The Pope Center‘s Clarion Call has posted Mr. Bertonneau‘s third and final installment of his series “What, Me Read?” I don’t have time to write about it now; I have not even read it. But here’s an excerpt:
Some writing specialists excuse bad writing on the hopeful supposition that a gap exists between cognition and expression—similar to the way a stroke victim can have a complex thought, but cannot properly verbalize it. That is, students who write badly nevertheless know what they want to say, or what they have read, as well as anyone else. I have concluded that no evidence supports this postulate. Having no other means to discern cognition than through its expression, one must take as a given that expression is cognition. Defective writing, unlike the stroke victim’s aphasia, reveals more than mere awkwardness of expression; it reveals the confusions that becloud both the act of reading and the subsequent attempt at a mental sorting out of the narrative. The individual who cannot see things clearly cannot think about them clearly. Likewise those who cannot make sense of stories, which represent cause and effect in the human world, will have difficulty making sense of the actual human world, to which stories refer.That ought to whet your curiosity. I’d tend to agree with him. Without years of experience teaching, without years of experience teaching myself, and without familiarity with philosophy, I would not have been able to come to this conclusion. I’ll explain in later posts.