Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Kendall Phillips


confucianism, cross-cultural, daoism, feminism, Invitation, rhetoric

Subject Categories



The idea of cross or multiculturalism in today's rhetorical scholarship is essential because it allows scholars to apply a critical perspective to traditional modes of rhetorical scholarship. Many contemporary scholars, such as George Kennedy, Xing Lu, Roberta Blinkley and Carol Lipson have recently embraced a cross-cultural rhetorical perspective in their works. At the same time, other scholars have critiqued the traditional canon as too limiting and too reliant on notions of rationality, logic, antagonism and truth. Sonja Foss and Cindy Griffin provide one such critique of the Greco-Roman tradition by approaching the idea of rhetoric through an invitational lens that focuses on values of equality, immanent value, and self-determination, and seeks to use these values to de-center the Platonic/Aristotelian notion of rhetoric as antagonistic argument and persuasion. I want to consider the possibility that the underlying values offered by Foss and Griffin in their efforts to counter Aristotelian rhetoric productively resonate with the rhetorical visions developed in other ancient culture's rhetoric. More specifically, in this thesis I seek to explore the resonance between the values of invitational rhetoric and the rhetorical values and styles of two prominent ancient Chinese traditions: Confucianism and Daoism. I aim to show that Foss and Griffin's principles of equality, immanent value, and self-determination can be found within the ancient texts of China and serve as an unconscious reminder that the cross-cultural ideas influencing our rhetorical archives often times go unacknowledged.


Open Access

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