Within “Afterword” in his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming proposes a new ideal of thought towards “place and community”. Fleming wraps up his argument by showing the “purpose” of his writing and his overall stance on the neglect of domestic public life. Fleming shares that the, “ neglect of domestic public life under this administration has been doubly unfortunate” (Fleming.) He proves his argument by providing two key points, first, urban poverty and homelessness in this country have actually worsened while the attention has moved elsewhere; mainly on middle class residents/households. Second, the exorbitant cost of our new international adventures has made fixing those problems even more difficult than before since, “more and more of an increasingly tight budget must now now be devoted to military spending, foreign aid, and the national defense” (Fleming.)
In his second portion of the “Afterword”, Fleming shares his main point in writing the City Of Rhetoric. Fleming states, “ my point in this book has not been that we should not think globally, that we should not be always intensely aware of the rest of the world and our place in it, both as individuals and as communities.” Fleming proves this argument by providing argumentative research and examples throughout the book. As Fleming has shared, he believes that we should be considering more carefully our metropolitan lives together and thinking more creatively about our civic responsibilities to one another. He furthers this by stating that is it not about simply shifting our political allegiance from one public to another, from the “globe or nation-state to the city or urban district” (Fleming.)
Fleming, David. “Afterword.” City of Rhetoric. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 212-219. Print.
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.
RA4: Place Matters
Within “Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic” 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 our society and “thus good reason to think that place and rhetorical well-being are linked as well.” This all alludes to the fact that place matters, and this hold true rhetoric referring to one’s education, values, and employment, but this claim seems to no longer be true within our own societal norms. Within modern times, we learn that our own environment is a secondary factor within our lives, some even consider it, “a complete irrelevance.”(Fleming). This whole idea seems to stem even from Enlightenment thought, that the man puts himself first. Fleming furthers by sharing that, “we have tended to mythologize that creature by putting him in narratives of autonomy and self- mastery.” This whole concept is quite interesting as we ourselves tend to put ourselves first and forget about the overall environment that we choose to live within.(Fleming).
From this we tend to treat our ties to the physical world as superficial, the “real human self is immaterial, just as the most important human groups are ageographical, constituted less by shared space than by shared beliefs, knowledge, value, habits, and occupation.” Fleming believes that this is what has to do with this modern flight from place; and it seems to have intensified with each passing year. Fleming also seems to pinpoint the idea that we live in such a technological society which has reduced the role of human action and interaction. Fleming seems to overall argue then society tries to make it seem like place does not matter, but it truly does matter. Place is determined by where we are from, where we live, work, educate, and so on; so this helps bring light to the idea that place does matter. (Fleming).
Fleming, David. “Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic.” City of Rhetoric. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 179-90. Print.
In his City of Rhetoric, “Commonplaces” David Fleming speaks on how crucial it is to have a shared social space that, “can link us to one another and the earth but where we remain free and unique as individuals.” (34). Prior to this, Fleming argued the persistence of space and how it can shape our own experiences and form who we are. This can be relatively linked to how we commonly share these experiences; in other words, our commonplaces. Fleming puts it that we must have a public sphere where, “individuals can share a world and experiences that allows them to manage that world in freedom.” (34). Basing off this, it is evident that Fleming believes that a commonplace must surround individuals with shared values, experiences, and even ways of culture. A sense of sharing these beliefs forms a well-rounded commonplace within a society. However, these shared values must have a “defining” feature to them which makes them such a commonplace. In definition, a commonplace is something that is commonly found; so this can correlate to how these commonplaces are formed. In the words of Fleming, “it requires spaces, whereas Arendt put it, we can meet without falling over one another; and it requires borders that define who we are, that constitute our equality by setting limits to it.” (35).
As Fleming states the basis of commonplaces, he also notes that this is something that is lacking in our postmodern political philosophies. He believes that these political foundations have “failed to provide this kind of public for us.” (35). Even in the multicultural world we live in today, we still need spaces that focus on three key aspects: grounded, unitary, and official. The first being grounded, meaning that we need a real or reliable space that reflect our “intellectual, ideological, and emotional needs”. (35) This is on the basis of being able to handle and support our particular needs so to speak. Second would be unitary which speaks on having a feeling of belonging within a space. The basis of unitary is key in order to have a well-functioning commonplace. Finally, the term official plays a role in stating how we are bound to these commonplaces based on the grounded and unitary. (35).
Fleming, David. “Commonplace.” The City of Rhetoric. N.p.: n.p., 2008. 32-35. Print.