For another chapter?

I ran across a term in an excerpt from Kenneth Burke (“The Five Master Terms,” in Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Invention in Writing). . .

From my notes:  Panspermia=  from “the ancients” “an original chaos in which all the seeds of all the universal possibilities lay in one vast confusion. Such a panspermia is the region of overlap among the five terms, the primary confusion of the many powers that take expression in the different philosophies” (10). Allegedly, the term was first found in the writings of Anaxagoras(5th c. BCE). [Wikipedia. . .it’s a place to start].

It seems like panspermia today lies in scientific, or pseudoscientific, fields, and the terms describes the idea that seeds for life are scattered across the Universe and are somehow transferred from the universe to places like Earth. . .it also seems to be connected to intelligent design somehow in subject searches. . .not exactly what Burke had in mind. . .

Damn the need to use classical terms to describe science (pseudoscience?) and make it all fancy/shmancy. . .I know there’s something to be said for the idea of panspermia and the way in which I view essays as borderland spaces in which invention occurs. . .I just need to work through it. . .later.  .  .

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I am an associate professor of English and writing center coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I teach courses in composition, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of English, and peer tutoring.

Posted in Inspiration

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