Philosophy’s Relevance to Technical Writing

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 2 (2):89-95 (1984)
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Abstract

This paper inventories the skills needed for success as a technical writer. I argue that while some of these are undeniably vocational, others are general and analytic. With specific examples, I show the relevance of four mainstream philosophical skills to the problem of document design (making distinctions, extracting important patterns, detecting logical structure, and assessing alternatives) and I contend that truly effective technical writing presupposes such skills.

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T. R. Girill
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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