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Spring 2003, pages 69-88

The Stoic Temper in Belletristic Rhetoric

Abstract: Although belletristic rhetoric constitutes a response to concerns that are unique to the eighteenth century, its fundamental principles carry forward Stoic views concerning the relationships among the individual's perceptions, moral sense, and civic duty. Stoic philosophy had particular appeal for eighteenth-century thinkers searching for stability in the midst of rapid change. Examining the philosophical links between belletristic rhetoric and Stoic thought provides a more complete understanding of the beliefs about language, virtue, and society that shape the development of belletristic rhetoric.

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