Gross, Alan G.
The current proliferation of hermeneutic resources with a linguistic base--pragmatics, speech act theory, classical rhetoric theory, Burkean analysis, conversational analysis, Habermasian communicative action--is an embarras de richesse. Surely, at this point, we need, not another theory, but rather an attempt at synthesis, an attempt to turn this hermeneutic plentitude into a single theory. In this paper, we propose to take an initial step in this direction, to attempt to marry pragmatics and rhetoric. But given the theoretical exfoliation that has marked these areas, such a marriage can be managed only by imposing very strict limitations on the scope of our enterprise. We believe, however, that we can take a step in our preferred direction by addressing the more specific problem of whether the theory of Paul Grice, the father of pragmatics, is compatible with the theory of Aristotle, the father of rhetoric. We intend to do so by reconstructing Aritotelian rhetoric as a pragmatics.