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Sci Tech    H4'ed 3/14/10

Who Was Walter Ong, and Why Is His Thought Important Today?

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Ong, Walter J. "The Agonistic Base of Scientifically Abstract Thought: Issues in fighting for life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness." In Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Desmond J. Fitzgerald, and John T. Noonan, Jr., eds., Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (Catholic University of America), 56 (1982): 109-24. Reprinted in An Ong Reader: Challenges for Further Inquiry, edited by Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A. Soukup (Cresskill, New Jersey, 2002: 479-95).

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Ong, Walter J. Introduction [To Milton's Logic]. In Maurice Kelley, ed., Complete Prose Works of John Milton: Volume VIII: 1666-1682. New Haven, Connecticut; and London, England: YaleUniversity Press, 1982. 139-205. Reprinted as "Introduction to Milton's Logic" in Ong's Faith and Contexts: Volume Four, edited by Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A. Soukup. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999: 111-42.

Parks, Ward. Verbal Dueling in Heroic Narrative: The Homeric and Old English Traditions. Princeton, New Jersey: PrincetonUniversity Press, 1990.

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Sloane, Thomas O. On the Contrary: The Protocol of Traditional Rhetoric. Washington, D.C.: CatholicUniversity of America Press, 1997. Thomas O. Sloane focuses on the pro-and-con debate protocol in traditional rhetoric in Western culture. But not only the verbal art known as rhetoric, but also the verbal art known as dialectic inculcated the spirit of pro-and-con debate. In Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1958), Walter J. Ong shows how Peter Ramus (1515-1572) and Ramism in effect moved away from the protocol of pro-and-con debate in favor of setting forth one's own line of argument without explicit reference to real or imaginary adversarial positions or possible objections.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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