Immanual Kant

Immanual Kant’s ideas might be seen as the inception of contemporary understandings of rhetoric. Aune details three rhetorical schools of thought that each react to Kant’s rejection of rhetoric. For Kant, rhetoric was persuasion, and persuasion was bad because it it could be seen as “an effort to subvert autonomy” (Aune 85). Kant’s definition of freedom put autonomous decision-making at the forefront, meaning that anything potentially persuasive was a threat to liberal democracy.

Biographical Details

  • 1724-1804
  • Prussian

Related Schools

  • Enlightenment