ERIC Number: ED345247
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar-19
Reference Count: N/A
Should We Outgrow Personal Writing? Polanyi and Perry on Reality, Truth, and Intellectual Development.
Inkster, Robert P.
The notion of "Personal Writing" has come under sustained attack from several different directions and for a variety of reasons, yet it is a concept that still retains usefulness for writing instructors. One problem with personal writing is that frequently students do not like it or feel it invades their privacy, despite the traditional wisdom, which asserts that students avidly enjoy it. Secondly and most importantly, the term itself is difficult to define. In defining the term, it can be asserted that writing is equivalent, in fundamental ways, with thought. Also, all thought and knowledge is inescapably personal by its very essence, as attested by Michael Polanyi's insights. The implication is, then, that all writing, to the extent that it is thoughtful, is personal writing, suggesting further ramifications. Students at St. Cloud University in Minnesota carried out research to demonstrate that students should not be assigned personal writing. The responses discovered by the students through their project had much in common with William Perry's scheme of intellectual development, which defines "commitment" and "relativism.""Truth," as defined by Polanyi, is known only as "commitment," a determination that is inescapably personal. Thus, personal writing is not immature, and it is not outgrown; instead, it is by definition writing that is committed to finding and speaking the truth. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Expressive Writing; Perry Scheme of Intellectual Ethical Development; Perry (William G Jr); Polanyi (Michael); Saint Cloud State University MN
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).