Came across this excellent Wayne Booth article today, via Wilf Berendsen on Friends of Wisdom. Interestingly Wilf was picking up on the cross-discipline university approach mentioned by John Spencer at Liverpool Uni and mentioned his own involvement with Academia Vitae in Holland
The Booth article is 20 years old, and towards the end, has some “futuristic” predictions (already passed) about things that might happen in future education establishments. Some wonderful ironies, in a very interesting piece … just a sample here.
- business school professors founding centers for “decision research” and “cognition and communication,” with the purpose of discovering just how minds are changed;
- classicists studying the history of the goddess Peitho, the goddess of persuasion;
- cognitive psychologists repudiating behavior modification models and studying ways in which the mind performs “constructionist” operations that escape full formalization;
- “comparative religionists” studying how myths are made persuasive by embedding them in the factual;
[Post Note : the three rhetorics are :
Rhetoric-1 – what the author intends as objective facts and rational argument
Rhetoric-2 – more persuasive language added by the author
Rhetoric-3 – the approval of third-party experts in the author’s field.
The point being that we (honestly) rely on all three, particularly when we do not share the same specialist field as the author, and that therefore a sound understanding of how to evaluate all three rhetorics, and the intentional behaviour of the parties involved, if knowledge is ever to be regarded as true beyond a specialist field. Thus the network of expert approval (not just critical analysis) is recursive but nevertheless essential to the process, and that rhetoric is therefore a cross-specialist subject, as important as any in its own right.]