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ERIC Number: ED407688
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Drooping Methodically: Burke's Argument for a Negative Education.
Kastely, James
Kenneth Burke's essay, "Linguistic Approach to the Problem of Education," argues for tempering a positive attitude toward education--"drooping" should be the norm. "Drooping" would be the antithesis of an education designed primarily to facilitate students' uncritical movement into the workforce. Burke explores how a rhetor might teach responsibly in a culture determined by the growing presence of global capitalism and an exponentially increasing technology. The view of the world as a place for combat and conquest (i.e., the metaphor of economic competition) displays, for Burke, a central and dangerous irony that inheres within symbolicity. A Burkean education would help students understand symbolicity's irony and become wary of its consequences. In today's corporate and university downsizing in which an individual's present skills are always in danger of becoming a trained incapacity, such an approach to education might allow people to improvise the good life by better understanding how the material conditions of production and the formal conditions of symbolicity have cooperated to make a world that can be, and often is, inhospitable. A Burkean education would begin by insisting that language is best understood as a mode of action rather than as a problem of knowledge, and then proceed by analyzing the forms and consequences of such action. The thrust of this education would be negative in two ways: First it would teach linguistic skepticism, and second, it would be negative in that it would not teach any particular doctrine nor be committed to any particular social philosophy. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A