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The Essential Enthymeme

Propositions for Educating Students in a Modern World

Edited By Jorge Juan Vega y Vega

The enthymeme in education is essential because it reflects what humans do when they think. It informs not only how we make inferences about the world to discover new knowledge, but also how we express those discoveries to influence the minds of others. Thus, the enthymeme provides an effective pedagogical approach to the analysis and synthesis of ideas in the classroom. In this volume, such an approach is applied to composition instruction, second-language learning, advertising, specialized medical texts, and detective fiction to help prepare students for the challenges of modern life. (Michael D. Hood)

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Foreword: What Can the Enthymeme Do for Education Today? (Jorge Juan Vega y Vega)

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Jorge Juan Vega y Vega Foreword: What Can the Enthymeme Do for Education Today? I think they are enough to give us grave anxieties about the future of intelligence – I mean intelligence as we have known it. We have in our minds a notion of the mind, and various standards of intellectual value which, though very ancient – not to say immemorial – are perhaps not eternal. (Paul Valéry, 1963) A. Intelligence and the Enthymeme In 1935, far before the electronic revolution, Paul Valéry had already writ- ten these words and similar others: “… modern life affects the mind in such a way that we may reasonably feel great anxiety for the survival of intellectual values.” (1963: 138) The educative problems arising nowadays with new technologies, inside and outside school, impel us to ask more questions and to find suitable answers for the present and for the future. One might think: perhaps it is not true; it is only a respectable opinion and nothing else. The problem remains when students in literature class say: “I never read, nothing at all. I don’t like it. I prefer to see the film.” This seems not to be an isolated attitude. The most frightening metaphor of this attitude can be the ‘sliding touchscreen.’ Valéry again (1963: 156): “We have only to turn a knob in our room to hear the voices of the world and sometimes our masters’ voices. And for books, never have so many been published. Never has so much been...

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