Forecasting Opportunity: Kairos, Production, and Writing


SKU: 9780761831617
Author: Stephenson, Hunter W
Publication Date: 06/09/2005
Publisher: University Press of America
Binding: Paperback
Media: Book
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This project focuses on the classical Greek rhetorical construct kairos, generally translated as right timing and due measure. Classical Greek scholars positioned kairos as a symbolic tool used by rhetoricians during the production of oral discourse. Modern rhetorical scholars have appropriated kairos, employing it as a tool for the post hoc evaluation of printlinguistic text. However, these contemporary scholars have failed to support either theoretically or empirically their appropriation of the construct. Etymological studies of the word suggest that kairos was associated initially with archery and weaving and denoted a physical space. As used by early rhetoricians, kairos lost its spatial denotation and became associated exclusively with the production of oral discourse. Kairos also figures prominently in other disciplines, such as historical studies, psychotherapy, and theology, where it remains associated with non-rhetorical domains of human performance. Two theoretical arguments were developed from cultural-historical psychology and cognitive psychology, which suggest that a kairos of general human performance develops before a kairos of rhetorical performance. These arguments also suggest that an understanding of kairos is used during the production of written text. Three case studies of journalists revealed kairos was utilized during the production of text. The journalists operated with three distinct models of kairos-a standard external model, a durable external model, and an internal model-during their production (but not evaluation) of printlinguistic text.