The Development Of Modern Chinese Rhetoric
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The Development of Modern Chinese Rhetoric

Lyon’s study, therefore, not only shows us the shifting, socially constructed nature of the relationship between the importantly present and the other, but also calls our attention to the need to understand Chinese rhetoric and its internal het-eroglossia within their own political context.

Only then can we begin to bring their relevance and usefulness to bear on our ongoing efforts to study different rhetorical traditions and their other, both within and beyond their borders.

Xiaoye You picks up where Lyon ends. You studied a famous court debate in the Former Han dynasty featuring pro-Legalist officials and a group of Confucian literati. The debate took place in 81 BCE, a time when Confucian ideology Shoes Online began to assert its dominance and assume the role of the importantly present, and it centered on government monopolies in iron, salt, liquor, and coinage of money, which had been the source of wealth to private individuals or feudal lords.

This famous debate, recorded in the Yantie lun [Debate on Salt and Iron}, showed how the Confucian scholars tried to reverse the pro-Legalist policies instituted by Emperor Wu, who passed away shortly before 81 BCE. Through You’s careful analysis, we see how the two competing camps engaged with each other in ways reminiscent of the debates that Lyon introduces in her essay.

Both camps not only presented their own ideas forcefully, but also enriched them with new significances in response to their immediate exigencies. Moreover, both camps were shown to draw on ideas and rhetorical concepts from other schools of thought in order to advance their own political and economic agenda and to compete for the status of the importantly present.

So the pro-Legalist camp appropriated ideas and rhetorical resources from the Confucian and Mohist schools, and the Confucian camp borrowed from the Yin-Yang and Daoist schools.

This kind of dialogic, though no less contentious, engagement between these two competing camps reveals a higher level of discursive flexibility and hybridity than was seen in the Warring States era, gradually turning into a hallmark of an argumentative tradition in the Former Han dynasty.

It further contributes to a complex narrative of the dynamic development of Chinese rhetoric and its disputational culture, and of the shifting, Discount Shoes interdependent relationship between the importantly present and the other.

If Lyon’s and You’s contributions make us aware of the dialogic engagements within the nation-state of China’s past, the next two essays, by Bo Wang and Hui Wu, demonstrate that the development of modern Chinese rhetoric could not help but challenge and creatively engage with the other or the importantly present outside the nation-state of China’s present.

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