Michael S. Kochin
Prof. Extr.

Department of Political Science
Tel Aviv University
Email: kochin@post.tau.ac.il





Five Chapters on Rhetoric: Character, Action, Things, Nothing, and Art is built around five fundamental concepts that illuminate how rhetoric functions in the public sphere.  It explores our path to things through our judgments of character and action.  It shows how speech and writing are used to defend the fabric of social life from things or facts.  Finally, it shows how the art of rhetoric aids us in clarifying things when we speak to communicate, and helps protect us from their terrible clarity when we speak to maintain our connections to others.   The book weaves together rhetorical criticism, classical rhetoric, science studies, public relations and political communication into an overview of both persuasive strategies in contemporary politics and of the nature and scope of rhetorical studies.  Penn State University Press, 2009.


Gender and Rhetoric in Plato's Political Thought. Cambridge University Press, 2002.



Things I work on (by topic):


Political Rhetoric (and see Five Chapters on Rhetoric)


“Rhetoric, Dialectic, and Public Discourse.”  In Rhetoric:  Concord and Controversy, ed. Antonio de Velasco and Melody Lehn (Waveland Press, forthcoming July 2011)


“The Superhero Next Door:  Democratic Leadership and the Duality of Character.”  The 2009 Karl Ritter Lecture in Political Rhetoric, Texas A & M University.

“From Argument to Assertion.”  Argumentation 23 no. 3 (August 2009).


“The Chosen and the Almost-Chosen.”  Review of David Gelernter, Americanism:  The Fourth Great Western Religion, and John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.  Claremont Institute, August 2008.


Ethosblog:  Trust and Evidence on the Internet.”  Rhêtorikê:  Revista Digital de Retórica 0 (March 2008).


Walzer’s Wars.”  Review of Michael Walzer, Arguing About War.  Azure 20 (Spring 2005):134-139.  Hebrew translation in Tchelet 21(Summer 2005).


“Individual Narrative and Political Character.”  The Review of Metaphysics 56(June 2002):691-709.


“Time and Judgment in Demosthenes' De Corona.”  Philosophy and Rhetoric 35(2002):77-89.



Comparative Analysis of Institutions:


Democratic Leadership Between Inside and Outside.  The challenge to democracy posed by public ignorance of foreign affairs, and the modes in which this challenge is met or mitigated.


“What Political Science Needs to Learn from Science Studies.  (Quick answer:  follow the politicians as they make policy). 


Review of Moshe Berent, A Nation Like all Nations:  Towards the Establishment of an Israeli Republic (in Hebrew).  To appear in The Public Sphere.


“When Rawls was Right.”  Review of Seyla Benhabib, The Rights of Others.  Azure 24 (Spring 2006).


“The Constitution of Nations.”  The Good Society 14, No. 3 (2005):68-76.


Review of Charles Blattberg, From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First.  The Review of Metaphysics 55(September 2001):618.


“When is Buying Votes Wrong?” (with Levis A. Kochin). Public Choice 97(December 1998):645-662.


Decollectivization of Agriculture and the Planned Economy.” American Journal of Political Science 40(August 1996):717-739.



The Crisis of the First British Empire and America as Imperial Successor


From Independence to Great Power:  American Diplomatic History 1776-1825 (book in progress).


“Edmund Burke.”  To appear in International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (Blackwell, forthcoming).



Philosophical Rhetoric (or “The Rhetoric of the Philosophers”, and see Gender and Rhetoric in Plato's Political Thought)


“Academic Politics between Democracy and Aristocracy.”  Political Research Quarterly 64(2011):247-59.


“How Joseph de Maistre Read Plato’s Laws.”  Polis 19(2002):29-43.


“Morality, Nature, and Esotericism in Leo Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing.”  The Review of Politics 64 (Spring 2002):261-283.  Revised and expanded version of "The Philosopher and the King."


“The Philosopher and the King: On the Plan of Leo Strauss's Persecution and the Art of Writing” (in Hebrew).  Iyyun:  The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 50(October 2001):373-386.


“War, Class, and Justice in Plato's Republic.”  The Review of Metaphysics 53(December 1999):403-423.


Weeds:  Cultivating the Imagination in Medieval Arabic Political Philosophy.”  Journal of the History of Ideas 60(July 1999):399-416.  


“Plato’s Eleatic and Athenian Sciences of Politics.” The Review of Politics 61(Winter 1999):1-28.


“The Unity of Virtue and the Limitations of Magnesia.” History of Political Thought 19(Summer 1998): 125-141


Review of Randall Baldwin Clark, The Law Most Beautiful and Best:  Medical Argument and Magical Rhetoric in Plato's Laws, and Albert Keith Whitaker, Journey Into Platonic Politics: Plato's Laws.   Perspectives on Politics 3 (June 2005):350-352.


“A Cure for Whining.” Review of Steven B. Smith, Spinoza's Book of Life.  The Review of Politics 66 (Fall 2004).


Review of John von Heyking, Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World.  Bryn Mawr Classical Review, September 2002.


Review of John R. Wallach, The Platonic Political Art:  A Study of Critical Reason and Democracy. Bryn Mawr Classical Review, August 2001.


“Spinoza our Contemporary.” Review of Etienne Balibar, Spinoza and Politics, and Warren Montag, Body, Masses, Power:  Spinoza and His Contemporaries.  The Review of Politics 63(Winter 2001):203-206.


Review of Steven B. Smith, Spinoza, Liberalism, and the Question of Jewish Identity.  The Review of Politics 60(Summer 1998):582-84.


Review of M. Lane, Method and Politics in Plato's “Statesman”.  Bryn Mawr Classical Review, July 1998.


Review of Robert Wardy, The Birth of Rhetoric:  Gorgias, Plato, and their Successors.  Bryn Mawr Classical Review, July 1997.



Politics, Literature, and Film:


The Death of Tragedy: Genre, Politics, and the Myth of Lucretia.  The politics of rape in the Bible, Livy, Augustine, Machiavelli, Richardson, Rousseau, and J. M. Coetzee.

            Preliminary studies :

                        “The Death of Tragedy:  Genre, Politics, and the Myth of Lucretia

                        “The Richardsonian Republic” (with Katherine Philippakis).

                        “Living with the Bible:  Jean-Jacques Rousseau Reads Judges 19-21.”  Hebraic Political Studies 2, No. 3 (Summer 2007):301-325.

                        Postmetaphysical Literature:  Reflections on J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace.”  Perspectives on Political Science 33(2004):4-10.


“Resistance, Charity, and Rebirth in Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City.”  Submitted to Perspectives on Political Science.


Life as Literature:  Wright Morris’s Love Among the Cannibals.”  Submitted to Poetics Today.

“Literature and Salvation in Elizabeth Costello, or How to Refuse to be an Author in Eight or Nine Lessons.”  English in Africa 34 no. 1 (May 2007):79-95.


For Whom Nobel Tolls: A deserved prize for J.M. Coetzee. The Weekly Standard, December 8, 2003.



Other Reviews:


Review of David Roochnik, Retrieving the Ancients:  An Introduction to Greek Philosophy.  Bryn Mawr Classical Review, July 2005.  (And see the correction here.)


“Response:  Kochin on Roberts on Kochin on McManus.”  Bryn Mawr Classical Review, November 1997.


Review of Barbara F. McManus, Classics and Feminism:  Gendering the Classics.  Bryn Mawr Classical Review,

September 1997.