Many Sides: A Protagorean Approach to the Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy of Argument

Series: Argumentation Library (5)

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Many Sides is the first full-length study of Protagorean antilogic, an argumentative practice with deep roots in rhetorical history and renewed relevance for contemporary culture. Founded on the philosophical relativism of Protagoras, antilogic is a dynamic rather than a formal approach to argument, focused principally on the dialogical interaction of opposing positions (anti-logoi) in controversy. In ancient Athens, antilogic was the cardinal feature of Sophistic rhetoric. In Rome, Cicero redefined Sophistic argument in a concrete set of dialogical procedures. In turn, Quintilian inherited this dialogical tradition and made it the centrepiece of his own rhetorical practice and pedagogy. Many Sides explores the history, theory, and pedagogy of this neglected rhetorical tradition and, by appeal to recent rhetorical and philosophical theory, reconceives the enduring features of antilogical practice in a dialogical approach to argumentation especially suited to the pluralism of our own age and the diversity of modern classrooms.