Sun-zi and the Art of war: - the rhetoric of parsimony

Submitted by James Miller on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 13:26
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TitleSun-zi and the Art of war: - the rhetoric of parsimony
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsCombs, S. C.
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Speech
Date Published2000
ISBN Number0033-5630
KeywordsMilitary art and science, Rhetoric and society, Stinginess, Sun-tzu 6th cent. B.C - -- Works -- Art of war, Taoism -- China

Daoist (Taoist) philosophical rhetoric is an integral part of China's magnificent cultural heritage, and analysis of Daoist rhetoric offers the potential to enhance understanding of human communication and inform rhetorical theory and practice. While studies of Daoist rhetoric are increasing, a masterpiece of Daoist thought, Sun-zi's (Sun-tzu's) Art of War, has not been examined for its rhetorical implications. This study suggests that war is a useful metaphor for rhetoric, and that Art of War provides a comprehensive, insightful, and unique rhetorical theory based on parsimony: - extreme economy in the expenditure of resources. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.