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Realism and relativism : a perspective on Kenneth Burke

By author: Heath
Product Code: H204
ISBN: 9780865542310
Product Format: Hardback
Availability:Not currently available.
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Price: $36.95

Realism and Relativism Kenneth Burke is one of the most provocative thinkers of our age. He is best known as a writer and literary critic; yet he has, according to fellow critic Merle Brown, “worked in so many forms and on so many subjects that he may deserve to be acclaimed as the universal man of modern, mass democracy.” Indeed Burke has become a philosopher as well as a critic, as he has attempted to integrate literary criticism with a philosophy of motives. Using Burke’s extensive and illuminating correspondence as well as his published works, Robert Heath explains how Burke arrived at his mature theory of language and how that theory manifests itself in the study of dialectic, rhetoric, and poetry. Professor Heath’s analysis of Burke’s theory of language, with special attention to the tension between realism and relativism that is so prominent there, will help scholars, students, and writers become precise in the assumptions they make about language and thought. Burke’s work is unfinished. It sets goals for others who would explore the interaction between thought, words, and motivation. But Burke’s theory remains a valuable starting point, while professor Heath’s book is a valuable primer for those who want to understand Burke’s perspective on linguistic realism and relativism. Robert L. Heath is director of graduate studies in the School of Communication at the University of Houston, where he has taught since completing doctoral studies in speech communication and rhetorical theory at the University of Illinois in 1971. Several of his articles about Kenneth Burke have appeared in scholarly speech journals.
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