science studies, argumentation, argument, William Keith, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Chicago, Lawrence Erlbaum, arguments, University of Chicago Press, New York, Indiana University Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, Harvard University Press, State University of New York Press, Scientific Controversies, Informal Logic, Argumentation and Advocacy, argument evaluation, Olga Amsterdamska, scientific knowledge, Deliberative Democracy, Thomas S. Kuhn, Michael Reidy, Duke University, Aristotle, John Forester, Stanford University, formal logic, argument structure, University Press, inductive arguments, McMaster University, Philosophy of Science, Michael A., Rhetoric of Science, Closure of Disputes in Science and Technology, philosophical commitments, tacit knowledge, social scientists, universal knowledge, philosophical approaches, Sociology of Knowledge, argumentation theory, critical theorists, William Rehg, Places Olga Amsterdamska, University of Wisconsin Press, Science History Publications, G. Thomas Goodnight, Michael Mulkay, Princeton University Press, University of South Carolina Press, University of South Carolina, Yale University Press, Social Studies of Science
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II Practices, People, and Places Olga Amsterdamska
More than a quarter of a century ago, science studies scholars began shifting their
attention from science as a system of ideas or beliefs produced by a social institution
to a conceptualization of science as a set of practices. A theoretically and disciplinar-
ily diverse set of laboratory and controversy studies published in the late 1970s and
early 1980s offered a "naturalistic" look at what scientists are doing when they prepare,
devise, or conduct their experiments; collect and interpret data; discuss, formulate, or
write up their work; and agree or disagree about their findings. Some adopted the new
approach because of a commitment to ethnomethodology; others had a background
in anthropology and its ethnographic methods or in symbolic interactionist modes of
analysis of work. Still others were inspired by Kuhn's interpretation of paradigms as
exemplars, concrete practical achievements which scientists treat as models in need
of further elaboration rather than as articulated systems of beliefs; by Polanyi's idea
of tacit knowledge; or by the Wittgensteinian or Winchian attention to forms of life.
To a casual observer, the change might have seemed primarily methodological:
social scientists developed an interest in conducting ethnographic studies
laboratories, and began observing the mundane, everyday activities of scientists.
Micro-sociological approaches focusing on situated actions supplanted the macro-
sociological, structural analyses. Participant observation, interviews, and discourse
analysis were used for detailed case studies of scientists at work. The specificities of
the locales where research was conducted, interactions among scientists, and their
engagements with material environments became objects of interest to social scien-
tists. The titles of early works in this genre--whether Latour and Woolgar's Laboratory
Life or Karin Knorr-Cetina's The Manufacture of Knowledge or Michael Lynch's Art and
Artefact in Laboratory Life--testify to this emphasis on the processes of knowledge pro-
duction rather than their products. The first results of these studies seemed largely
philosophically deflationary: some of the old distinctions lost their relevance (e.g.,
between the context of discovery and the context of justification, external and
internal factors or social and cognitive activities); and nothing uniquely scientific
was happening in the laboratories.
The change in science studies was far more profound than the deceptively naпve
call to "follow scientists around" would suggest. The focus on practices signaled an
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interest in patterned activities rather than rules, in speech and discourse rather than
language as a structure, in questions about the use of instruments or ideas in a par-
ticular location and situation rather than in universal knowledge, in production and
intervention rather than representation, and in science as a mode of working and
doing things in and to the world rather than as a system of propositions arranged into
theories. Scientists were no longer to be unproblematically associated with their spe-
cialties and disciplines, but were seen as engaging in a variety of interactions with a
heterogeneous group of actors, including anyone from patients to laboratory assis-
tants to funding agencies. The achievements of these practice-oriented science studies
are visible in virtually every chapter of this Handbook. In this section, however, the
STS focus on scientific practice becomes itself an object of reflection, elaboration, and
Practice-oriented approaches to the study of science were seen from the beginning
as in some respects problematic. The need to breach (or prove irrelevant) some of their
limitations or constraints was often acknowledged and reiterated. For example, while
studies of knowledge production emphasized the local character of the research
process and of the knowledge claims made by scientists, many critics averred that sci-
entific knowledge is, if not universal, at least translocal or global and that the focus
on local practice concealed that fact. How then can the conceptual and methodolog-
ical toolbox of STS be adjusted and expanded to accommodate questions about the
production and reproduction of translocal scientific knowledge? Can we even talk
about such knowledge? What are the consequences of STS's concrete focus on the local
and historically specific for our ability to distinguish science from other kinds of
knowledge, or to justify drawing a distinction between good and bad science? Are
there ways to overcome the implicit normative agnosticism that came with the empha-
sis on the practical and the local? Similarly, practice-oriented investigation of scien-
tific knowledge tended to emphasize the manner in which scientists "do" things, and
thus intervention and experimentation were studied more intensely than the pro-
duction of propositional or theoretical knowledge. But if so, is there a way to look at
patterns of argumentation and rhetoric in science without abandoning the practice-
oriented approach? And does practice orientation make STS researchers oblivious to
larger-scale social processes, to economic, institutional, or cultural constraints and the
more permanent forms of the distribution of power in society?
