ERIC Number: ED229805
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Argument and Truth: Some Epistemological Questions.
Rhetoric must be defined not merely as a way of transmitting knowledge, but as a way of knowing. Knowing is a social act, requiring the mind to categorize sensory data intersubjectively, according to category systems that are socially generated and consensually validated. The dissociation between knower and known implied by the stance of objectivity ignores this relationship between knower and known. But denial of "absolute truth" does not lead to solipsism. Intersubjectivity assumes that the relationships between events are posited by those who are in interaction with the phenomena observed and that these relationships are verified through discourse. This perspective points up the unity of rhetoric and knowledge. That which is "truly believed" is a socially held belief resting upon evidential references to the empirical world which find wide agreement. Attitudes toward belief define what is and is not considered knowledge. Finally, if rhetoric is a construction of reality into socially meaningful patterns--a way of knowing--consensus becomes the outcome of argument that creates meaningful and useful patterns. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Orlando, FL, April 6-9, 1983).