The enduring importance of Edmund Burke to the study of public address may be attributed to his capacity for conducting political philosophy through the conventional genres of rhetoric. This achievement, however, has led to a bifurcation, in which Burke is appropriated as a philosopher of politics or as a rhetorician of expedience. This essay approaches Burke’s thought as it is constituted rhetorically, and may thus serve as a corrective to this tradition. By examining in detail Burke’s Letter to a Noble Lord, we are led to see in Burke’s rhetoric an over-riding concern for the alignment of principle with public action; thus situated, the Letter provides an excellent opportunity to see how theoretical precepts may be activated with the constraints of individual will and human community.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics