Paralogic Rhetoric: A Theory of Communicative Interaction

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Building on the ideas of philosophers and literary theorists such as Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Mikhail Bakhtin, Thomas Kent investigates in Paralogic Rhetoric the role that interpretation plays in the acts of writing and reading. Kent argues that both writing and reading - as kinds of communicative interaction - constitute thoroughly hermeneutic activities that cannot be reduced to discreet conceptual frameworks or to systemic processes of one kind or another. ...
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Overview

Building on the ideas of philosophers and literary theorists such as Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Mikhail Bakhtin, Thomas Kent investigates in Paralogic Rhetoric the role that interpretation plays in the acts of writing and reading. Kent argues that both writing and reading - as kinds of communicative interaction - constitute thoroughly hermeneutic activities that cannot be reduced to discreet conceptual frameworks or to systemic processes of one kind or another. Kent calls his view of communicative interaction paralogic hermeneutics, and he employs this notion to critique some of our most influential contemporary approaches to the study of writing and reading. Kent develops his argument in two general stages. In the first stage - chapters one through four - he discusses the meaning of the term paralogy and defines the concept of paralogic hermeneutics. In addition, he attacks in these chapters the claim endorsed by many rhetoricians and literary theorists that language conventions control the meaning of utterances, and in place of the conventionalist formulation of communicative interaction, Kent advocates an externalist account of meaning that attempts to move beyond the old Cartesian opposition of mind and world. In stage two of his argument - chapters five through seven - Kent draws out some of the practical implications of a paralogic hermeneutics for the disciplines of rhetoric and literary criticism. One of Kent's most provocative and important claims in these chapters concerns his assertion that the traditional disciplinary boundary existing between composition studies and literary studies evaporates once writing and reading are regarded as hermeneutic endeavors. Finally, Paralogic Rhetoric represents a frontal assault on some of the fundamental assumptions about writing and reading held by many of our most important contemporary rhetoricians and literary theorists. Kent argues persuasively that the time ha
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838752500
  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Meaning of Paralogy 3
2 Against Convention 18
3 Paralogics and the Master Narrative of Objectivity 53
4 On the Very Idea of an Interpretive Community 76
5 Externalism and the Production of Discourse 97
6 Paralogic Genres 127
7 Paralogy and the Teaching of Writing and Reading 157
Notes 171
Bibliography 195
Index 209
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