Changing representations of the horse: A study in discursive practices

Robin A Muksian, University of Rhode Island


This study focuses on the changes in scientific rhetoric and the impact of these changes on the culture of the last five centuries. The horse is used as focal point for the study since he is a prevalent part of the societies directly affected by scientific rhetoric.^ The Introduction serves as a framework for the study addressing several issues regarding theories of scientific rhetoric. Chapter One focuses on the early rhetoricians, such as Aristotle and Plutarch, and their works.^ Chapter Two moves into the scientific writing of the Renaissance. The majority of work is philosophic rather than empirical. This chapter also examines the literature which evolved from this era as a result of the scientific discourse.^ Chapter Three continues the study of scientific rhetoric addressing eighteenth-century notions of science prevalent in the culture. Comments on equus in art and sport are also added in this chapter.^ Chapter Four focuses on examples of scientific rhetoric as society in the twentieth century recognizes it. Along with the literature of the era, veterinary documents and handbooks used by horse owners are studied as well as works addressing horse trading.^ Chapter Five attempts to bring the notions of scientific rhetoric into the twentieth century. The problem lies in the fact that by this time, scientific discourse was well established separate from philosophic discourse.^ Overall, the tracing of the emergence of scientific discourse and its development is examined through literature which utilizes a variety of issues surrounding the horse. ^

Subject Area

Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition|History of Science|Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Robin A Muksian, "Changing representations of the horse: A study in discursive practices" (1995). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9601859.