Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Lawrence Hatab

Committee Member

David Metzger

Committee Member

Mark Shelton

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85 V36


Often overlooked within the standard views of academe lie hidden a number of tacit assumptions. Until the time of Nietzsche, the status of rhetoric as a discourse formation in Western intellectual history was often colored by the unflattering view generated by Plato in a number of his dialogues. In this thesis I present a case that revisits Plato and Nietzsche with an eye toward understanding the reasons why these two highly influential figures in contemporary philosophy adopt the views they advocate. In doing so, I attempt to illumine the reason Plato forms a fundamental split between philosophy and rhetoric and how Nietzsche's radical approach to finitude unsettles and collapses this division. I also look at the ethical implications of Nietzsche's accomplishment with an ear toward hearing what may be the next frontier of philosophic speculation-that is, how to fashion an ethic that avoids both hegemony and relativism.


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