This book offers a provocative rhetorical approach to one of the defining medical debates of our time.Michael J. Hyde's pathbreaking study considers the relationship between the phenomenon of conscience and the practice of rhetoric as it relates to the controversial issues of euthanasia. Hyde investigates how the practice of rhetoric becomes a voice of conscience and influences the moral standards of individuals and communities. In doing so, he offers the first extensive treatment of Martin Heidegger's and Emmanuel Levinas' philosophical investigations of conscience and an in-depth analysis of the justifiability and social acceptability of euthanasia.Hyde establishes the theoretical basis of his study by discussing and critically assessing the phenomenological theories of conscience set forth in the works of the two philosophers. To illustrate how the relationship between the call of conscience and the practice of rhetoric shows itself in everyday existence, Hyde surveys the moral discourse that informs ongoing debates over euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. He focuses on a cluster of related topics that emerge from his discussion of the work of Heidegger and Levinas, including the phenomena of deconstruction and acknowledgment, emotion and the reconstructive power of language, and the discursive creation of heroes.
The Call of Conscience
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