Please consider David Foster Wallace’s brief argument that appears below. Next, think about the many texts that you have encountered this term. Once doing so, using your best critical prose, please compose a brief (3-4 page) critical essay. In your response, please follow these steps:
Begin by explaining the logic of Wallace’s argument, as you understand it.
Then, offer a position on Wallace’s argument. Do you agree with his characterization of the different types of thinkers? If so, why? If not, why not? Or, perhaps you may wish to adapt Wallace’s argument?
Next, develop your argument using examples from the reading, thinking and writing you have done during this term. Can you think of examples from at least three of this semester’s texts that help to illustrate your views on Wallace’s argument?
Finally, how does Wallace’s argument offer a concise and thoughtful statement about the dynamics of critical thinking? However you decide to respond, please support any broad assertions that you make with specific details from at least four of the texts that we have surveyed this term. The goals of this exercise are not to intimidate, but to gain an assessment of your abilities as a reader, thinker and writer as well as to complete the examination of issues that have been key to our survey this term–offer up your best prose.
In “Deciderization, 2007,” David Foster Wallace argues:
Part of our emergency is that it’s so tempting to do this sort of thing now, to retreat to narrow arrogance, pre-formed positions, rigid filters, the ‘moral clarity’ of the immature. The alternative is dealing with massive, high-entropy amounts of info and ambiguity and conflict and flux; it’s continually discovering new areas of personal ignorance and delusion. In sum, to really try to be informed and literate today is to feel stupid nearly all the time, and to need help. That’s about as clearly as I can put it.”
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