disciplinary boundaries, to make scientific knowledge interesting outside academic settings as well, and to manage (c)overt knowledge in different social and political contexts. The volume focuses on the cultural concept of knowledge society, examining diverse linguistic means of knowledge transmission from the perspective of the complex interplay between knowledge and persuasion. The contributors discuss both sociological and philosophical issues, as well as textual processes in different genres that aim to communicate knowledge.

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Rhetoric of (and in) the early modern encyclopedia (Joanna Partyka)


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Joanna Partyka

Polish Academy of Sciences

Rhetoric of (and in) the early modern encyclopedia

Abstract: The chapter addresses sixteenth and seventeenth century ways of collecting, organizing, and conveying knowledge. It focuses on the role of rhetoric in structuring the encyclopedic format, as well as on visual representations of rhetoric itself in encyclopedias. The text shows that other works of reference and commonplaces were popular sources of rhetorical invention in encyclopedias.

1. Introduction

…we bring to light this Rhetorica, so that the image of all the sciences can be admired and contemplated in this book as in the very clear mirror. It is necessary that the orator should have knowledge of everything, and master with diligence the whole world of the sciences, which has been called the ‘encyclopaedia.’ (Llull 1515, f. a ii; cf. Rossi 2006: 38)

En el camino hacia […] nueva encyclopedia tiene gran importancia una disciplina que había merecido poca atención en la Edad Media. Se trata de la retórica […]. […] Así, de las viejas formas del ars dictandi medieval, la retórica salía de sus fórmulas estáticas para entrar de lleno en la vida de la ciudad, en los sistemas de educación y también en la organización del saber.

[English translation: On the path to […] new encyclopedia a discipline that had received little attention in the Middle Ages was of great importance. It...

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