General Introduction
– Nathan Gilmour watches from the stands
– What’s on the blog?
– The sad science of naming links posts
– Listener feedback
– Is anyone still listening?

Weaver and Plato, Redux
– Gorgias boasts—again
– How ultimate terms sway the masses
– What does charismatic mean?

God Terms and Devil Terms
– The movement and destination of rhetoric
– Progress as ultimate end of human existence
– Metanarratives, progressives and liberals
– Science! Science! Science!
– Prejudice and bigotry

Ultimate Terms and Politics
– Just try to analyze ‘em
– Unbuckling the word from the meaning
– Soundbite culture
– Patriotism: the last refuge of the scoundrel
– Live free or die

Religious God and Devil Terms
– Nathan Gilmour, the fundamentalist
– An ex-cathedra pronouncement re: religion
– Whose traditions?
– Why we’re all syncretists
– Nathan praises the Emergent Church for once

Let’s Talk Profanity!
– Thinkin’ ‘bout elimination
– Defecatory and copulatory inversion
– David Grubbs defends vulgarity

Can We Do Without Ultimate Terms?
– Why we need to talk about God, justice, and love
– Rhetoric needs a direction
– Analyzing the terms
A Practical Word to Freshman-Comp Teachers
– Educating on an individual level
– The Mr. Spock confusion riff
– The definition essay
– Legalizing marijuana, man
– Victoria’s undermining of ethnic slurs

7 thoughts on “Episode #44: Ultimate Terms in Contemporary Rhetoric”
  1. How about Luther on Vulgarity? Or the best of the scatological fathers?

    Im listening.

  2. Charles, my wife actually heard one of her colleagues say that. It’s a common viewpoint at Research-1 schools. I’m glad to be going someplace smaller.

    Mich, I think we came close enough to losing our jobs already. 😉

  3. This episode just may contain my favorite line from the podcast:

    “All I said is it’s not like losing a fight.”

    “You’re not doing it right, Nathan.”

    Loved this episode! All of the Weaver podcasts have been very interesting. I completely agree with the God and Devil terms… hearing people use “religion” or “tradition” (and the others, but especially those two) as a negative term is really frustrating.

  4. Gilmour is right on about “religion” being a devil term. I see it frequently contrasted with “spirituality” as a god term in a polemical code. 

  5. Thanks for listening, HGriff.  I hadn’t even thought of “spirituality” as the foil of “religion,” but you’re right that, in certain circles, that does let one’s interlocutors know which side of the shibboleth one favors.  I had in mind the constellation of terms like “relationship” and “trust” and such that usually get paired against “religion” in evangelical (and especially Pentecostal) talk.

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