Consistency and motives

Michael Calvin McGee michael at
Tue Aug 13 17:38:59 EST 2002

Are you sure, Clarke, that we're not simply confusing Act and Purpose here?
The comparison of Acts 1-n seeks "justification of purpose" within a
supervising "theory of motives."  The pentad is a theory of motives, while
the appelate law is a "criticisim of justification."  Burke is after what we
leave to jurors, the "philosophy" underlying judgments of criminal Acts..
By contrast, the comparison of Acts 1-n is a criticism of judges' discourse.
The pentad theorizes phenomena.  In other words, the pentad is an item of
phenomenology, the "philosophy" (or "rhetoric") of human motives. The Law as
it is read in Law Schools theorizes epiphenomena, judges' opinions.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Clarke Rountree" <rountrj at>
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 10:20 AM

> One interesting thing about Burke's use of the pentad is that he is so
> interested in the relationships among the five (or six) elements, he
> analyze constructions of motives that span different pentadic sets. That's
> what you have when you say "In an earlier case (Act 1) the court applied a
> different standard; in this case (Act 2) they changed that standard."

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