[KB] Editing Redux

James Klumpp jklumpp at umd.edu
Thu Jan 26 07:49:17 EST 2017


Just to focus on two words that I try to suspend when working with the 
pentad: taxonomy and categories.  Of course the pentadic terms as they 
function in the grammar are "stripped of . . . specifics" as Stan 
emphasizes.  What I would emphasize is that Stan's sentences are 
intended (I believe) to make the point that the game is in the 
relationships among the terms -- the ratios -- that are created in the 
well-formed sentence.  Symbolic assertion shapes those ratios.  So, I 
shy away from "taxonomy" because it has the implication of "binning" or 
sorting either terms or their referents into bins.  That would be a sort 
of mechanical process wrapped in referential meaning.  Burke argues 
elsewhere against this mechanical "name the address" thinking about how 
symbols work.  "Naming the categories" has the same mechanical ring to 
it for me.  When the pentad meets the specifics of symbolic action, the 
key is not what "belongs" to each pentadic term, but how the symbolic 
action arrays experience into a particular account.  In that linguistic 
act, hierarchy is performed (not imposed) as the ratios emerge to give 
meaning.  Thus do sentences (and other modes of symbolic array) do their 
work: shaping the shared understanding of the world by cajoling and 
negotiating.  My caution is to avoid the binning of mechanical 
understanding: autopsy, if you would. Remember that at a well-performed 
autopsy, the object of study is dead.  Symbolic action isn't.

I believe that some of the abuses we have perpetuated on the pentad as 
critics of discourse is because we have binned with the pentadic terms: 
sorting stuff into pentadic bins -- What is the agent? What is the act? 
etc. -- and then trying to put it into motion (sic); rather than seeing 
the pentad as a vocabulary to capture the differing ratios that 
construct meaning in symbolic action.  That is my plea: avoid the 
binning and emphasize the relationships that construct accounts.

My two cents worth.

Jim K


On 1/23/2017 11:49 PM, Stan Lindsay wrote:
> Burkeans,
>
> I appreciate the efforts to simplify (or humble) the Pentad.  After 
> all, the book in which it is featured is called A "Grammar" of 
> Motives.  Stripped of all its specifics, the Pentad functions 
> something like the following (grammatical) sentence:  "The nominative 
> noun (modified by adjective/s) verbed (modified by adverb/s) the 
> accusative noun in the locative dative noun (modified by adjective/s) 
> with the instrumental dative noun (modified by adjective/s) in order 
> to infinitive."  It is void of specifics.  In the "grammar" of the 
> Pentad, the previous sentence would read, "The Agent Acted in the 
> Scene by using the Agency in order to accomplish the Purpose."  Once 
> again, void of specifics.  The grammar by itself is neither positive 
> nor negative--those positive or negative elements are introduced by 
> specifying what belongs with each Pentadic term.  It is not a taxonomy 
> in any hierarchal sense, but in the sense that the terms of the Pentad 
> (like Noun, Verb, Adjective, Preposition, etc. of linguistic grammar) 
> name the categories under which other specific words may be classified.
>
> Stan
> Dr. Stan A. Lindsay, Ph.D.
> Teaching Professor
> Professional Communication
> College of Applied Studies
> Florida State University
> slindsay at pc.fsu.edu
> http://www.stanlindsay.com
> http://www.lindsayDIS.COM
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Jim Moore <jimmijcat at hotmail.com>
> *To:* "kb at kbjournal.org" <kb at kbjournal.org>
> *Sent:* Monday, January 23, 2017 6:43 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [KB] Editing Redux
>
> Jim Klumpp wrote:
>
> "Let the humble pentad do its work well.  If
> we do, I think that we will have less chance of losing the point that
> the pentad was posited for in the first place: to capture ways that
> symbolic accounts carve up the world differently."
>
> Jim Moore responds:
>
> Back in the day, my Burkean prof put it this way:  the pentad is not a 
> taxonomy.  Rather, it is a heuristic designed to function as Prof. 
> Klumpp has adumbrated.  I agree with Jim K. that incorporating the 
> term Trouble into pentadic analysis will add little, if anything, to 
> the pentad's power as a heuristic.  The idea that "Trouble" is somehow 
> "missing" from the pentad seems tacitly to attempt to give the pentad 
> purely objective descriptive accuracy that Burke did not claim for it.
>
> Burke's eventual division of Agency into Means/Attitude served a 
> different purpose:  to emphasize the coexistence of instrumental and 
> postural Agencies, which sometimes may be useful to construe 
> as discrete.  "Trouble" seems to be an attempt put another scoop on 
> the ice cream cone, a scoop that is already implied by the presence of 
> the Agent (an actor, not just a mover) amid the other four or five 
> scoops.  That needless scoop leaves the ice cream in danger of 
> tumbling with only questionable benefit to be derived from the new scoop.
>
> I love rocky road,
>
> Jim
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* KB <kb-bounces at kbjournal.org> on behalf of James Klumpp 
> <jklumpp at umd.edu>
> *Sent:* January 23, 2017 1:57:41 PM
> *To:* kb at kbjournal.org; edwardcappel at frontier.com
> *Subject:* [KB] Editing Redux
> I am not certain that I disagree at all with Ed Appel. But I do think
> that we err when we try to overburden the pentad by loading all Burkean
> insights on it.  Trouble is one of those.  We need to remember that the
> pentad was a vocabulary designed to work with variety of accounts.
> "This book is concerned with the basic forms of thought which, in
> accordance with the nature of the world as all men experience it, are
> exemplified in the attributing of motives. . . We shall use five terms
> as generating principle for our investigation. In a rounded statement
> about motives . . ."  Now when we accomplish this task of understanding
> the ways in which the symbol using animal attributes motives, provides
> symbolic accounts of situations, we have not said all that is to be
> said.  Very well. Why does the pentad need to capture all of the world's
> insight?  Let Ed say that the dramatistic process is necessary to a
> fuller statement about diachronic narrative (and to human conflict).  I
> am fine with that.  I agree.  And, drama is a natural metaphor because,
> Burke argues elsewhere, the state of Babel creates disorder and
> conflict, as Jim Moore adds.  But let us not lose sight of the necessary
> work that the pentad does so well -- illuminating the variety of motives
> that mark the Babel of human speech.  Let it do that work well and let
> other insights take that necessary work and proceed further in the human
> drama.
>
> In short, the addition of Trouble into the pentad does not enhance its
> ability to clarify accounts, in my judgment. Save the insights that
> flow from Trouble and the many other terms of disorder that Ed has
> cataloged for a fuller discussion of the rich complex of terminologies
> of which the pentad is one.  Let the humble pentad do its work well.  If
> we do, I think that we will have less chance of losing the point that
> the pentad was posited for in the first place: to capture ways that
> symbolic accounts carve up the world differently.
>
> Jim Klumpp
>
> -- 
> -------------
> James F. Klumpp, Professor Emeritus
> Department of Communication, University of Maryland
> 409 Upper Haw Dr., Mars Hill, NC 28754
> Email: jklumpp at umd.edu
> Voice: 828.689.4456
> Website: http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jklumpp/home.htm 
> <http://terpconnect.umd.edu/%7Ejklumpp/home.htm>
>
>
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-- 
-------------
James F. Klumpp, Professor Emeritus
Department of Communication, University of Maryland
409 Upper Haw Dr., Mars Hill, NC 28754
Email: jklumpp at umd.edu
Voice: 828-689-4456
Website: http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jklumpp/home.htm

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