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⚘ John Deely on the Role of Signs in Human Knowing | Banzelão Teixeira & IO2S Closing Ceremony

On 7 January 2023 (today!) at 11:30am ET (see event times around the world here and join the live Q&A here), Banzelão Teixeira will present, “A Semiotic Perspective of Cognition: John Deely on the Role of Signs in Human Knowing”. Teixeira obtained a Master’s degree in philosophy in 2001 from Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik, India. In 2016, he completed his doctorate in philosophy from the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, on the topic “The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot and the New Realism: A Study of John Deely’s Proposal.” Presently he is the Director of Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy where he holds the chair of Philosophy of Communication. He is also the editor of Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education. He is interested in hermeneutics, communication, semiotics and ecology. His recent publications in the field of semiotics include: “The Notion of Sign in Augustine, Aquinas, Poinsot,” (2016); “Semiotic Revolution in the 4th Century: Assessing Augustine’s Contribution to the Ancient Discussion on the Sign,” (2017); 21st Century Realism: John Deely’s Recovery of Poinsot’s Doctrine of Signs (2018); “The Supra-subjective Nature of Relation: John Deely’s ‘Semiotic’ Response to the Modern Impasse,” (2018); “The Semiotic Proposal of John Poinsot: A Brief Overview of Tractatus de Signis,” (2018); and “The Role of Signs within Cognition: A Semiotic View of the Process of Knowing,” (2020).

Commentary will be provided by Cristina Greco, Assistant Professor of Semiotics and Communication, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, and Head of the Communication Research Unit (CRU) at the Jeddah College of AdvertisingUniversity of Business and Technology (KSA), and John Hittinger, Professor of Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas and the Director of John Paul II Studies.

Guests speaking as part of the closing ceremonies include, Brian Kemple, Brooke Williams Deely, Donald Favareau, Farouk Y. Seif, Hamid Malekzadeh, Inna Merkulova, Joseph DeChicchis, Mário Santiago de Carvalho, Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B., Olga Lavrenova, Paul Cobley, William Passarini.

Join the Live Q&A Here.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

⚘ The Agonistic Dimension of Peircean Semiotics and Its Postmodern Interpretations: Sebeok, Deely, Petrilli | Ionut Untea

On 5 January 2023 at 12:00pm ET (see event times around the world here and join the live Q&A here), Ionut Untea will present on “The Agonistic Dimension of Peircean Semiotics and Its Postmodern Interpretations: Sebeok, Deely, Petrilli”. Untea is currently a fellow-in-residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, in Stuttgart, where he is researching on the semioethic and aesthetic coordinates of the “social compact” and intercorporeal relationships. In 2021, he has taught a course entitled “Intercultural Philosophy: Semiotic Approaches and Aesthetic Themes” as a Visiting Professor at Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro. Since 2016, he has been teaching History of Western Philosophy and Semiotics at Southeast University, Nanjing. He previously taught at the University of La Rochelle, and was a postdoctoral fellow of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue (FIIRD) at the University of Geneva. He obtained his doctorate in 2013 at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), in Paris. He holds Romanian citizenship, having obtained his first degrees in philosophy and theology at the University of Bucharest. His focus is on the modern and contemporary intersections between semiotic, moral, political and religious thought. He has published recently “Peircean and Confucian Interpretations of Self-Development: Semiotic, Normative and Aesthetic Aspects,” Philosophy East and West 72.1: January 2022: 188–209. His recent work has appeared in academic journals such as The American Journal of Semiotics (2021), Semiotica (2021), Ethical Perspectives (2021, 2019), Philosophical Forum (2019), Journal of Aesthetic Education (2020), Politics and Religion (2019), The Monist (2018).

Commentary will be provided by Dr. Elize Bisanz.

Join the Live Q&A Here.

Abstract: C.S. Peirce’s optimistic appeal to the power of agapasm to somehow magically overlook the interruptions in the development of the signs’ and the species’ life generates an ambiguous heritage in semiotics which may push postmodern thinkers to unwillingly remain under the influence of the Cartesian perspective that gives little importance to what may be seen as a thinking activity of matter itself. Those who have engaged with this aspect of the (either biologically living or non-living) matter’s semiosic activity as an actual thinking of matter, and which manifests itself in the outer world as growth and overgrowth, are Thomas Sebeok, John Deely and Susan Petrilli. For Thomas Sebeok, it is not sufficient to simply marginalize the possibility of decay and death, as Peirce did by asserting that they are “mere accidents or secondary phenomena” in a universe dominated by the unfolding of life (CP 6.58). Sebeok elaborates on the species’ specific capacities to reintegrate in their interpretant, that is to “subserve the general purpose,” as Peirce has said (CP 6.303), overgrown bodily devices that have been formed under the pressure of fear of decay and death generated by potential competitors or predators. While the weight of mind, in the Cartesian sense, is weakened in Sebeok’s thought, it may be that this weakening is done in favor of a collective mind. The one who will push even further the weakening of the Cartesian cogito by questioning again the phenomenon of growth is John Deely. However, by explicitly rejecting Peirce’s appeal to a “final, or ideal cause” (CP 1.212), Deely leaves the door open for an unbounded thinking agon of matter (a phenomenon this time occurring even for inorganic matter). Powered by “pure play,” overgrowth would tend to subordinate semiosis, since Deely sees potentially any “degenerate” sign relationships as a mere pregeneration of more perfect processes. This view tends to marginalize Peirce’s efforts to place agapasm as a counterbalancing force in the universe. Taking inspiration from Victoria Welby’s view on translation, Susan Petrilli weakens even further the weight of the Cartesian approach to mind, by depicting the phenomenon of thinking (in tone with Deely, but without his focus on “pre-generation”) as something that is not the exclusive prerogative of mind, as an independent substance, but rather as a process of vibration, akin to that of digestion. In this perspective, “corporeality” and reason are not distinguished from each other, but rather infused into each other.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

⚘ Victoria Lady Welby, a Significian of our Times | Susan Petrilli

On 4 January 2023 at 11am ET (see event times around the world here and join the live Q&A here) Susan Petrilli will present on “Victory Lady Welby, a Significian of our Times”. Petrilli is Professor of Philosophy and Theory of Languages, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, SA and 7th Thomas Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America. Her main research areas include philosophy of language, semiotics and translation theory. With Augusto Ponzio she has introduced Semioethics as an orientation in semiotics. Her books include: Sign Studies and Semioethics (2014); Victoria Welby and the Science of Signs (2015); The Global World and Its Manifold Faces (2016); Challenges to Living Together (2017), Signs, Language and Listening (2019); Significare, interpretare e intendere (2019); Senza ripari. Segni, differenze, estraneità (2021). Through her work as author, editor, and translator she has contributed to the dissemination of works, among others, by Victoria Welby, Charles C. Peirce, Mikhail M. Bakhtin, Charles Morris, Gérard Deledalle, Emmanuel Levinas, Adam Schaff, Thomas A. Sebeok, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, Ferruccio Rossi-Landi, Giorgio Fano, Umberto Eco and Augusto Ponzio. Her numerous essays are published both as book chapters and in journals, too many to name here.

Commentary will be provided by Clara Chapdelaine-Feliciati and Zoe Hurley.

Join the Live Q&A Here.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

⚘ The Profile of John Deely as a Semiotician and a Philosopher | Eero Tarasti

On 3 January 2023 at 12:00pm ET (noon – see event times around the world here and join the live Q&A here), Eero Tarasti will present on “The Profile of John Deely as a Semiotician and a Philosopher”. Tarasti is professor of musicology at the University of Helsinki (chair) in 1984-2016. He was President of the IASS/AIS – International Association for Semiotic Studies, 2004-2014 and is now its Honorary President. In 2016 he has founded the Academy of Cultural Heritages.

He studied music in Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, and then in Vienna, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Bloomington. He got his PhD from the University of Helsinki (1978) after studies in Paris with Claude Lévi-Strauss and A. J. Greimas. He is one of the founders and the director of the international research group Musical Signification since 1984.Tarasti has become Honorary Doctor at Estonian Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, New Bulgarian University (Sofia), Indiana University (Bloomington), University of Aix-Marseille, and Gheorghe Dima National Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, Rumania.

He has published about 400 articles, edited 50 anthologies, and written 30 monographs; among them one finds: Myth and Music (1979), A Theory of Musical Semiotics (1994), Heitor Villa-Lobos (1996), Existential Semiotics (2000), Signs of Music (2003), Fondéments de la sémiotique existentielle (2009), Fondamenti di semiotica esistenziale (2010), Semiotics of Classical Music (2012, in French 2016), Sein und Schein, Explorations in Existential Semiotics (2015), and Transcending Signs: Essays in Existential Semiotics (2023); two novels: Le secret du professeur Amfortas (2002) and Retour à la Villa Nevski (2014, in Italian L’heredità di Villa Nevski 2014, in Finnish Eurooppa/Ehkä 2016). He has supervised 150 PhDs in Finland and abroad.

Commentary will be provided by Bujar Hoxha.

Join the Live Q&A Here.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

Trivium: Art of Grammar 2023

Today (2 January) we begin our 2023 course in studying the Trivium: Art of Grammar. Our first discussion session will take place on 9 January 2023 at 6:00pm ET. This course is open to all enrolled Lyceum Institute members. If you would like to sign-up and take this course, enroll here. You can find out more about our approach to studying grammar here.

Too few of us know well enough the nuances and difficulties of the English language, or of language in general. Yet all of us live today in a world suffused by language. The more time we spend in digital environments, especially, the more we find ourselves comprised by linguistic structures. A careful study of the English language is necessary to guard oneself against misinformation, deception, and abuse. The Lyceum Institute offers an accessible program and supportive community for undertaking such a study.

Seminar Catalog for 2023

The year 2022 saw the Lyceum offer a spate of diverse and fascinating seminars. so how can we top this wonderful past year of seminars? Why, with a new year of wonderful seminars, of course! We are covering a broad range of thinkers and ideas this year: Aristotle, Aquinas, John Henry Newman, John Poinsot, Yves Simon, Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein, Martin Heidegger, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy—and more. Introducing our seminar catalog for 2023:

2023 Seminar Catalog

W I N T E R (JANUARY—APRIL)Instructors
» Ethics: Virtue» Dr. Brian Kemple
» Aquinas’ Cosmological Vision» Dr. Brian Kemple
S P R I N G (APRIL—JUNE)
» Quaestiones disputatae de Veritate – Part I» Dr. Kirk Kanzelberger
» John Henry Newman in Four Books» Dr. Scott Randall Paine
» Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot» Dr. Brian Kemple
S U M M E R (JUNE—SEPTEMBER)
» Phenomenology: an Introduction» Drs. Daniel Wagner and Brian Kemple
» Politics: A Thomistic Defense of Democracy» Dr. Francisco Plaza
» Ethics: The Moral Noetic of the Natural Law» Dr. Matthew Minerd
» Quaestiones disputatae de Veritate – Part II» Dr. Kirk Kanzelberger
F A L L (SEPTEMBER—NOVEMBER)
» Thomistic Psychology: Habits and World» Dr. Brian Kemple
» Phenomenology: The Contribution of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy» Dr. Scott Randall Paine
» Phenomenology: Heidegger’s Method – Part I» Dr. Brian Kemple

These seminars are open to the public, but enrolled members of the Lyceum Institute are offered discounted fees. Each lasts 8 weeks and includes the opportunity for an in-depth engagement with important philosophical questions. Anyone with a serious commitment to the truth is welcome. Our instructors are among the very best and bring decades of insight, wisdom, and experience in teaching. Download the Seminar Catalog for full descriptions of each seminar.

Details (dates, times, syllabi, required books, and in-depth descriptions) and registration for each seminar will be posted approximately one month before they begin. Keep your eyes here for news about Ethics: Virtue and Aquinas’ Cosmological Vision this weekend—and consider enrolling!

