How do we date the intellectual revival of rhetoric that has unfolded over the last century-plus? What were its early theoretical contours? This essay answers those questions by turning to the contemporaneous reinventions of rhetoric undertaken by Charles Sanders Peirce and Friedrich Nietzsche that began in the mid-1860s. I discuss their work comparatively, throwing new light on each by historicizing them in relation to dual strands of modernism linked with scientific knowing and artistic making. In the process, I bring out physiological and naturalistic dimensions of their expansive theories of rhetoric, showing how they were anchored by sensing bodies interacting with evolving worlds.

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