The Epistemic Music of Rhetoric: Toward the Temporal Dimension of Affect in Reader Response and Writing

The Epistemic Music of Rhetoric: Toward the Temporal Dimension of Affect in Reader Response and Writing

The Epistemic Music of Rhetoric: Toward the Temporal Dimension of Affect in Reader Response and Writing

The Epistemic Music of Rhetoric: Toward the Temporal Dimension of Affect in Reader Response and Writing

Synopsis

In this groundbreaking new book, Steven B. Katz conducts a philosophical critique of Reader Response Criticism from an "aural point of view" afforded by classical rhetoric, the philosophy of language, and music theory. Simultaneously, he assesses the scientific empiricism and technological rationalism that control the parameters of reading and writing theory, research, and pedagogy. In doing so, Katz examines the possibility and desirability of teaching reading and writing as "rhetorical music" to supplement the formalistic, logocentric imperatives that underlie current methods of reading and writing instruction. This book will interest not only theorists and teachers in rhetoric, composition, and literature but also scholars and teachers of oral interpretation, literature and science, and poetics.

Excerpt

I began this book many years ago with some research on the parallel philosophical shift that occurred in literary and scientific theory in the twentieth century; I was interested then in how that shift is revealed in similar metaphors of knowledge in these disciplines. The underlying assumption of this book is still that our modes and methods of knowing are grounded in epistemic metaphors that constitute cultural ways of knowing. But here I am particularly concerned with how in our highly visual, logocentric, scientific society, those modes, methods, and metaphors, in philosophy, in rhetoric, in literary criticism, in composition, in speech communication, as in the sciences, are predominantly visual. In fact, almost all our knowledge—or what counts as valid knowledge in our culture—is visual. Our knowledge is visual, of course, because it is based on an empiricism that is defined exclusively in terms of the sense of sight; if the definition of empiricism were expanded—and perhaps it needs to be—it would include all the senses, not just sight, as the foundation of epistemology. But our knowledge is also visual insofar as logic itself seems to be conceived in spatial categories, is conceptualized as well as affirmed according to the sense of sight.

The question this book explores and attempts to answer is, how can we study, describe, and explain that which is beyond empirical or rational investigation or confirmation, such as indeterminate or affective experience? This is a problem not only . . .

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