English 205- may 9th
Stanely fish is a real character, one of the most literay critics in the first half of the century.
Important scholar in law
Played the role of intellect individual
Truth emerges from interpretation
His primary way of approaching literature was reader response criticsm- holds that a text
doesn’t mean anything all by itself.
Also believes that competence in reading text does not come on its own but through living in an
o They develop their own ways of interpreting texts; their own rules
Has particular philosophical approach to literature- calls himself anti-foundationalist thinker
o Means: when you get beneath culture, you reach the bottom that has crucial ideas that
don’t move- Fish is the opposite of this.
Starts on p.1609 by listing the charges against rhetoric, mainly that rhetoric doesn’t care what is
true, or positive, or beautiful etc.
P.1610, contrasts Gorgias(?)- it is a major debate
Persuasion comes through human effort (Kako?)
P.1611- there are three different types of truth
On one hand we have that truth is out there, and the other is that truth is whatever we can
figure out on the time by what questions we ask
When it comes to human affairs, rhetoric is the best way to go about things
It is just the nature of being human to Fish
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO: was a roman politician and was the greatest public speaker of that
time. He had an idea about persuasive language, and rhetoric which is spoken about on p.1615.
P.1616- you know who you are through the routines of acts that you continue on a daily basis
o Considered a “role”
Homo seriosus vs. Homo rhetoricus
o Which is right? Whichever you can accept which Fish doesn’t really answer.
o The key is not to decide which is the right answer, the key thing is to understand that
this is question, that we have this pair of understanding ways of how humans are.
o One is fixed, and one is dynamic- neither is the right way