SUMMER 2010, 40:3, pages 269-291
Getting Carried Away: How Rhetorical Transport Gets Judgment Going
Abstract: Situations calling for judgment give impetus to rhetoric's ability to “bring before the eyes” absent or unapparent persons, places, or things. Rhetoricians often attribute this aspect of rhetoric's power to phantasia, the capacity through which images of stimuli past, passing, or to come are generated and made present. This article proposes and pursues a conceptualization of “rhetorical transport” predicated on civic phantasia, a mode of distance collapse whereby rhetors move subjects or objects so as to enable or impede particular judgments. Rhetorical transport abounds in rhetorical practice, but this article focuses on its presence in Gorgias, Cicero, and Thomas Paine.