Composing the Will to Power: John Dewey on Democratic Rhetorical Education
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© 2016 The Rhetoric Society of America. In order to highlight the genuinely radical nature of John Dewey’s educational and democratic vision this essay articulates a vision of contemporary rhetorical education that is grounded in a pragmatic rereading of Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of the “will to power.” Drawing from Dewey’s treatment of the will to power in Human Nature and Conduct, I argue that rhetorical pedagogy seeks to arouse, channel, and finally compose the impulses of students through the activity of intelligence in such a way that reflects and advocates for students’ interests within a democratic ethic of advocacy, criticism, and deliberation.
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