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The concept of "rescuing" classical terminology to re-invent a developing rhetoric is not new; as James Baumlin has pointed out, "other ages . . . have tried to resuscitate classical rhetorical methods, and have often refined and applied the concepts in ways their classical predecessors had not anticipated" (174). Nor could the ancients have aniticipated the way a term like "kairos" might be a defining factor in constructing a discursive argument with a faceless, yet, immediate, interactive audience.|
While "kairos" has not, as yet, been discussed in terms of computer technology, the term has re-emerged in the modern rhetorical academy, primarily due to the work of James Kinneavy, who re-introduced it as meaning, roughly, "situational context." But the word has multiple meanings, each lending itself to multiple interpretations.
Kinneavy, with Catherine Eskin, has provided something of a framework for diving into into the semantic and linguistic subtleties of interpretation of the original Greek in "Kairos in Aristotle's Rhetoric." While Kinneavy reiterates his belief that Kairos has been a "neglected concept" (cf. 1986) in the field of rhetorical studies, he and Eskin assert that it has become a more acceptable term to utilize, due primarily--and ironically, given the ideas and processes which have generated this journal--to "timely advances in computer-aided referencing." (Kinneavy and Eskin 132)