ERIC Number: ED251846
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar-22
Reference Count: 0
Chaim Perelman Re-examined: An Application to Classroom Methodology.
Clines, Raymond H.
Rhetoric handbooks and composition texts continue to teach that the main techniques of effective argumentation are based on logic--the use of evidence, deductive and inductive reasoning, definition of terms, and so on. Yet, as Chaim Perelman and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca argue in their book "The New Rhetoric," the most solid beliefs are those that are not only admitted without proof, but very often are not even made explicit. The validity of any argument has nothing to do with how logical it might be. The historical preoccupation with logical argumentation has not only distorted teaching, but has also been responsible for the misapplication of logic to the teaching of writing. Mainly as a consequence of the need to design systematic and logical curricula for teaching writing, teachers have been reduced to methods that make logical sense but that have little to do with how people actually write. Students are taught the necessity of having clear outlines prior to writing only because it seems logical that a good writer would have a clearly defined purpose and clearly delineated points to be covered prior to writing. The empirical reality of the situation, however, is that practically no professional writers use full outlines. In a same manner, the teaching of argumentation has been reduced to a few simplistic logical rules and formulae, with token mention of certain nonlogical emotional strategies--such as word connotation, tone, or figurative language--that have little to do with the real, persuasive force of most argumentative writing. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Olbrechts Tyteca (L); Perelman (Chaim)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (36th, Minneapolis, MN, March 21-23, 1985).