I need help writing a paragraph of approximately 100 words. The assignment suggests that a good place to start is to discuss what self-reflection is. Next, I am required to explain what value language has in terms of self-reflection.
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The reflective essay is grounded theoretically in the notion of what scholars sometimes term "epistemic rhetoric." This includes within it assumptions about both the nature of language and about the psychological process by which writers engage in invention (or what classical rhetoricians term "heuresis").
The essential epistemological assumption behind the reflective essay as it is normally assigned is grounded in the linguistic turn in philosophy, the Wittgensteinian claim that "the limits of my language are the limits of my world", i.e. that we can only know what we can articulate in language. Thus in order to understand something, we must write about it, both achieving and demonstrating knowledge through the use of language.
The second major assumption underlying the reflective essay is heuristic, having to do with the writing process. Rather than assuming that we first gain knowledge, and then write to express the knowledge we have, epistemic rhetoricians argue that we make discoveries during the writing process itself, in a sense revising Anselm's "credo ut intelligam" to a new dictum of "scripto ut intelligam".
The essential nature of the reflective essay is exploratory, where you take the particular subject on which you have been assigned to reflect, and rather than provide a precise argument or attempt at persuasion, develop a personal connection to your subject and think through your own opinions and reactions to it.
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