ERIC Number: ED370107
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Weird Science: Teaching Composition in an Antifoundational World.
The antifoundational or "hermeneutic" paradigm, particularly as it has been internalized by the field of composition studies, exists in a weak version or a strong version. The weak version stresses interactive consensus-building pedagogical practices where discourse is remade by negotiating it with others. The strong version suggests that discursive practices are themselves constrained, and that there are relations of power that operate extra-discursively through the writing process. The weak version of antifoundational language theory misunderstands Thomas Kuhn and Richard Rorty--the strong version understands Rorty but does not go far enough. Another approach to antifoundationalism sees a way to measure the material dimension and guide hermeneutics, just as, in the weak and strong version, hermeneutics guides scientific description. Roy Bhaskar's transcendental realism suggests a program for pedagogy that imbricates the material and the interpretive. Bhaskar sets down four principles that composition theorists and practitioners might follow: (1) recognize that social forms are uniquely real and do play a role in causing events; (2) grant the existence of objective social structures which are not created by human beings; (3) consider that Rorty's notion that social interaction consists of "coping" with others is limited; and (4) realize that poetic or hermeneutic "redescription" does not render the sciences (social or physical) redundant. Carrying the antifoundationalist paradigm to its most logical ends can make for a stronger pedagogy than has so far been developed. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A