Tag Archives: freedom

Epicrisis

Epicrisis (e-pi-cri’-sis): When a speaker quotes a certain passage and makes comment upon it.

Related figuresanamenesis–calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author from memory–and chreia (from the Greek chreiodes, “useful”) . . . “a brief reminiscence referring to some person in a pithy form for the purpose of edification.” It takes the form of an anecdote that reports either a saying, an edifying action, or both.

The political philosopher Eric Vogelin tells us that “the role of human existence must be played in uncertainty of its meaning as an adventure in decision along the edge of freedom and necessity.”

Uncertainty motivates decision. Decision entails risk.  Risk is the estimated consequence of action, and action is the herald of sorrow and joy, regret and satisfaction, and all the other dialectically-poised and unknowable outcomes of human being–of being always, all the time, a prisoner of choice on an island of freedom.

Yet, the island may be as large as the future is unknowable. So, as we set off on our next adventure in decision, somehow we must transform our uncertainty as to where we will end up into the belief that we’re going in the right direction.

Our hope is history’s backward-looking map and rhetoric is the star that sets our course.

We are Janus’ children born into the present.  Looking back and seeing forward, we are able to move ahead.

  • Post your own epicrisis on the “Comments” page!

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Chiasmus

Chiasmus (ki-az’-mus): 1. Repetition of ideas in inverted order.  2. Repetition of grammatical structures in inverted order (not to be mistaken with antimetabole, in which identical words are repeated and inverted).

1. I’m having trouble understanding what “brotherhood” means, especially on the streets of Cairo. “Brotherhood” means what brotherhood does, so what does brotherhood mean in Cairo?

2. To hope for freedom may be freedom’s spark. Freedom’s fire starts with hoping to be free. Fear puts out the fire that hope lit.

  • Post your own chiasmus on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Traductio

Traductio (tra-duk’-ti-o): Repeating the same word variously throughout a sentence or thought. Some authorities restrict traductio further to mean repeating the same word but with a different meaning (see ploce, antanaclasis, and diaphora), or in a different form (=polyptoton. . . . ). If the repeated word occurs in parallel fashion at the beginnings of phrases or clauses, it becomes anaphora; at the endings of phrases or clauses, epistrophe.

Being free is to be human, and being human is to be free. You may think that wild animals or pets off their leashes run free, but running free is not being free. Rather, it is being loose. Just because a living body can move, it does not mean that it is free. To be free is to choose, and choice is induced by persuasion, and persuasion is engendered by symbols, and symbols  are endowed with meanings by humans being free!

Again, bodily movement does not signify freedom. Being free is symbolically constituted in your humane human head as it searches for, or listens for a good reason to to do something and a plan for taking action to make it be or not be.

That’s the Burkean way!

  • Post your own traductio on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).