Standard priceBasic Lyceum
Enrollment
Advanced Lyceum EnrollmentPremium Lyceum Enrollment
Benefactor$200 per seminar$903 seminars included
$90 after
8 seminars included
$90 after
Patron$135 per seminar$653 seminars included
$65 after
8 seminars included
$65 after
Participant$80 per seminar$403 seminars included
$40 after
8 seminars included
$40 after

⚘ Semiotic encounters with John Deely | Winfried Nöth

On 17 December 2022 at 12:00pm/Noon ET (see event times around the world here and join the live Q&A here), Winfried Nöth will present on “Semiotic Encounters with John Deely.” Nöth was Professor of Linguistics and Semiotics and Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Cultural Studies of the University of Kassel until 2009, Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin (1985-86) and Humboldt University Berlin (2014-15), has been Professor of Cognitive Semiotics at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo since 2010. He is an Honorary Member of the International Association for Visual Semiotics and the Institute for Edusemiotic Studies. His research is on topics of general and applied semiotics, cognitive semiotics, and Charles S. Peirce. Among his book publications are Handbook of Semiotics (1990, in German 2000), Mediale Selbstreferenz (2008) and Semiotic Theory of Learning (2018, with A. Stables, et al.). Nöth has edited Origins of Semiosis (1994), Semiotics of the Media (1997), and Crisis of Representation (2003), amongst others. Together with Lucia Santaella, he is the author of Imagem: Comunicação, semiótica e mídia (4th ed. 2005), Comunicação e semiótica (2004), Estratégias semióticas da publicidade (2010), and Introdução à semiótica (2017).

Commentary will be provided by Myrdene Anderson.

Join the Live Q&A here.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

⚘ “A global enterprise”: Deely, Sebeok and the “sop to Cerberus” in semiotics | Paul Cobley

On 10 December 2022, Paul Cobley presented on “A Global Enterprise:” Deely, Sebeok, and the “sop to Cerberus”. Cobley is Professor in Language and Media and Deputy Dean (Research and Knowledge Exchange) in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at Middlesex University. His research interests include semiotics (including biosemiotics, zoosemiotics and cybersemiotics), the works of Thomas A. Sebeok and John Deely, communication theory, narrative, subjectivity, popular genres (especially the thriller). He is the author of a number of books, most recently Cultural Implications of Semiotics (2016) and Narrative 2nd edn (2014). He is co-series editor (with Kalevi Kull) of Semiotics, Communication and Cognition (de Gruyter Mouton), co-editor (with Peter J. Schulz) of the multi-volume Handbooks of Communication Sciences (de Gruyter), co-edits the journal Social Semiotics, and is associate editor of Cybernetics and Human Knowing. Among his edited volumes are The Routledge Companion to Semiotics (2009), Theories and Models of Communication (2013, with Peter Schulz), Semiotics and Its Masters Vol. 1 (2017, with Kristian Bankov), Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader (2009) and The Communication Theory Reader (1996). He is the 9th Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America, President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (elected in 2014) and is secretary (since 2012) of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies.

Commentary was provided by Sara Cannizzaro.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

Trivium Courses for 2023

January is just around the corner and we are getting ready for the new year! We have set the calendar for our Trivium Courses in 2023. These courses are treated as foundational at the Lyceum Institute. To be human is to use language. Should we not strive to understand that which makes us human and to master its use? Building habits of thoughtful engagement with and through language enables us to discern the truth more clearly; to see through lies, manipulations, and obfuscations; and to articulate the true good more persuasively.

Each course will meet twice weekly: Mondays at 6:00pm ET (New York) and Thursdays at 12:00pm ET. Discussion sessions are recorded, but live participation is strongly recommended. Schedules are as follows:

Though many are either ignorant of the Trivium or consider it to be an outdated pedagogical approach, we at the Lyceum consider the Trivium to be the cornerstone of a truly “liberal” education. It is not exaggerative to suggest that, without a proper study of these arts, one cannot make a legitimate claim to be able to think and communicate well.

