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ERIC Number: ED163501
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Cicero and English Composition.
Halloran, S. Michael
The influence of Cicero on the teaching of English composition is slight and in all likelihood diminishing. Among Cicero's beliefs were that rhetoric is the highest of vocations, thought and expression have an essential unity, the question "How should I live?" is paramount, the ideal orator maintains a unity of contemplation and action, character formation is crucial, and eloquence should be developed through stylistic imitation. Cicero's views differ in significant respects from those of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. Although current composition teaching is a complex and confused area, it may be said to encompass two major approaches, vocational and liberal. The vocational approach focuses on the writing of clear, well-organized prose, while the liberal approach stresses writing as a mode of personal expression and development. The gradual demise of the Ciceronian idea of character and its replacement by the modern idea of self have introduced a distinction between liberal and vocational education, thus eroding Ciceronian influence. Also, developments in higher education in applied science have resulted in a severely truncated conception of rhetoric as central to neither practical nor liberal education, further eroding Ciceronian influence. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A