The “Other-Words”: Connecting Integrity, Respect, and Responsible Disagreement about Science
Coleman, Miles Clinton
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In this dissertation, using an assemblage of contemporary moral philosophy, and classical and modern-day rhetorical theory I examine “responsible disagreement” in historical and current contexts of science. Analyzing such texts as Newton’s Light and Colors, Darwin’s Origin of Species, Kepler’s Harmices Mundi, Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus, Galileo’s Dialogue, and a recent controversial technical scientific manuscript, published in open-access journal PLoS ONE, I explore what it means to disagree and argue about science, with respect and integrity. Such terms as dissoi logoi, doxa, parrēsia, andreia, and hyperbaton are applied to incommensurable views of optics, evolutionary biology, heliocentric astronomy, and anti-vaccination in order to construct a theory for practicing ethical rhetorics of science, which I call the “other-words” approach. Implications for producers and analysts of scientific argument in both online and offline, and public and technical, contexts are discussed.
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