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Topical Learning
Södertörn University, School of Discourse Studies, Rhetoric.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3313-4403
2008 (English)In: Understanding Argumentation: Work in Progress / [ed] Frans H van Eemeren, David Cratis Williams, Igor Z. Zagar, Amsterdam: Sic Sat - Rozenberg , 2008, 1, 127-136 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One of the most neglected rhetorical treasures is inventio and particularly the notion of topoi.  In my opinion, these powerful devices and concepts can make a valuable contribution to current pedagogy. In education and research, invention is considered as the art of creating and finding material for speeches. The concept of topos is often presented as a more or less general question helping us find relevant arguments. But inventio and the teaching of topos can have a far wider function and significance. By reducing inventio to a phase in the production of a speech, we risk ignoring the pedagogical potential of topoi as a repertoire of cognitive, epistemological and critical tools.


The purpose of this article is to outline two theoretical approaches for future research. One starting point is a topical theory of learning and the other is a topical epistemology. First, I believe that the notion of topos can contribute to our understanding of the learning process. Within the theory of topoi, an embryo to a theory of learning can be found, uniting a social-constructive understanding with a cognitive comprehension, bridging the alleged gap between imagination and rationality, and containing the essential requirements for deliberative pedagogy. Secondly, my view is that a topical perspective about learning has epistemological or rather “doxological” (Rosengren 2002) implications. Therefore, I would like to connect a topical concept of learning to a perspectivist view of knowledge. As an important benefit, this could help us cope with diversity and plurality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Sic Sat - Rozenberg , 2008, 1. 127-136 p.
Keyword [en]
Rhetoric, topoi, learning, pedagogy, critical thinking
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URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-22060ISBN: 9789051709025 (print)OAI: diva2:695834
Available from: 2014-02-12 Created: 2014-02-12 Last updated: 2014-02-13Bibliographically approved

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