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Transcendence

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Excuses > Transcendence

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When faced with an accusation, transcendence is a method of connecting the accused action with a greater meaning, thereby excusing the act as legitimate on a more important stage.

A typical way of doing this is to show that you acted against normal social values because to do otherwise would be to break the law. The reverse can also be done, for example indicating that you broke the law because of greater social values.

Example

Yes, I know I should have been here earlier, but I'm sure you wouldn't want me to break the law by speeding.  

I was indeed breaking the speed limit. But then I a doctor and was hurrying to respond to an emergency call out.

Discussion

Transcendence is a method of reframing, not so much changing the facts but changing their meaning by looking at things in new ways.

Ware and Linkugel describe transcendence as 'joins some fact, sentiment, object, or relationship with some larger context within which the audience does not presently view that attribute'. This is opposite to differentiation, which separates, rather than joins.

See also

Reframing

 

Ware, B.L. and Linkugel, W.A. (1973). They spoke in defense of themselves: On the generic criticism of apologia. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 59, 273-283

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