The essays in this section of the Handbook review a wide range of studies of the
various aspects of scientific practices and suggest new ways to address these concerns
about the limits of the pragmatic turn in science studies.
The first three chapters in this section draw on the resources of neighboring fields--
argumentation studies and rhetoric, social epistemology, and cognitive science
suggest how some of the perceived limitations of science studies could be overcome.
Underlying these possibilities for dialogue is a shared focus on scientific practice. And
so, William Keith and William Rehg review studies of scientific argumentation and
rhetoric. They emphasize that rhetorical analyses of science are likely today to examine
various kinds of discourses in their contexts, to study argumentation as a process as
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well as a product, to analyze informal rather than formal structures of argumentation,
and to pay attention to the exigencies of goals, modalities, and audiences. In all these
respects, these studies share the concerns and approaches of STS studies of discourse,
yet at the same time they offer us tools to examine the larger communicative
contexts of scientific discourse and, the authors hope, to build a bridge between
"normative philosophical approaches and descriptive/explanatory sociologies of
knowledge, often considered non-critical or anti-prescriptive." Concern with how
practice-oriented approaches to science can develop a normative orientation is also
paramount in the articles of Ronald Giere and Miriam Solomon, both of whom inves-
tigate the intersection between STS and the new practice-oriented philosophical
studies of science.
In philosophy, the abandonment of the grand project of the logical reconstruction
of scientific knowledge and its methodology has generated increased interest in more
historically and empirically rooted approaches to knowledge and a variety of appeals
to the American pragmatist tradition. At the same time, philosophers have been made
particularly uncomfortable by the supposed relativist and nonevaluative attitudes ofConstructivist Approach
es to science dominant in STS. The attempt to develop a coher-
ent normative position--to distinguish good science from bad and to develop rec-
ommendations for how science should be done--is at the heart of both Giere's review
of the cognitive sciences and Solomon's review of social epistemology. Both regard
science as situated practice and agree that to view it as a passive representation of the
world or as a logical form is to misunderstand scientific endeavors. Moreover, although
Giere does not want to lose sight of the psychological aspects of cognition, both
he and Solomon emphasize the collective aspects of scientific investigation and
knowledge, allow for a plurality of culturally and disciplinarily variable scientific
research strategies and evaluative approaches, and formulate evaluative norms that
govern communal activities rather than individual cognition or abstract systems of
While Solomon and Giere look into and beyond social studies of science from
the perspectives of their own fields, Park Doing reviews laboratory studies from the
"inside," asking to what extent such studies met the goals set by their authors. The
most fundamental claim of early laboratory studies was the assertion that the process
of construction and acceptance of scientific claims cannot be separated from their
content, or that the production--shown to be driven by contingency, opportunism,
political expediencies, tinkering toward success, and so on--shapes the product. In his
chapter, Doing argues that while laboratory life has indeed been shown to be full of
contingencies of all sorts, ethnographies of the production of scientific facts have not
established how these contingencies actually affect the formulation of specific claims
and their acceptance or rejection. Park Doing proposes an ethnomethodological solu-
tion to this shortcoming of the existent laboratory studies advocating turning to
actors' accounts of the closure of controversies, while pointing out that thus far, those
who have tried to explain such closure have tended to look beyond the immediate
contexts of practice--to invoke the authority of disciplines or instruments.
