Soluri's Missive Makes For Good Reading, Even Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Essay Paper: #47916721 Related Topics: Environmental Science, Casual, Rhetorical Analysis, Scientific Method
Excerpt from Essay :

Soluri's missive makes for good reading, even if it is not tied to a point apparent to the casual reader. The core of the article is that unconventional thinking is something to be encouraged, and is usually associated with positive traits. This apparently contrasts with a an idea that on which Soluri does not elaborate, something about environmental history becoming increasingly professionalized and disciplined. It is this part of the essay that is a bit off. Soluri may be reasonable in assuming that a reader of Environmental History will be familiar with this issue, and there may be a well-established dialogue of this nature among practitioners in the field. The problem with this, from a rhetorical perspective, is that Soluri is offering an impassioned counterpoint to an argument that is never really explained, but only assumed, and this weakens some of what he has written. In what way, for example, has the field become increasingly professionalized? It is evident what Soluri thinks about freaks, but what is the precise threat that professionalization poses? This is history we are talking about -- facts are sort of important and in many cases it does require the disciplined analysis of the scientific method.

So the area where Soluri has focused attention -- the impassioned defense of "freaks," and their virtues, he covers a lot of ground. While he does not support his contentions, it seems that this is an


Again, however, knowing the precise nature of his bogeyman would make points like #3 more clear. Without such context, whether or not the article resonates will really depend more on whether it plays to one's confirmation bias. He is not wrong about much of what he says, but one who disagrees with some of his rhetoric will doubtless have trouble digesting the article. He is writing for freaks, which seems to be the easiest audience; preaching to the choir is a low-hanging fruit compared with moving the needle on the hearts and minds of others.

Where his points are strongest is linking the traits of freakiness with approaches to understanding that are strong. Without specific context, these points are not as strong as they could be, but there is little doubt that he is right to praise those paradigm-shifters who would challenge the established approaches to the field. Looking at environmental…

Sources Used in Documents:


Soluri, J. (2005). History's freaks of nature. Environmental History. Vol. 10 (1) 94-95

Cite this Document:

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