Toward another rhetoric: Web 2.0, Levinas, and taking responsibility for response ability

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Toward another rhetoric: Web 2.0, Levinas, and taking responsibility for response ability is a 2009 doctoral thesis written in English by M. Santos and published in Purdue University, Indiana.

[edit] Abstract

This dissertation explores the relationship between public considerations of the impact of contemporary dynamic technologies and the metaphysical ethics of Emmanuel Levinas. Both share an interest in interactivity, plurality, transience, and risk. This shared interest rejects the fundamental values of literacy and print identified by media theorists such as Walter J Ong, Eric Havelock, and Marshall {McLuhan--autonomy,} singularity, permanence, and security. The values of these mediums deeply impacted the development of Platonic Idealism and the Modern Enlightenment. My concluding argument suggests that, in the wake of these new mediums, the discipline of rhetoric and composition, in addition to the entire research University that houses it, should pay attention to how digital communities such as Wikipedia balance the Modern desire for ontological knowledge alongside the postmodern and digital emphasis on ethics. Such a balancing suggests that the primary values of literacy and print, and the institutions they helped to engender, are not ideally suited for a digital world.

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