When rhetoric gets real

Alex Reid, Digital Digs, Jan 09, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've dealt with the concept of 'reality' and e-learning in a couple of presentations, including this one delivered to the Department of National Defense 2008, and this one delivered to the Australia's Flexible Learning Network in 2001. So it should be no surprise that I see 'reality' as a bit of a slippery concept. On the one hand, saying that 'my cat is real' seems to add no new information about my cat. Of course he's real, and right between me and my keyboard as I type. On the other hand, saying '2+2=4' is 'real' seems to be questionable. Is there some 'thing' out there that is '2+2=4'? Plato thought so. I don't. So now we have this post, which asks about the reality of rhetoric. Now our entities do not even have the status of 'things' or 'facts'. So is rhetoric real? Good question.

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