Abstract: Four decades after the publication of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (5th ed.), a French text appeared which attempted to revise and perfect Lockean theory. This text, the 1746 Essay on the Origin of Human Understanding by Etienne Bonnot, Abbéé de Condillac (1714r––80), and several later works by the same author add to Lockean theory what Locke himself suggests but never fully carries out, a developmental account of understanding. But Condillac's developmentalism results in dual rhetorics——an aesthetic, expressive rhetoric and an empirical, referential rhetoric. This article discusses aesthetic expressivism in Condillac in relation to his speculations about the origins of language, with that discussion linked to the familiar opposition of referential scientific and expressive literary language.
- Copyright 1993, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric