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ERIC Number: ED303806
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
The Rhetoric of Richard Mitchell: Is Literacy a Moral Condition?
Kearns, Richard; Bannister, Linda
Richard Mitchell, the "Underground Grammarian," has been dismissed by many in the academic community as a pop-culture grammar-basher. This is unfortunate, since Mitchell has linked literacy to the capacity for moral behavior. This connection between moral capacity and literacy is often avoided by the way in which literacy is defined. In western society, literacy was a prerequisite to well-being; illiteracy was symptomatic of malaise and decline. Much of the concern about literacy stems from assumptions about its consequences: cognitive, economic, and social. Yet while these consequences can be used to organize the literature on literacy, they skirt the issue of what literacy is. Literacy has to do with meaning and the pursuit of truth, neither of which reside in texts. Literacy, then, is found in the skilled, thoughtful habits of the mind and the strengths of the heart. Just as meaning is not contained in the text on a page, literacy cannot be found in the ability to decipher those texts, but in the habits and strengths needed to create meanings and to challenge foolishness--on the page, from the lips of others, and from individuals themselves. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A