ERIC Number: ED246481
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Rhetorical Revival or Rhetorical Logomachy?
"Practical rhetoric" is a narrowing of classical rhetoric because it no longer shapes public opinion but is increasingly shaped by it, specifically by special interest groups formed around and geared to what a selected audience wants to hear. In the teaching of composition, this pluralism of rhetoric leads to fragmentation and specialization, and ultimately to a state of entropy, which in thermodynamics is the measure between heat and energy and the movement of both toward chaos or nothingness. English departments are moving toward nothingness because of their emphasis on literary studies. However, the trend is being in part reversed by new studies in rhetoric and composition. The danger is in the growing complexity of these studies and their fragmentation into specialized areas, including theory, practice, writing in two-year colleges, writing in four-year colleges, basic writing, technical writing, and computer writing, with specializations in each of these areas. One solution lies in having writing be the center of liberal studies and in moving it back to the public arena as a shaper of thought and the world. (CRH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).