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Lecture

ULTIMATE TERMS Sheet

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Department
Communication
Course
COMM 1010
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Ultimate Terms 5 November 2013 • To understand ultimate terms you must first understand: o Limitations of Dialectic  Has no pathos (no emotional component) • Just argument/counterargument  Rarely about “real world” situations • It was created as a method to develop philosophical skill,  not solve everyday problems o Weaver wanted to study contemporary rhetoric and its power over people  Deals with definite questions • “A single term is an incipient proposition just waiting to be coupled with  another term…” o When we see “patriot” we expect to see a term like “George Washington” o Incipient propositions are waiting to be couples with another term to help  them mean something or help them understand a judgement • “and it cannot be denied that certain names set up expectancies of  propositional embodiment” (Weaver, 1) o In other words, there are terms that don’t need the “coupling” to embody  their meaning.    o Words that stand on their own primarily based on community consent  ▯ ultimate terms  • Ultimate terms, charismatic terms, god/devil terms • Why should we care about these “rhetorical absolutes”? o Because all language is sermonic o All language is looking to recommend something  that usually has a moral  or ethical component • We should be concerned about words that just on their own can move people to   action • “God” Terms o Once you hear them everything else becomes secondary o A reordering of knowledge happens in our head o Other terms are considered secondary o Ex: “this is a fact” automatically becomes true  Problem because not all facts or people are true  We using as a short cut for making sense of our world  Problem because we stop thinking  Progress (always positive connotation), scientific, American (you  think progress, efficiency, competitiveness) o When a term mandates actions it is a God term (“it’s the American thing to  do”) o Action without reflection • “Devil” Terms o Align things with reprehensible
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