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University of South Florida

Theses/Dissertations

Rhetoric and Composition

Mirror neuron

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Toward A Working Theory Of Neurorhetorics, Jeffrey L. Honnold Jan 2012

Toward A Working Theory Of Neurorhetorics, Jeffrey L. Honnold

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This piece makes the claim that rhetoric is first philosophy--before philosophy, epistemology, ontology, or any other field--or that rhetoric is, at the least, on equal footing as these fields because:

empathy--and thusly the impulse for communication--is physiologically hardwired into humans; special distinctions between human and animal are largely artificial constructions, as is evidenced by neurosciences; "hard" science, in the form of neurosciences, is providing entrance points & opportunities for rhetoric to raise its status within the academy; and said neurosciences, in addition to empathy studies, have shown strong evidence supporting linguistic and evolutionary links between humans and other species, thereby supporting a "preoriginary rhetoricity," in Diane Davis's terms. Davis's ...