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Once science ceased to be regarded as a body of propositions, it quickly became
apparent that images and other forms of visualization played an important, often orga-
nizing role in much laboratory work and mediated both social and instrumental inter-
actions. Accordingly, interest in visual representations entered social studies of science
together with the interest in practices. Studies of the production, interpretation, and
use of scientific images are reviewed in the chapter by Regula Burri and Joseph Dumit,
who call for extending studies of scientific imaging practices to places beyond the lab-
oratory walls where they not only carry the authority of science but also intersect
with--reinforce, challenge, or are challenged by--other kinds of knowledge. Medical
practice, with its heavy reliance on visual technologies, is one of the settings or milieus
in which such interactions between different kinds of knowledges and modes of rep-
resentation and seeing are particularly interesting, allowing us to ask questions about
the social persuasiveness and power of images as well as questions about the role of
science in the constitution of identity and seeing.
As Burri and Dumit remind us in their work on images and the authors from the
Virtual Knowledge Studio (VKS) reiterate in their chapter, studies of scientific practices
in laboratories have devoted much attention to the uses of instrumentation, tools,
and technologies of research. Some of these studies emphasize the mediating role of
instruments and technologies, while others point to their unruliness and recalcitrance
in the daily work of knowledge production, to the skill and tacit knowledge which
goes into dealing with instruments, to the articulation work needed to get and use
"the right tool for the job," and to efforts of standardization deployed to limit uncer-
tainty or facilitate communication among scientists working in different settings. The
roles of instrumentation and technologies of research are, however, particularly wide
ranging and multifaceted in the case of e-science, examined here by the VKS. The
amazing heterogeneity of the uses of computers and the Internet in contemporary
science--with changes in both methods and media permeating so many different
aspects of scientific practice--prompts the VKS authors to advocate extending the
existing focus on scientific work by trying to conceptualize it as scientific labor, thus
incorporating the economic dimensions of instrumental practices alongside studies of
practices as epistemic cultures. At the same time, e-science seems to provide us with
a unique opportunity to examine the significance of location and displacement in the
practice of science.
The emergence of e-science, the globalization of communication and research tech-
nologies, and the seemingly unlimited mobility of researchers, research objects, and
knowledge claims are reflected in the (seamless, virtual, fluid) "network" vocabularies
used both to describe scientific practices in the Internet era and to theorize about
science more generally. Network imagery shifts attention away from the constitutive
roles of contexts and places but facilitates discussions of processes of the de- and re-
contextualization of knowledge and the merging of micro and macro levels. And yet,
as Christopher Henke and Thomas Gieryn argue in their chapter, places--as geo-
graphical and sociocultural locations and as architectural settings with specific designs
and equipment--continue to matter for the practice of science by, for example,
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enabling and organizing face-to-face interactions among practitioners, helping to define some activities as scientific while delegitimizing others (and thus securing science its cultural authority), or organizing activities as individual and collective, visible and hidden from view, public and private. And so, the question "where does science happen?" retains its relevance for studies of scientific practice even in the age of global networks and standardized settings. The question of "who?"--of how to conceptualize actors and their identities--is, of course, equally central. As many of these chapters make apparent, the critiques of practice-oriented studies of science often focus on the continuing difficulty of resolving action-structure dilemmas. Since a focus on practice brings to the fore the manner in which the scientists themselves actively shape their world, bringing both order and change, many authors find it necessary to try to account for the co-constitutive character of the context or environment of practice, be it material, social, economic, or cultural. The search for such structural factors dominates the attempt of Henry Etzkowitz, Stefan Fuchs, Namrata Gupta, Carol Kemelgor, and Marina Ranga to explain the continuing low levels of women's participation in science. In contrast, Cyrus Mody and David Kaiser's study of scientific education explicitly strives to combine structural and social action
