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And now I become its mouth: On Arthur Schopenhauer and weird ventriloquism

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From Arthur Schopenhauer we can glean a characteristically moody perspective on the primordial condition of speaking and being spoken. Focusing on his dualistic view of the embodied subject as having to contend with the forces of both Will and presentation, in this article I argue that his philosophy construes communication as a sort of weird ventriloquism. Drawing on Fran├žois Cooren’s proposed method of ‘ventriloqual analysis’, I re-examine Schopenhauer’s subject as a being that both animates and is animated by his strange dark noumena. Bearing witness to this eerie metaphysical stagecraft, his concept of Will becomes synonymous with a will to communicate, which manifests itself through the voice of the speech actor and allows us to think about his ontology and ethics from a different rhetorical perspective.
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Keywords: Cooren; Schopenhauer; communication; philosophy; rhetoric; ventriloquism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Researcher

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
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