Historical Rhetorics/A Little Aristotle and the Other Socrates/Papillion, Terry. "Isocrates' Techne and Rhetorical Pedagogy."

Terry Papillion. "Isocrates' Techne and Rhetorical Pedagogy." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 25 (1995): pp. 149-163.

Papillion extracts from Isocrates an interpretation of techne that resists the more literate (Ong), logocentric, or ontological sense supplied by Plato and Aristotle. Rather than providing fixed rules, Isocrates attempted to develop more of a kairotic, situational awareness through a mix of practice, performance, and analysis (151, 156). This pedagogical difference is rooted in a theoretical one, for Papillion suggests that "Isocrates' refusal to use the term rhêtorikê shows his desire to avoid the abstraction that Plato sought" (151). Similarly: "Plato and Aristotle fought to separate rhetoric and philosophy; Isocrates sought to keep the interest in communication, in logos, together. [...] Isocrates saw himself in a synthetic role, not an analytic one: rhetoric and philosophy were not separable in his view" (153). Papillion's distinction between synthesis and analysis predicts Latour's distinction between construction and critique; Isocrates occuplies a pragmatic middle ground between a chaotic refusal of systemization (which Papillion connects to Derrida and poststructuralism) and insistence upon fixed systems (which he associates with Plato and Aristotle).

Papillion concludes re-appraising epideictic from an Isocratic perspective. Part of Aristotle's ontological project involved breaking rhetoric into species, and Papillion suggests that he created the species of epideictic as praise and blame. But Isocrates would have rejected such a distinction, arguing that praise and blame were a part of any rhetorical situation. Papillion:

I would propose here that what Isocrates did, what Isocrates taught, was not epideictic rhetoric, not judicial rhetoric, not even deliberative rhetoric; Isocrates practiced what I shall call hypodeictic rhetoric. This is rhetoric that uses praise and blame-- mostly praise-- and a strong sense of comparison to set out situations as examples for those around to learn and from which those around could create policy for the future. [...] I offer "hypodeictic" here as a new term to show the importance for the community of such discourse. (158 emphasis original)

I believe this sense of hypodeictic can be read across Isocrates' concept of paideia, and in line with the sense of ethos developed by Halloran, the sense of nomos developed by Jarratt, and the more robust articulation of epideictic offered by Sullivan. For Isocrates, our sense of community is what drives any persuasive situation; like Burke's concept of identification, Isocrates' notion of paideia insists that we must first occupy a position as a we before any logical (or even emotional) appeal will have affect.