Download Composition as a Human Science: Contributions to the by Louise Wetherbee Phelps PDF

By Louise Wetherbee Phelps

This groundbreaking number of essays is among the first works to mirror at once and systematically at the conceptual and moral foundation for composition reports as a brand new self-discipline of written language. Phelps articulates a philosophy of composition beneficiant sufficient to house all of the strands of present paintings with no being overly eclectic--an open framework topic to amendment and addition because the box develops. She attracts on large studying within the humanities and social sciences--including cognitive technological know-how, linguistics, literary thought, schooling, philosophy, hermeneutics, rhetoric, and psychology--to outline the contribution and position of composition reviews in the greater highbrow and cultural group. The publication will for that reason curiosity theorists and students in a large choice of fields.

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Even our own bodies represent an opaque zone whose workings we cannot completely know or control. Our consciousness is not only limited in its field of awareness but sometimes illusory or deceptive. Our actions, as Anthony Giddens points out, have unanticipated conditions and unintended consequences. 46 I suggest, therefore, that appropriate critical moments for hermeneutical disciplines are those methods dealing with aspects of human experience that are, for whatever reason, outside our direct, intuitive knowledge or control.

Beyond accepting the dependence of fact on theory, there is no agreement. With sense data now discredited as an absolute, neopositivists retreat to the second authoritative foundation for knowledge, formal reason. Here are two examples of their attempt to rescue rationality by finding rulelike criteria, the first on the level of unconscious cognition and the second on the level of theory choice. In both cases I will look at them through the eyes of their critics. 18 The core of this view is the image of human cognition as information processing.

The most telling expression of those ideals is found in the summaries of "scientific method" offered by practitioners in other disciplines writing about problems of method and the possibility of knowledge. Most often these are the social disciplines. Whether supportive or critical of positivism, such accounts tend to identify this theory of science with science itself. To these writers, for whom the complex history of positivism as a research program is irrelevant, the "scientific method" is transparently well defined and provides an accurate description of practice, at least for the hard sciences.

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