Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Toward another rhetoric: Web 2.0, Levinas, and taking responsibility for response ability
by Santos, Marc C., Ph.D., Purdue University, 2009, 260; 3403315
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Blakesley, David
Commitee: Bay, Jennifer L., Rickert, Thomas J., Sullivan, Patricia
School: Purdue University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Web Studies, Rhetoric, Mass communications
Keywords: Ethics, Levinas, Emmanuel, Rhetoric, Technology, Web 2.0, Wikipedia
Publication Number: 3403315
ISBN: 978-1-109-76671-4
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