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ERIC Number: ED393098
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Rhetoric of Both/And.
McLaughlin, Rosalee
Composition Chronicle: Newsletter for Writing Teachers, v9 n1 p4-6 Feb 1996
For many students, school is not a place to explore new ideas or develop fresh perspectives. School is a place where there are "positions" that they must "defend" in the "arena" of the classroom. If they do muster up the courage to participate, they have learned what it is like to lose: they describe it as being "slaughtered,""blown away," or "shredded." It would be useful to move classroom dialogue from a rhetoric of "either/or" to a rhetoric of "both/and." In his article, "On Viewing Rhetoric as Epistemic," R. L. Scott suggests that the "both/and" approach could be a way of using rhetoric in a world of conflicting claims. Humans come to knowledge through a process of action. Students and scholars learn because they act--they express opinions, they ask questions--but are they learning the truth? Scott points out that if truth is relative, as anti-foundationalists believe, to know anything with certainty is difficult, and the fear of uncertainty can sometimes result--as P. Bizzell has pointed out--in a failure to act, or quietism, or skepticism. A "rhetoric" of both/and could be a way of knowing conflicts, a way of arguing differences and accepting them. The both/and approach persuades but does not impose. As a means of knowing in the classroom, both/and rhetoric reflects the relative nature of truth while encouraging dialogue as a means of pursuing truth. (Contains six references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A