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ERIC Number: ED172266
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Rhetoric: Systems and Beyond.
Skopec, Eric
The practical value of the systems approach to rhetoric may be enhanced by attending to distinctions between the various types of symbolic activities. One such distinction exists between popular discourse, understood as intentional communication, and theoretical or descriptive statements about such discourse. A second distinction is between pragmatic or technical treatises designed to instruct in speaking or writing, and speculative or descriptive treatises on the role of discourse in society. Also of concern are the relations which successive rhetorical systems bear to one another, and whether the development of rhetorical theory is additive or sweeping and radical. While the pragmatic/technical tradition has remained quite stable, the speculative/descriptive tradition has undergone frequent, substantial revision. Rhetoric is active and vital only when the subordinate traditions are interwoven in mutually supportive ways. Promising phenomena in the systems perspective include attention to the functions of discourse such as interpersonal adjustment and organizational communications, interest in the knowledge-building functions of discourse, and the growing understanding of the perceptual process, which offers support to the audience-centered theory of rhetoric. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (64th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2-5, 1978)