ERIC Number: ED396332
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar-29
Reference Count: N/A
A Pragmatic Reconstruction of the Postmodern Impasse: The Resounding Relevance of John Dewey's Tacit Tradition.
Jones, Donald C.
The issue of agency bedevils contemporary composition theorists and practitioners. In theory, scholars such as Lester Faigley, James Berlin, and Patricia Bizzell have critiqued the foundation priority of thought to language, yet their emphasis on language has cast disturbing doubts on the origins of an individual's thoughts. In practice, the postmodern emphasis on social discourses has created some troubling assumptions about what composition students can and should do with language. Pragmatic philosophy begins with the principle known as the primacy of experience. An individual can develop knowledge from experience according to John Dewey's principle: the constructive process of knowing. Deweyan pragmatism is being practiced by writing process advocates such as Peter Elbow and Donald Murray who have been often labeled as atheoretical practitioners. The pragmatist rationale for many of Elbow's and Murray's most effective pedagogical practices reflect the relevance of Deweyan pragmatism to the postmodern impasse of agency. (Contains 3 notes and 13 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Agency Theory; Composition Theory; Dewey (John); Pragmatism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (47th, Milwaukee, WI, March 27-30, 1996).