approaches, appealing to Foucault and Bourdieu alongside Wittgenstein and Kuhn. Mody and Kaiser see science education not just as a reproduction of values, knowledge, and credentialed personnel but as their generation. They study learning and teaching not just as a process of transmission of ready-made book knowledge but as the development of skills and the acquisition of tacit knowledge. For them, students and teachers are not just the followers of rules and norms but politically and socially savvy actors, so that education is not just the filtering of recruits into science but an active and historically changing process of the fashioning of the moral economy of science. The directive to study practices has widened the range of places where STS scholars now look when studying the production of scientific knowledge. From a practice perspective, every diagnostic or treatment decision by a doctor, every choice of policy by a government regulatory agency, and every user's attempt to master a new technology can be seen as part of the process of knowledge production. But if so, there was, of course, no reason to keep our eyes fixed inside the walls of laboratories, universities, research institutes, and R&D departments, and, as many essays in other sections of this Handbook testify, much justified attention has in recent years come to settle on actors who are not scientists and on areas of activity where scientific knowledge, technological know-how, and research goals are made to intersect with other knowledges, skills, and tasks. While productive, such a broadening of focus makes theory construction more complex and contributes to the sense that the term "practice" itself has become all-inclusive and less distinct. The chapters in this section do not share a common theory, or even a common definition of practice, but a family resemblance and a set of problems that might be a good place from which to continue thinking about science. O
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9 Argumentation in Science: The Cross-Fertilization of Argumentation Theory and Science Studies William Keith and William Rehg
The STS literature offers numerous studies of scientific inquiry and communication that investigate scientific argumentation, the ways in which scientists evaluate and contest claims about the world, scientific practice, and each other. Inspired by Thomas Kuhn, historians and sociologists have trained their sights on the content of scientific argument, territory traditionally reserved to philosophers trained in formal logic. Students of rhetoric have also brought their expertise to bear on science.1 In this chapter we document the cross-fertilization of argumentation studies and science studies and suggest new relationships between them. As we understand it, cross-fertilization occurs when argumentation theorists and science scholars collaborate on common projects, or when a scholar from one of these two areas draws on studies from the other area. The rhetoric of science thus represents an area of science studies that was constituted by cross-fertilization. Interdisciplinary engagement between science studies and argumentation studies is fostered by "boundary concepts" (Klein, 1996)--ideas such as "text," "discourse," "logic," "rhetoric," and "controversy"--that have some purchase in both fields. For a set of such concepts we first look to the disciplines that have informed the study of argumentation: rhetoric, speech communication, philosophy and logic, composition, linguistics, and computer science.2 We then map existing studies of scientific argumentation according to the different contexts that govern argumentation and arguments.3 We conclude by suggesting some avenues for further interdisciplinary cross-fertilization.
ARGUMENTATION: WHAT IS IT AND WHO STUDIES IT?
"Argument" is an odd word. In English, its meaning radically changes in different
environments, even with a slight change in context: "making an argument" and
"having an argument" are quite different (the first requires only one person, while the
second requires at least two). Inspired by O'Keefe (1977), argumentation theorists dis-
tinguish between argument as a product and argumentation as a process. Although
theorists have traditionally described and evaluated argument products independently
of the specific processes (discourse, reflection, etc.) that generate them, some
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approaches tend to resist this separation (e.g., dialogical models of conversational
arguments, rhetorical approaches). In the sciences, at any rate, arguments often appear
as distinct, identifiable products (e.g., conference talks, written reports, articles) that
issue from processes of inquiry and discussion--even if understanding the product
depends on the process.
We normally divide the content of an argument into two parts: the conclusion or
point of the arguments, and the material (reasons, premises) that supports that con-
clusion. Beyond this general characterization, however, analyses of content diverge.
Theorists differ over the kind of material or reasons--the modes of representation--
that may go into an argument, and they differ over the kinds of structure needed for
the product to be interpretable as an argument. These two questions of argument con-
stitution affect not only how we interpret (and reconstruct) actual arguments, but they
also determine how we evaluate arguments as valid, reasonable, or good, insofar as
evaluation requires us to assess the quality of the supporting reasons (their relevance,
truth, etc.) and the quality of the structural relationships between reasons and con-
clusion (validity, inductive strength, etc.).
