Reframing Rhetoric argues that liberalism is a politics of both rational and civic virtue. In its highest form, it is about cooperating, compromising, and making commitments with others in the making of laws that allow all of us to prosper and have security. In the end in politics it is not the lack of knowledge that corrupts political argument but faulty presumptions; specifically presumptions about what we think we know and don’t know.
George E. Yoos is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at St. Cloud University. He founded the Rhetoric Society Quarterly in 1972, and his most recently published articles and reviews cover such various topics as critical thinking, visual perception, voice and persona, and ethical appeal.
“Writing in a direct style that is often autobiographical and impassioned, George Yoos reconstructs the importance of liberal thought in modern society, and the critical-thinking and rhetorical skills required to nourish it.”
–David Kaufer, Carnegie Mellon
“Reframing Rhetoric presents a novel and spirited consideration of liberalism as a method of practical reasoning rather than a political ideology. Its argument for liberalism as the practice of ‘good politics’ situates accommodation between those with political differences at the center of politics and reintroduces the ancient art of rhetoric as the means to achieve it. Yoos takes conservatism seriously by recognizing its powerful appeal to the common sense of best practices and prudent action. And he takes rhetoric seriously as the means for redefining liberalism. His remedy for liberalism to escape its currently discredited public identity as ‘the L word’ offers a new way to think about a politics and a rhetoric attuned to concerns of the American public. George Yoos has written a book that will cause readers to think about what is most basic in politics and why rhetoric matters.”