Re[2]: Reassessing our practices

Michael Hamende (HamendeM@CTS.DB.ERAU.EDU)
Tue, 13 Feb 1996 08:29:26 EST

Bob King said:

Depending on what kind of world you want to help create, yes indeed
"the device" is useful to anyone who uses it. I just don't think it's
particularly useful to anyone not wanting to reinscribe the world in
its present contours and within its present parameters. Hence it's
not particularly useful to me. And, I'd still say it's pretty useless
training for most freshpeople and undergraduates unless they are
planning on being among the next crop of discourse masters.

Bob King

This all sounds vaguely like the warnings Plato and Aristotle provided
regarding the potential abuses of rhetoric and the Sophists. No I
don't think the function of the essay should be to master the masters.
It should be to make the world a better place. Are there new/other
ways of thinking? Yes. Are they widely available to us and are they
as widely understood? Nah. The essay seems a good way to think about
things. Is there the potential to abuse it? Yup. If you take away
the guns, will people find other ways to kill people? Yup.

We cannot control the way others will use/abuse rhetoric; we can only
"police" our own uses and hopefully model appropriate uses.

Mike Hamende