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Cogent science in context: the science wars, argumentation by William Rehg

By William Rehg

Fresh years have noticeable a chain of excessive, more and more acrimonious debates over the prestige and legitimacy of the typical sciences. those "science wars" happen within the public arena--with present battles over evolution and worldwide warming--and in academia, the place assumptions approximately clinical objectivity have been known as into query. Given those hostilities, what makes a systematic declare advantage our attention? In Cogent technology in Context, William Rehg examines what makes medical arguments cogent--that is, robust and convincing--and how we must always check that cogency. Drawing at the instruments of argumentation thought, Rehg proposes a multidimensional, context-sensitive framework either for knowing the cogency of clinical arguments and for engaging in cooperative interdisciplinary checks of the cogency of exact medical arguments. Rehg heavily examines J?rgen Habermas's argumentation conception and its implications for figuring out cogency, employing it to a case from high-energy physics. a sequence of difficulties, in spite of the fact that, beset Habermas's method. In reaction, Rehg outlines his personal "critical contextualist" method, which makes use of argumentation-theory different types in a brand new and extra context-sensitive approach encouraged by way of ethnography of technological know-how.

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Kuhn only exacerbated matters by declaiming the “incommensurability” of competing paradigms. This thesis seemed to have a number of distinct meanings: that paradigms conceive the relevant problems and standards differently, that scientists working in different paradigms see the world (or data) differently, and so on. According to Zammito (2004, chap. 3), philosophers tended to read Kuhn in light of the philosophy of language. From that perspective, incommensurability involved semantic holism, such that the meaning of terms changed across paradigms.

Because he makes the degree of confirmation depend on a frequency distribution that is determined a priori, in advance of empirical work, he must situate his logical reconstructions not only with respect to the pragmatic choice of vocabulary, but also with respect to the choice of “inductive method,” which determines the particular mathematical weightings in the distribution of possible outcomes (Carnap 1952). These choices are not trivial, for they determine the degree of evidential support that a given hypothesis has.

Specifically, he wondered whether the rhetoric of science, in its current form, genuinely illuminates scientific discourse rather than merely adding a veneer of useless new jargon to scientific arguments that are clear enough as they stand. For my purposes this challenge raises the question of how rhetorical analysis—or more generally, an argumentation studies framework—can help in the critical assessment of scientific arguments and claims. The answer must await later chapters. 3 Rhetoric and Argumentation Studies The rhetorical turn and the emergence of argumentation studies share common origins, but that does not mean we should equate the two movements.

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