Youngkin, Betty R.

Contributions of Walter J. Ong to the Study of Rhetoric: History and Metaphor
1995 0-7734-2277-3
This volume examines two of Ong's contributions to the study of rhetoric: history and metaphor. His definitive work on Peter Ramus (1515-1572) filled a large gap in the history of rhetoric and established Ramus' work as a pivotal force in the division of the five parts of classical rhetoric. By using "interfaces of the word" as a metaphor for modern rhetoric, Ong reestablished the discipline of rhetoric as essential in all knowledge and communication. The study examines his work on Peter Ramus and analyzes Ong's book Interfaces of the Word and how the metaphor evolved in Ong's early, middle, and late work. Ong's work culminates in a paradigm of human history and consciousness: primary orality, writing, print, and secondary orality, and how rhetoric operates at each interface of these phenomena.