Friday, July 30, 2004

More quotes:

From Anthony Palmeri's dissertation (Wayne State University, 1987), "Walter J. Ong's Perspectives on Rhetorical Theory."
Some metarhetorical principles Palmeri derived from Ong's works, discussed on pages 166-179:

  • "Rhetoric may be given meaning by relating it to larger cultural developments."

  • "The rhetorician can better understand the history of rhetoric by looking for metarhetorics that have operated in the past."

  • "Research should be synchronic and diachronic."

  • "A theory of rhetoric is made more meaningful with knowledge of the dominant media in use.

  • "The Ciceronian Principle: The rhetorician gains more understanding through an interdisciplinary approach to research."

  • "Knowledge of Western rhetorical practices is given fuller meaning upon observation of practices in non-Western cultures."

In response to claims that Cole and Scribner's The Psychology of Literacy refutes Ong's theories of orality and literacy, Palmeri notes that while the Vai of Liberia did learn a writing system, they did not learn an alphabetic one. He writes: "Thus Cole and Scribner are inherently supporting the Ong/Havelock view which says that the alphabetic writing system only can provide these cognitive changes" (182-83).


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