Reading Question 2/27

Foss (2005) articulates a number of binaries within visual rhetoric:

Artifact | Perspective “[V]isual rhetoric now has two meanings within the discipline of rhetoric. It is used to mean both a visual object or artifact and a perspective on the study of visual data” (p. 143)
Deductive | Inductive “Some scholars deductively apply rhetorical theories and constructs to visual imagery to investigate questions about rhetoric…. A second approach involves an inductive investigation of visual images designed to highlight features of the images themselves” (p. 147)

These categorizations that I’ve labelled as binaries name collective groups of visually rhetorical work.


To what extent are these binaries here a subset of the theory-practice divide that occurs within rhetoric as a discipline? Is there ways in which the deductive | inductive binary also perpetuates this division? Are these processes fundamentally different? How neatly separated are these functions—need they be?


Along all these binarized lines seems to operate the fundamental hermeneutic assumption that visual rhetorical work is interpretive; are there ways to articulate a heuristic approach to visual rhetoric? Is the interpretive assumption linked to the artifact approach being focused on the product (p. 143)—and is there yet disciplinary understanding for the visual as process? Or a situation, giving time and space to the rhetorical elements and actors?