ERIC Number: ED381800
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Reports of Its Death Are Greatly Exaggerated: Tagmemics and the Politics of Indifference.
Edwards, Bruce L.
In 1965, Richard Young and Alton Becker announced the task of founding a "modern theory of rhetoric," building on the insights of tagmemic linguist, Kenneth Pike. Five years later, their collaboration with Pike resulted in a textbook, "Rhetoric: Discovery and Change," whose broad purpose was to restore invention to its proper place at the heart of practical rhetoric and to reconceive of writing as a problem-solving, discovery process. Despite these accomplishments, the current state of tagmemics in composition studies is a sad one; most consider it a theory of the past. However, Kenneth Pike's earliest and most original insights were and are paradigmatically so far advanced over extant 20th-century notions of what both linguistics and rhetoric should be that only a few were even dimly able to realize its potential and even they failed to take advantage of its most original and potent insights. Pike was the first among linguists and rhetoricians in the 20th century to posit reality as a multi-dimensional entity that, while existing independent of the observer, is nevertheless in some sense constructed by an individual observer through discourse--both public and private. Because, the tagmemcist believes, humankind's vision is always partial and finite, and because language itself is always approximate, never fully apprehending the reality it seeks to name, a multiperspectival rhetorical theory and practice is necessary to catalogue and address human experience. (An appended chart lists advantages of tagmemic theory.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pike (Kenneth L)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).