Ontological Paideia: Articulating the Value of Rhetorical Education in Composition Pedagogy

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/305100
Title:
Ontological Paideia: Articulating the Value of Rhetorical Education in Composition Pedagogy
Author:
Kopp, Andrew Matthew, Jr.
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Dissertation Not Available (per Author's Request)
Abstract:
While proponents of process saw a contradiction in the current-traditional pedagogy--teaching toward product marginalized valuable practices embedded in the processes of writing--post-process scholars sought to move beyond attempts to codify writing processes for easy instruction. Because it avoids resting upon foundations, the critical focus of post-process does not allow for easy pedagogical application. In order to navigate the post-process theoretical impasse, I argue for an approach to composition pedagogy that emphasizes a performative and sophistic aspect of topical reasoning that when practiced challenges Cartesian self-certainty and works to transform subjectivity. Through communicating judgments of similarity and difference within any given situation, the performance of topical reasoning serves to either reproduce or transform the customary understanding of the rhetor's community; the latter is the exception, the former the rule within our inherited rhetorical traditions. Derivative of the efforts of Plato and Aristotle to discipline rhetoric, and especially following the emergence of the Enlightenment project, rhetorical traditions that exclude sophistic perspectives have continued to understand topics as codified sets of rules a rhetor simply follows to invent discourse, making the topics easily dismissible because invention had become a matter of reporting on reality or of following inner inspiration. While several projects to employ topics in composition pedagogy have emerged during the late 20th century--spanning process, post-process, and new rhetorical pedagogies--the performative dimension of topical reasoning has been overlooked, or left to the realm of theory because of its radical nature vis-a-vis university composition courses. Building from a Heideggerian reading of the topics, and through an extensive analysis of the sophistic pedagogic practices employed in a weekend seminar called the Landmark Forum, I work to develop a full understanding of topical reasoning as primarily performative, where only in risky moments of performance can one undergo an experience with language and so develop a rhetorical subjectivity receptive to recalcitrance while maintaining integrity to one's commitments. I claim that to "learn" topical reasoning requires a program of rigorous dialogic exercise, an ontological paideia, which calls for performances that revise identity and the networks of rhetorical relationships that reinforce identity.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Performative; Rhetorical Education; Sophistic Pedagogy; Topical Reasoning; English; Composition; Controlling Values
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Mountford, Roxanne

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleOntological Paideia: Articulating the Value of Rhetorical Education in Composition Pedagogyen_US
dc.creatorKopp, Andrew Matthew, Jr.en_US
dc.contributor.authorKopp, Andrew Matthew, Jr.en_US
dc.date.issued2009-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseDissertation Not Available (per Author's Request)en_US
dc.description.abstractWhile proponents of process saw a contradiction in the current-traditional pedagogy--teaching toward product marginalized valuable practices embedded in the processes of writing--post-process scholars sought to move beyond attempts to codify writing processes for easy instruction. Because it avoids resting upon foundations, the critical focus of post-process does not allow for easy pedagogical application. In order to navigate the post-process theoretical impasse, I argue for an approach to composition pedagogy that emphasizes a performative and sophistic aspect of topical reasoning that when practiced challenges Cartesian self-certainty and works to transform subjectivity. Through communicating judgments of similarity and difference within any given situation, the performance of topical reasoning serves to either reproduce or transform the customary understanding of the rhetor's community; the latter is the exception, the former the rule within our inherited rhetorical traditions. Derivative of the efforts of Plato and Aristotle to discipline rhetoric, and especially following the emergence of the Enlightenment project, rhetorical traditions that exclude sophistic perspectives have continued to understand topics as codified sets of rules a rhetor simply follows to invent discourse, making the topics easily dismissible because invention had become a matter of reporting on reality or of following inner inspiration. While several projects to employ topics in composition pedagogy have emerged during the late 20th century--spanning process, post-process, and new rhetorical pedagogies--the performative dimension of topical reasoning has been overlooked, or left to the realm of theory because of its radical nature vis-a-vis university composition courses. Building from a Heideggerian reading of the topics, and through an extensive analysis of the sophistic pedagogic practices employed in a weekend seminar called the Landmark Forum, I work to develop a full understanding of topical reasoning as primarily performative, where only in risky moments of performance can one undergo an experience with language and so develop a rhetorical subjectivity receptive to recalcitrance while maintaining integrity to one's commitments. I claim that to "learn" topical reasoning requires a program of rigorous dialogic exercise, an ontological paideia, which calls for performances that revise identity and the networks of rhetorical relationships that reinforce identity.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectPerformativeen_US
dc.subjectRhetorical Educationen_US
dc.subjectSophistic Pedagogyen_US
dc.subjectTopical Reasoningen_US
dc.subjectEnglishen_US
dc.subjectCompositionen_US
dc.subjectControlling Valuesen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of Englishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMountford, Roxanneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMountford, Roxanneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcAllister, Kenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKimme Hea, Amyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHyde, Bruceen_US
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