Accommodating science fahnestock
The negative connotations attached to rhetoric are largely the result of a lengthy conflict with philosophy, in which the latter claimed the more valued side of oppositions between opinion and truth, form and content, passion and reason.
Yet recent developments in philosophy and other fields recognize these dichotomies as problematic, resulting in a general resurgence of interest in the tradition of rhetorical inquiry, a tradition maintained by enclaves of scholars working mostly in departments of Speech Communication and English in the United States. "Science as a Rhetorical Transaction: Toward a Nonjustificational Conception of Rhetoric." Philosophy and Rhetoric 10: 1–29.
The idea that there is a rhetoric of science and technology may strike some as perverse and others as obvious.
In popular parlance, the term rhetoric connotes something less than truthful, the ranting of politicians who evade substantive dialogue.
More evidence that the research report was the primary focus for early rhetoricians of science is the fact that some of the first books in the field were devoted to illuminating writing practices in this genre.
For example Charles Bazerman's Shaping Written Knowledge (1988) contrasts the scientific article with other forms of academic discourse and traces historical changes and disciplinary differences in the design of the experimental report. "Kairos in the Rhetoric of Science." In A Rhetoric of Doing: Essays on Written Discourse in Honor of James L.
The first hint that rhetorical inquiry might be applied to scientific discourse began appearing in the journals of rhetoricians in the 1970s. A Rhetoric of Science: Inventing Scientific Discourse. Introduces readers to classical rhetorical theory, then adjusts that theory to apply it to science.
Developments in the philosophy, sociology, and history of science have also contributed to the rise of scholarship on the rhetoric of science and technology. "The Rhetoric of Science." Western Journal of Communication 40: 226–235. gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Science studies scholars have shown that what one era recognizes as the truth of a scientific theory is seen by a later era as mere opinion, supplanted when an authorizing scientific community accepts a new truth claim. "The Role of Pathos in the Decision-Making Process: A Study in the Rhetoric of Science Policy." Quarterly Journal of Speech 76: 381–400. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style.
It shows how even scientists "use, transform, and invent tools and tricks of the symbolic trade" to shape claims so that they are judged novel and truthful by other scientists (p. In Writing Biology (1990), Greg Myers looks at the review process to examine the way authors and editors, operating with different interests, negotiate the status of a scientific claim in a journal article. Wilson and Sociobiology." Quarterly Journal of Speech 76: 134–151.
His book further traces the way two controversies are played out in scientific journals, where scientists interpret their own words and those of their opponents as freely and expertly as any debater in the public forum.
Instead it is steeped in its ancient tradition and denotes the careful study of how texts are designed to seek the assent of an audience.