Monday, September 5, 2011

Psycho-Epistemology And Writing

Judging one's audience when writing:

A "type of audience" is an abstraction. Concretely, you will find evaders and people with dreadful psycho-epistemologies in any audience (including an Objectivist one). The cognitive level of your readers does not determine their psycho-epistemology. Children can make a more intelligent, better focused audience than professors. Therefore, do not give any consideration whatever to the possibility of bad psycho-epistemologies. Once you have projected your audience's level of knowledge, address yourself to the best, most focused mind that you can imagine in that cognitive group.

It is improper to address yourself to a faulty psycho-epistemology. Devising a rational method to address the irrational is a contradiction. If some of your readers are irrational, there are no principles by which to decide what they will choose to hear, what they will not, and what connections they will make. Neither you nor the evader can predict what he will miss and what he will integrate. That is in the nature of irrationality.

Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction, p.21-22.

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