Cult of the Kill
Cult of the Kill
Traditional Metaphysics of Rhetoric, Truth, and Violence in a Postmodern World
Dust Jacket Hardcover
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Subscribing to the view that language is for humans much like water is for fish, this text underscores the importance of implicit understandings language users have of how language works. The work of Kenneth Burke focuses maximum attention on the problem of scapegoating and its deeply embedded motivational resources in language--resources Burke finds sufficiently potent and pervasive to disseminate across cultures what he refers to as a “Cult of the Kill.” Burke’s concerns with the problem of scapegoating and its links with “the negative” as an essential feature of language are found to overlap and contrast in significant ways with the work of Martin Heidegger and with postmodern, especially deconstructive, insights. By way of conclusion, the text addresses criticisms of deconstruction and sets forth, through a comparison of the views of Jacques Derrida and rhetorical theorist John Macksoud, a concise account of the “laws” and parameters of a postmodern understanding of language offering an inclusive strategy of evaluation.
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As a photographer and undergraduate student at the University of California at Santa Barbara during 1970, Desilet’s experiences of the key events serve as the foundation for this docu/drama story. He subsequently earned a Master’s degree in communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder and during the last four decades has published essays and books in philosophy, communication, and media culture. With his varied background, Desilet brings to this narrative, through its characters, a many-layered treatment of the complex and extraordinarily divided American social and political landscape of the Vietnam war-torn era. For more on the author and this book visit the author’s web site at

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