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ERIC Number: ED311442
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Introducing Philosophy to the Composition Class.
Kelder, Richard
By engaging in philosophical discussion in their writing, freshman composition students can discover that writing is a mediating tool between the self and the objective world, a means to examine the nature of reality and their thinking processes. Introducing philosophical issues opens the door for the investigation of difficult and abstract topics and challenges students to think about the nature of existence and reality. Furthermore, the oral component of the dialogue as a prewriting technique is of utmost importance, through which the writing teacher can encourage students to verbalize their ideas with the expectation that this dialectical encounter will enable students to take possession of their knowledge and contribute to the development of thought. The dialectic may further the students' self-awareness about the thinking process, adding to the metacognitive dimension of writing. Works such as Plato's "Myth of the Cave," Martin Luther King's "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," Paul Tillich's "The Riddle of Inequality," and Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" can suggest the thematic development of the course. Additionally, writing assignments based on personal experience and presented in narrative form enable students to move from the abstract to the particular in their essays. Since narration contains the ingredients of critical thinking, it serves as a logical starting point for developing other modes of writing. Analyzing personal experience in writing is a form of discovery and problem solving and leads students to more complex forms of discourse. (Sixteen references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A