The Practice of Theory

The Practice of Theory : Rhetoric, Knowledge, and Pedagogy in the Academy

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Though theory has become a common language in the humanities in recent years, the relation between theoretical speculation and its practical application has yet to be fully addressed. In The Practice of Theory, Michael Bernard-Donals examines the connection between theory and pedagogy at the level of practice. He asks how such a practice works not only to change the way we read and speak with one another, but also the conditions in which these activities become possible. Bernard-Donals argues that the most sophisticated practice linking pedagogy to theory is rhetoric, but the version of this tradition in thinkers like Rorty and Fish is never broad enough. The conception of rhetoric he proposes instead is linked to other human and natural sciences. The practice of theory investigates the degree to which a materialistic rhetoric can reinvigorate the link between theory, teaching and practice, and offers a sustained reflection on the production of knowledge across a broad range of contemporary disciplines.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139238833
  • 9781139238830

Table of contents

1. Gorgias, Phaedrus, and the rhetorical formulation of the extra-discursive; 2. Aristotle on rhetoric, phronesis, and practical knowledge; 3. A rhetorical reading of the human sciences: towards antifoundationalism; 4. Rorty and the mirror of nature: hermeneutics and the possibility of social change; 5. Louise Phelps and theory: towards a human science disciplined by practical wisdom; 6. Liberatory pedagogy, conceptual knowledge: towards a practical wisdom disciplined by scientific observation; 7. Toward a materialistic rhetoric: writing the conditions of the incommensurable.
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