ERIC Number: ED230944
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Is Rogerian Rhetoric Really Rogerian?
The Rogerian argument, as described by Young, Baker, and Pike in "Rhetoric: Discovery and Change," misrepresents Carl Rogers's own principles. Addressing the need for improved interpersonal communication both within and outside of therapy, Rogers describes three conditions for "listening with understanding": congruence, or nondirective listening; unconditional acceptance of all ideas expressed; and emphatic understanding of the speaker's emotions and experiences. Influenced by Anatol Rapoport, Young, Baker, and Pike have translated these strategies into steps in an argument. After demonstrating an understanding of the opponent's position and stating contexts in which it may be valid, the writer gives his or her own views and describes how adopting them would benefit the opponent. As the use of the words "opponent" and "argument" suggests, this strategy--far from being nondirective or genuinely accepting--aims at winning the reader over to a definite position. The writer's inability to incorporate empathic understanding into a written argument indicates the antithetical natures of Rogers's nonevaluative language and the rhetorical stance. With its attempt to manipulate rather than to directly confront the reader, Rogerian rhetoric represents an unnecessary and potentially harmful pedagogical strategy. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rogers (Carl)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (34th, Detroit, MI, March 17-19, 1983).