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ERIC Number: ED371400
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar-17
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Rhetorical Prudence and Ethics: Writing as Cultural Criticism vs. Writing as Moral and Civic Thinking.
Toner, Lisa
Cultural approaches to composition, such as those forwarded by John Trimbur, John Schilb, and James Berlin have come under strong criticism for attempting to indoctrinate students into instructors' political beliefs. One attack on writing as cultural criticism has been voiced by Maxine Hairston, who has questioned its ethicality. At issue in debates between critics and proponents of this approach are questions about the ways in which pedagogies are justified as right or wrong, good or bad. The two current approaches to composition designed to foster students' participation in public life through their understanding and use of writing can be termed "writing as cultural criticism" and "writing as civic thinking." James Berlin's expression of the cultural critical approach reflects features of a consequentialist form of ethical reasoning, whereas Sandra Stotsky's moral and civic thinking approach reflects features of a deontological form of ethical reasoning. Both consequentialist and deontological forms of ethical reasoning have benefits an problems when put into action. Consequentialist reasoning is open to the following criticisms: playing god, allowing agents no rest, violating personal integrity, enabling acts on the intuitive level that seem to be unjust. And although deontological forms of ethical reasoning equalize the obligations of all moral agents, they do not take into account the context of action and moral decisions. Teachers must examine the ways their composition theories fall into their traps of ethical reasoning. (Contains 15 references.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A