RA5: Cities of Rhetoric
Within “Cities of Rhetoric” in his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming proposes a new ideal of thought towards “place and community”. Fleming continues to ponder this thought by reevaluating the main case study that lies at “the heart of this book”, referring to the strong evidence for a close relationship between physical location and individual and social welfare in how our society educates us. Fleming shares that, “ by their layout and design: they teach us today, for example, that social conflicts are best managed by physical separation and that the way to deal with our differences is for us to live and work in different parts of the landscape.” (Fleming.) However, Fleming poses the argument that cities can teach other lessons as well, regarding our various points of view in society. Fleming shares that currently our cities teach a “one-sided” point of view. They can in turn teach us that, “ we hold the world in common, that our different points of view on that common world are inevitable and useful, and that if we devote some of our shared time and space to regularly meeting as free equals to deliberate openly and fairly about our differences.” (Fleming.) From this, we might learn to make good moral decisions about our communities and those communities that are different than ours. Fleming expands this argument by giving examples from the Ancient Greeks. He shows how within ancient Athens, Moses Finley brought this argument up, and in turn, inspired a more well educated public.
Fleming, David. “Cities of Rhetoric.” City of Rhetoric. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 209-11. Print.