Paralogic Rhetoric: A Theory of Communicative Interaction

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Bucknell University Press, Jan 1, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 212 pages
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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. 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 has arrived for a reconsideration of our current conceptions concerning both the production and the reception of discourse, and in these pages, he proposes a description of communicative interaction that serves as a large first step toward a radical redescription of writing and reading."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Contents

Against Convention
18
Paralogics and the Master Narrative of Objectivity
53
On the Very Idea of an Interpretive Community
76
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Thomas Kent teaches rhetorical and literary theory in the Department of English at Iowa State University. He is the author of "Paralogic Rhetoric: A Theory of Communicative Interaction and Interpretation" and "Genre: The Role of Generic Perception in the Study of Narrative Texts."

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