Life-Giving Gift of Acknowledgment: A Philosophical and Rhetorical Inquiry
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Michael Hyde's Life-Giving Gift of Acknowledgment is a brilliant and courageous work. It is brilliant in taking up an essential gesture of humanity-acknowledgment-and elaborating it by recourse to films, novels, poetry, philosophy, religion, science, and social controversy. In spite of this breathtaking reach, Hyde never loses sight of his purpose, to understand and affirm the moral-ontological-rhetorical gift of acknowledging another. The book is courageous because it dares place rhetoric and science into productive conversation and remains open to both. It is courageous because it takes up such emotionally difficult issues as the symbolism of the Confederate flag, what it meant to be heroic after September 11, 2001, and the ethical character of life in a world of computer technology. Hyde has done here what he does best-offer a philosophical-rhetorical investigation of a principle even as he enacts the moral dimension of the principle in telling his story. This is a profound, revealing, and indeed inspirational, work.