By Joy Ritchie, Kate Ronald
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Rhetoric and composition thought has proven a renewed curiosity in sophistic countertraditions, as visible within the paintings of such "postphilosophers" as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Hélène Cixous, and of such rhetoricians as Susan Jarratt and Steven Mailloux. As D. Diane Davis strains today’s theoretical curiosity to these countertraditions, she additionally units her points of interest past them.
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Very well, then. And that being so, what course will Love’s followers pursue, Plato. Symposium. In The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. Translated by Michael Joyce. Copyright ©1961 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press. diotima 11 and in what particular field will eagerness and exertion be known as Love? In fact, what is this activity? Can you tell me that, Socrates? If I could, my dear Diotima, I retorted, I shouldn’t be so much amazed at your grasp of the subject, and I shouldn’t be coming to you to learn the answer to that very question.
And what are they? you ask. Wisdom and all her sister virtues; it is the office of every poet to beget them, and of every artist whom we may call creative. Now, by far the most important kind of wisdom, she went on, is that which governs the ordering of society, and which goes by the names of justice and moderation. And if any man is so closely allied to the divine as to be teeming with these virtues even in his youth, and if, when he comes to manhood, his first ambition is to be begetting, he too, you may be sure, will go about in search of the loveliness—and never of the ugliness—on which he may beget.
1100–c. 1163 Heloise demonstrated a mastery of philosophy and rhetoric rare for a woman of the twelfth century, and her argument about women and marriage is revolutionary even today. Heloise received her early education through her uncle, Fulbert, a canon of Notre Dame in Paris, and also from Benedictine nuns in the monastery where she spent her childhood. As her intellectual ability became apparent, Fulbert hired the renowned teacher and philosopher Peter Abelard to tutor her. Their relationship became one of the most famous love stories in history, although according to Abelard’s own account, his pedagogy and seduction were often coercive and violent.