Chapter

Traditional Principles of Insult

in Toward a Rhetoric of Insult

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780226114774
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226114798 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226114798.003.0002
Traditional Principles of Insult

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This chapter explores some fundamental aspects of insult that are overlooked or misconstrued by the sociological, anthropological, philological, and philosophical perspectives. It presents examples to illustrate the variety and richness of insult-in-action, as well as help uncover some principles which might explain what holds that variety together, concluding with a number of basic recommendations for would-be insulters. The chapter suggests that it is possible to conceive of insults as fitting into the traditional discipline of rhetoric. But, on the one hand, the ancients discovered that long ago; and, on the other, fitting insult into those traditional categories seems hardly worth spending much time on, in any event.

Keywords: insults; abuse; rhetoric

Chapter.  23212 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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