Saturday, June 6, 2009

Entelechial Property

by the Sandwichman

Am I the only one who uses far-out puns as a research aid?
Before his famed career as moral philosopher and economist, Adam Smith (1723-1790) was well known for a series of public lectures on rhetoric that he gave in Edinburgh and Glasgow. In this volume, Stephen J. McKenna provides the first book-length treatment of Smith's rhetorical theory, focusing on his theory of rhetorical propriety-the means by which effective communication is adapted to the variables of subject, audience, speaker or writer, purpose, and moment-and the centrality of this concept to his thought.

The word 'entelechial' occurs frequently in Laurence Coupe's book, Kenneth Burke on Myth. I'll be saying more about Burke in subsequent posts, specifically with regard to the relationship between myth, rhetoric and economy. But I'm delighted that my punning Google search turned up the unexpected rhetorical connection between Burke and Smith.

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