Historical Rhetorics/Sophists Old and New/Vitanza, Victor J. "Critical Sub/Versions of the History of Philosophical Rhetoric."

Vitanza, Victor J. "Critical Sub/versions of the History of Philosophical Rhetoric."Rhetoric Review 6.1 (1987): 41-66.

Vitanza creates a critical charge for a “post-philosophical Rhetoric” (which is at once nondisciplinary and “the grandest of all mega-sciences or mega-disciplines” [41-42]) by way of metaphorically rendering the privileging of Philosophy in relation to Rhetoric as a “logico-philosophical (meta)disciplinary” (48) infection which Plato Aristotle are responsible for. The ‘Antibody Rhetoric’ which Vitanza incites, that resists Philo-logical primacy of Classical Rhetoric in favor of a “Poetics of Rhetoric” (43), is a described as part of a set of “evolutions of Sophistic Rhetoric” (53). Vitanza’s nondisciplinary ‘Antibody Rhetoric’, as part of “The Third Sophistic” (citing Jarrett 45), acknowledges the “power of the bewitchment of language” (46) and embraces the practical value/use of metaphor and irony in order to “wage a kind of guerilla warfare conducted by the margins, that will function as a de/stabilizing principle … or a dis/stabilizing principle … in the writings of our “newer” histories” (52) which could take the form of “curative fictions” (56). By aligning his 'Antibody Rhetoric' (which isn’t the real name for his ideal Rhetoric, but rather a way of referring to its function [the Rhetoric Vitanza envisions cannot be named because “Platonism and Aristotelianism, old or new, would not allow for it” [42]) to Sophistic Rhetoric, Vitanza sketches out a space and working definition for Sophism that is Platonically immune where Sophism takes an opposite stance to “logophilia” (quoting Pierrsens 48). In this light, Sophism is defined by its appreciation of the playful, the expressive, and the poetic, as opposed to the philological.