I’m reading Wayne Booth’s book, The Rhetoric of Rhetoric.  It might have been the last book that he wrote before he died.  I can’t believe how wonderfully sane, smart and productive he was throughout his life–publishing this at 83. My hero.

“Can we hope that more and more will see rhetorical training as essential in learning not only how to protect against deception, but also how to conduct argument that achieves trustworthy agreement and thus avoids the disasters of violence?” (x)

“The point, I should again insist, is not that factual knowledge is unimportant; it is that inert memorized knowledge torn out of the human context of issues discussed with others crushes educational motive.” (94)

Citing Jeffrey Mirel from the Summer 2002 issue of Daedalus: The Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences:

“[D]emocracy depends on the ability to manage conflict constructively.  Learning how to deal with conflict in a civil manner is one of the great lessons that schools in a democracy must teach.” (p. 55)