CMNS 304W Midterm: Midterm Study Guide Main Points

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Midterm Study Guide Main Points
““X” intersection of language and culture is the outline of this course.”
Hermeneutics & Suspicion P.1
Communication and Discourse P.6
Understanding and Frames P.16
Rhetoric & Argumentation + Dialogue & Listening p.23
Dialogue & Listening Cont. Metpahors & Other Confusions p.33
Postmodern Morality: Everyday Language & Politness p.38
Lecture on Hermeneutics & Suspicion
Triangle Model explains how “Language & Culture intersect”
- Content (What?) (top of triangle)
o Content answers the question of what we’re doing / talking about.
o It’s data/ the stuff people use to support the argument of what’s true
and what’s false.
- Process (How?) (bottom left corner of triangle)
o How do we do x?
o How do we communicate about x?
o Every culture/person has a way/process of doing things.
o What has authority/power/influence over us determines how we do
o Language that draws our attention to something is “Deictic
- Effect (Why?)
o Outcomes/Artifacts : the physical and intangible things we create
through communicating with each other.
o Describes our Relationships
o Speaks to our Emotions
o Intentions are the results of the outcomes, emotions, and relationships.
- Hermeneutics: is the art of interpreting things
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o To read in between the lines of the text
- Semantics: the study of meaning
o Denotative: the surface meaning of a word
o Connotative: the meaning of a word in it’s context
Deeper Connotative > Deeper Connotative
- Semiotics: Signifier (sign or symbol) / Signified (what is means)
o Ex; If sign A = sign B and sign B = sign C then sign A = sign C
- The “School of Suspicion” is a concept developed by Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005
French Philosopher)
o He believes theory is that interpretation is either
An effort to recall an author’s meaning or,
An effort to reveal the deception practiced on us by the text
“Real meaning are indirect; I attain things only by attributing a
meaning to a meaning.”
- Paul Ricoeur’s three “masters” of suspicion
o Karl Marx (1818-1883 German Philosopher and Political Economist)
o Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian pioneer of psychoanalysis)
o Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German Philosopher and Philologist)
- All three begin with suspicion concerning illusions of consciousness and then
proceed to employ the stratagem of deciphering; all three, however, far from
being detractors of “consciousness,” aim at extending it.
Readings on Hermeneutics and Suspicion
Reading 1 Garber, Marjorie. “‘Greatness’ & ‘Notes to Chapter 1’." Symptoms of
Culture. US: Routledge, 1998. 16 - 43; 238 - 40.
- Some modern scholars don’t describe the “Great Wall of China” as “great” at
o Only a 3rd of it still stands
o & it didn’t do what it was intended to do which was voiding off the
Mongol Invasion
- The perception of tourist now see the Wall as a form of a commercialized
- The greatness of a site is directly proportional to the number of other viewers
who consider it great.
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- ““Greatness” as a term is today both an inflated and a deflated currency,
shading over into categories of notoriety, transcendence, and some version of
the postmodern fifteen minutes of fame.” – pg. 18
- People have their own perceptions of greatness, and it’s build through the
ideology of hierarchy. Ex Elvis Stamps pg. 18
- Great once met being fat in English language pg. 18
- 1698 King of England “great men” refered to social rank. Pg. 20
- Ralph Waldo Emerson stated “It is natural to believe in great men” when he
referred to people like Plato, Goethe, Napoleon, and Shakespeare.
- Emerson’s believe of “great men” has been followed in the 20th century as a
meaning of success p.20
- Great has also become associated to words like “Fantastic, Terrific, and
Awesome.” P.20
- People associate Hero’s / Greatness to a name existing infinitely p21
- Make believe is a term that unites these fantasy worlds. p.21
- Pete Rose was banned from Baseball which gave him a “Heroic Stature in
America” because people felt he was a successful player who was no longer
around p.25
- His absence made him a hero in the eyes of fans
- When A. Bartlett Giamatti dies the US News Report labeled him as a positive
figure while Pete Rose fan’s compared him to being the dead which from the
Wizard of Oz p.25
- The different perceptions and biased differentiated how people felt about the
- The word “Politics” root is “Polis” which means “The art of making choices and
finding agreements in public” p26
- Giamatti described Home as the place people start and return. He says Home
can’t be described perfectly in another language
o Home is the mixture of memory, longing, sense of security, and
autonomy and accessability. P27
o Home is concept not a place.
o Home is the place where one learns to be separate and a place where
they feel reunion.
- To hit a homer is to become a Hero to go Home again p27
- Auerbach’s research stated that our “Home” is earth p28
o He himself experienced a time of war in Instabul where he was rarely in
an environment long enough to settle.
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