CourseDatesBreak
Grammar9 January – April 6 (M/Th)(break on February 20/23)
Logic8 May – August 3 (M/Th)(break on June 19/22)
Rhetoric28 August – November 20 (M/Th)(break on October 9/12 – no final Th class).

We will begin in 2023 with a course in Grammar—the recommended first course in our series—as the foundation of any successful understanding and use of language. The study of grammar is not simply about learning rules for arbitrary “correctness”, but about learning to think and understand the world in an orderly manner. The grammarian does not master rules for rules’ sake, but discovers the structures of meaning and brings them to intelligent articulation. This approach to grammar is carried out through our textbook as well as through a reading of Virgil’s Aeneid.

Learn more about each course below and enroll today! Participation in the Trivium is included at every level of enrollment. We hope you will join us for the Trivium Courses in 2023.

On the Value of Rhetoric

An excerpt from Edward P.J. Corbett’s Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student on the value of rhetoric as needed in the modern age, accompanied by a brief commentary.

Selection from the Text:

Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are the three arts of language. Skill in the language arts is more important today than it used to be. Technological improvements in communication and transportation have brought us into more frequent and crucial converse with the inhabitants of our own country and with the peoples of other nations. It is important to our welfare that we learn how to ingratiate ourselves with others, how to express our thoughts and desires, how to allay their fears, and how to conciliate our differences. Rhetoric can help here… It behooves us now to withhold [violent means] of settling the tensions that exist in the world and exploit the possibilities of settling those tensions by the use of the powerful weapons of words. Rhetoric is the art that shows us how to hone that weapon and to wield it most effectively…

The road to eloquence is a hard road and a lonely road, and the journey is not for the faint-hearted. But if, as we are told, the ability to use words to communicate thoughts and feelings is man’s most distinctively human accomplishment, there can be few satisfactions in life that can match the pride a man feels when he has attained mastery over words. As Quintilian said, “Therefore let us seek wholeheartedly that true mastery of expression, the fairest gift of God to man, without which all things are struck dumb and robbed both of present glory and the immortal acclaim of posterity; and let us press on to whatever is best, because, if we do this, we shall either reach the summit or at least see many others far beneath us.”

Corbett 1965: Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, 31 and 33.

Commentary

While Corbett handles rhetoric much better than most who have written on it since these words were first published, I nevertheless have a bone or three to pick here. The first, and least consequential, is his use of the term “language arts”, particularly in close conjunction with the word “skill”. My objection, simply stated, is that these words seem to muddy the waters. Is logic a “skill”? Grammar? Rhetoric, perhaps, at least entails practices that we could call skillful: diction, timing, theatricality—but these seem rather incidental to what rhetoric is in itself. Certainly, the three parts of the Trivium are arts—and perhaps it is the cheapened experience of my own public school education—but the phrase “language arts” seems somehow inadequate; especially if the command of those arts is equated to skill.

My second objection concerns his claim that the road to eloquence is lonely. It may be counter-cultural, today. But it is not, and never should be, a lonely endeavor. Eloquence—the virtue of rhetoric—is relational. I cannot be eloquent except to someone else. Moreover, I could never judge my own eloquence without an audience that reacts to my words.

My third objection concerns the manner in which he characterizes the importance of rhetoric. It is true that rhetoric helps us ingratiate ourselves with others, express our thoughts, allay others’ fears, and conciliate our differences. It is also true that it may dissuade violence and war. But all this is rather utilitarian. It says what we may gain from rhetoric as a tool. It says nothing of what we may gain from rhetoric as a habit.

Thus, while we use Corbett’s book in our own Rhetoric course, for he gives an accessible insight to the ideas of classic authors, I believe he misses the spirit of antiquity. Rhetoric, that is, should be seen as part of the integral habituation of a whole human life. Gaining mastery over persuasion changes how I relate to others, to be sure. But more fundamentally, it is—or ought to be—a perfection of my own faculties. Good character antecedes being a good rhetorician, as Quintilian argues extensively. But being a good rhetorician ought also to reinforce one’s character.