Invention as a Social Act
Working from both literary and composition theory, this book argues that American composition theory and pedagogy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is founded on the Platonic view that invention is a solitary act in which the individual, drawing upon innate knowledge and mental structures, searches for the truth, using introspective self examination and heuristic methods of various kinds. Invention is then discussed as a social act and four perspectives on invention are presented: (1) the Platonic perspective, (2) the internal dialogic perspective, (3) the collaborative perspective, and (4) the social collective perspective. The book concludes with directions for writers, researcher, scholars, and teachers including studying writing in social contexts, taking note of various kind of people who affect invention, encouraging group authorship and other collaborative activities, increasing flexible work space for group activities, and integrating writing with learning across the curriculum. (SRT)
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