Common Knowledge is a journal that discusses the academy through a model based on conversation and cooperation. The article is written by Linda Hutcheon and discusses rhetoric and competition and how they work together. Right from the start, Hutcheon asserts her position as an expert in this field, by announcing a speech she made at the Modern Language Association of America. She then opens up about a mistake she made at that speech, making her all the more relatable to the reader. Throughout the article, Hutcheon asks lots of rhetorical questions about a range of topics. She finishes the first paragraph by asking a question that becomes fundamental to the article: “Why is it that rhetoric ad competition seems to go so well in our current academic context?”. This question introduces her argument and supports her opening remarks in the next two pages with reliable and knowledgeable sources.
Hutcheon argues that competition works best when both parties compete and share knowledge throughout the duration of the interaction. I fully agree in saying that a great way to learn is to listen to others, and this is most applicable in an academic discussion.
Further on in the text, Hutcheon discusses the academy losing its “society”. At any level, competition can deliver both success and failure, but when managing a classroom, office or even academy, it is fundamental that competition creates success. Competition can at times create tension, which can add a negative atmosphere to the academy. One of the fears that Hutcheon discusses is an academy with no societal feel to it, ultimately caused by competition.
Further questions suggest that Hutcheon is always trying to find ways to research this topic, and at the bottom of page 46, she asks questions regarding learning, talking and listening. One of the questions she asks discusses how long each party should spend talking versus listening in an argument or discussion. I personally believe it is as important to listen as it is talking. Talking is great, but an individual cannot learn anything by talking. A proverb I found explains this point perfectly. “No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen”.
Throughout the reading, I was reminded over and over again the importance of learning from other people; and by the end of the reading, I had formed a statement that I think represents the conversation of rhetoric versus competition. The best way to learn, and to come out of an argument, discussion or debate feeling like you have won, is to feel like you have learned something; and this ultimately comes down to listening. Listening to someone else’s opinions don’t only tell you they have thought and what they have learned; but also gives you ideas to base your arguments off of.