Epistemology Of Television By Jennifer Dodson

1751 words, 8 pages

Intro Sample...

In her paper, “The Epistemology of Television,” Jennifer Dodson shows the strong points of Neil Postman’s speech “Amusing Ourselves to Death” at the 1984 Frankfurt Germany Book Fair. Jennifer presents the theme of Postman’s talk and recaps the author’s arguments, as well as offering examples of the author’s use of statistics and logic to effectively make her comparison. Also contained within the analysis is a look at the integrity of both Postman himself and Huxley’s book. After examining Postman’s comparison of today’s world to the social state depicted in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, shared with the sobering impression that is left with Postman’s target audience, Jennifer is led to believe that Postman makes an extraordinary... View More »

Body Sample...

            He contests other possible disapproval of his article very well, backing up, perhaps debatable statements with logic and statistics. For example, he states “America is engaged in the world’s most ambitious experiment to accommodate itself to the technological distractions made possible by the electric plug,” (Postman, 1985, p. 449) a brave declaration. He backs that claim with statistics from the 1983 Nielsen Report on Television, a reliable source that many people will trust, and the statistics offered will likely bring about the expected reaction. The audience to which he was speaking already understands the effect of the society’s weakness in Brave New World. Postman cannot make it any clearer that television not only can, but is doing the exact same thing to our society. He has proven his logic to be thorough, and his deductions to be rational. His case is solid, provided the audience is not fascinated by the television.
Neil Postman connects well with his anticipated audience, showing throughout his paper that he is familiar with the subject of television in America, and he uses as a contrast to his argument a fictional story that has been professed to be one of the 100 Best English-language Novels of the 20th Century; Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. All through his paper, though Postman makes proclamations that could turn the wrong audience off, his credibility with the audience allows him to make possible risky comments. He references “America’s consuming love affair with television,” (Postman, 1985, p. 449) something that would make some turn away in ...

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