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Mentioned as exemplary in David Irving’s Elements of English Composition, George Campbell’s Philosophy of Rhetoric provides training in thinking and presentation, and in that way contributes to English Composition. This “New edition” republishes the previous three volume work as one book.
Book 1, Nature and Foundations of Eloquence, provides a balanced understanding of such elements as wit, humor, and ridicule along with an understanding of some logical and reasoning devices to keep the speaker on the good side of such. Book 2, Foundations and Essential Properties of Elocution, provides several “canons” of “verbal criticism.” Included are limitations such as Campbell notes “Good use is not always uniform in her decisions,” along with the times and places for improprieties and barbarisms. If Book 2 was a discussion on cultivating wisdom with words, Book 3, Discriminating Properties of Elocution, is further coaching in wisdom. A line from a popular song of recent years sums up the general sentiment, “You got to know when to . . .”
Campbell, George. Philosophy of Rhetoric. New edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1849.

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