About the Blog

This blog was previously hosted here where a full archive of posts can be found.

  "Scribble: by Michael Chanover.

 

"Scribble: by Michael Chanover.

As this blog's title suggests, a majority of the posts will address issues of sophistry, a term we can roughly equate with rhetoric (although not unproblematically). Sophistry is a particular kind of rhetoric and most understandings of it are pejorative. The historian of rhetoric Susan Jarrett says that the sophists have historically been seen as "arch-deceptors, enemies of Truth, manipulators of language" (xi Rereading the Sophists). Viewed less pejoratively (and more productively), however, we can say that the sophists were committed to an understanding of truth and values as (culturally and situationally) contingent, and that they were invested in language as means of navigating these contingencies. For many of the sophists (a group that is hard to define through time), the human experience is defined by flux and the possibilities for transformation. This thoroughly sophistic blogs hopes to address particular contingencies (political, historical, bodily, and environmental) and to do so genuinely and generously.

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