ERIC Number: ED280082
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Rhetorical Invention and Advanced Literacy: An Historical Perspective.
Recent criticism of rhetorical invention faults the discipline for not promoting "advanced literacy," defined as the use of critical reading and writing abilities to serve social ends. Aristotle's vision of rhetoric has contributed significantly to a cognitive view of invention, but Aristotle also acknowledged the importance of social context. Invention as an intuitive, natural gift assumed a minor role in eighteenth and nineteenth century rhetoric, as evidenced in the philosophy of George Campbell, who paid little attention to the social aspects of invention. He held almost exclusively to an inductive model of thinking--one that, for a rhetor, is automatic and unconscious. In contrast to both Aristotle and Campbell, Linda Flower has informed her theories of invention with extensive research, making primary use of protocol analysis and cognitive psychology. While Aristotle emphasized deduction and Campbell emphasized induction, Flower plays freely between both modes of thinking. For her, invention assumes a crucial role that leads to a focus on reader-needs and reader-based prose, since her research indicates the importance of audience in the construction of a text. In conclusion, students should be taught cognitive approaches to invention as well as social approaches, and, in fact, should be encouraged to try several different approaches to invention in addressing a single problem. (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A