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ERIC Number: EJ1040385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1598-1037
Significance of the Rhetorical and Humanistic Tradition for Education Today
Kato, Morimichi
Asia Pacific Education Review, v15 n1 p55-63 Mar 2014
This article intends to illuminate the educational significance of the rhetorical and humanistic tradition. This tradition exerted a great influence upon Western education in the past, but its significance has been largely overlooked by the current philosophy of education. This is probably owing to the centuries-old prejudice against rhetoric and "pedantry" espoused since Plato. Against such criticism, this article intends to defend the educational value of the rhetorical and humanistic tradition by retrieving three essential features as noted by its major theorists--Protagoras (ca. 490-420 B.C.), Cicero (106-43 B.C.), and Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444). These features include public spiritedness, a broader understanding of language, and multi-perspective knowledge. Protagoras, Cicero, and Bruni (each in their own historical context) criticized the closed attitude of philosophers toward monopolizing truth and stood in favor of the public sphere where important matters could be openly discussed. Second, they criticized the philosophical understanding of language as a mirror that represents truth and presented a wider understanding of language that considers the speaker-listener relationship. Third, they developed their concept of multi-perspective knowledge, which was opposed to the philosophical knowledge directed toward a special object, as seen in the Platonic Ideas. The re-evaluation of these three features is absolutely necessary if we wish to rescue the rhetorical and humanistic tradition from the blame of parochial chauvinism. By retrieving these features, the rhetorical and humanistic tradition can help to make contemporary education more publicly open (less closed to specialists), more sensitive to the power of language, and more appropriate within the multi-cultural and multi-lingual experience of the modern world.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A