The book claims that philosophy can be defined by its distinct rhetoric.
This rhetoric is shaped by two values: humanism and critique. Humanism is
defined as preferring the individual human deliberation to any external
authority or method. Self-conviction is the touchstone of truth in
philosophy. Critique is defined as suspecting your beliefs and convictions.
This is the reason why the book uses Nietzsche's definition of "the will to
truth" – "the will not to deceive, not even myself" – for explaining the
nature of philosophical thinking and argumentation. This rhetorical
analysis reveals that the danger of self-deception is a constitutive yet
irresolvable problem of philosophy.
The subjects of the book are: the relations between philosophy and
rhetoric, the speaker and the addressee of philosophical arguments, the
subordination of logic to rhetoric in philosophy and the philosophical
problem of self-deception.
This work, unburdoned with philosophers' jargon, fits well in the current
critical debate about the relevance of pragmatic features of the concepts
of subjectivity and truth.
Table of contents
1. Rhetoric and philosophy 11–42
2. Speaker and addressee in philosophy 43–81
3. Philosophical argumentation: Logic and rhetoric 83–107
4. Humanism, critique and the rhetoric of philosophy 109–126