"Argumentation," as a process, usually refers to a human activity involving two or
more people.4 Consequently, argumentation requires taking account of communica-
tion: whereas arguments are often taken to be describable independently of parti-
cular instantiations or communication situations, argumentation generally must be
understood in terms of these. As a communicative process, argumentation can occur
in different modalities or venues of communication, which in turn affects whether the
argumentation is monological or dialogical. Thus dialogical argumentation is easiest
to achieve in a face-to-face modality, more difficult in public venues (conference talks,
televised debates). Argumentation can also be conducted textually, through e-mail,
successive letters to the editor in a publication, or journal articles
that respond to each
other, perhaps over a period of years. We can also imagine argument as circulating--
as a set of texts and utterances that circulate through society, in different forms and
modalities, modifying and being modified as they go.5
As a social practice, argumentation can have different purposes or goals (Walton,
1998): It might be aimed at inquiry (Meiland, 1989)--at the testing of statements or
hypotheses, or the generation of new ones (i.e., "abduction"). Arguers may also engage
in advocacy, attempting to convince others that they should change their beliefs or
values. Some theorists consider conflict resolution (Keith, 1995) and negotiation to
involve argumentation (Walton, 1998, chapter 4). In a less savory guise, argumenta-
tion might be part of an attempt to manipulate an audience by using deceptive argu-
ments. Finally, argumentation lies at the heart of collective deliberation, reasoned
choice-making by groups. Insofar as scientific inquiry involves modes of practical rea-
soning and choice, both at the local and institutional level, scientific reasoning has a
deliberative component (cf. Knorr Cetina, 1981; Fuller, 2000a).
Some theorists further distinguish argumentation procedures from the more inclu-
sive notion of process (e.g., Wenzel, 1990; Tindale, 1999). "Process" indicates the
activity of arguing as unfolding over time, as for example in an argumentative
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conversation, where the argumentation involves turn-taking and thus is not locatable in any single utterance. "Procedure" usually refers to a discursive structure that normatively guides a process, determining (in part) the order in which participants speak or communicate, the allowable or relevant content at each stage, role divisions, and the like (e.g., trial procedures that govern argumentation about the guilt of a defendant). Given the breadth of the concept of argumentation, it should come as no surprise that different disciplines take somewhat different approaches to its study. We focus here on the two traditions that have generated the largest body of reflection on scientific argument: philosophy and rhetoric.6
At mid-twentieth century, the philosophical study of argument was dominated by
formal-logical approaches (e.g., logical empiricism in the philosophy of science).7
Formal-logical models take a normative approach and treat the content of arguments
as detached from social contexts and influences (for a survey, see Goble, 2001).
These models typically construe the content of arguments as a sequence of proposi-
tions (or statements, or sentences)8 some of which (the premises) have inferential or
justificatory relationships to others (intermediate and final conclusions). Proposi-
tionalist approaches take different views of good argument structure. Deductivists
(e.g., Karl Popper) admit as valid only those arguments whose form is truth-
preserving. Because the information in the conclusion does not go beyond that
in the premises, the form guarantees that true premises will generate a true conclu-
sion invulnerable to additional information. Argument evaluation then involves
assessing the logical validity of the structure and the truth (or rational acceptability)
of the premises.
Dualist models accept not only deduction but also inductive arguments, that is,
ampliative modes of inference whose conclusions go beyond the information in the
premises. Because inductive conclusions are vulnerable to new information, they are
only more or less probably true. Logical empiricists attempted to formalize inductive
support by drawing on probability theory, which allowed them to define a quantita-
tive "degree of confirmation" as a formal relationship between evidence sentences and
the hypothesis-conclusion. Assessing the strength of an induction meant calculating
this quantity for a given hypothesis relative to an acceptable set of evidence state-
ments (see Salmon, 1967; Kyburg, 1970).
Some argumentation theorists maintain that the range of interesting yet nonde-
ductive argument structures includes not only simple induction but also analogical
arguments, inference to best explanation, casuistic reasoning, narrative, and so on
(Govier, 1987; Johnson, 2000; Walton, 1989, 1998). Influential proposals of alterna-
tives to formal logic (e.g., Naess, 1966; Toulmin, 1958; Perelman and Olbrechts-
Tyteca, 1969), along with the informal logic and critical thinking movements
(see van Eemeren et al., 1996; Johnson and Blair, 2000), have led to an increased appre-
ciation among philosophers for "informal" methods of argument evaluation, which
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William Keith and William Rehg
generally assume that arguments can be described and evaluated independently of whether or not they can be syntactically formalized.9 Informal inferences depend on the interrelated meanings of terms and on background information that resists complete formalization. Accordingly, arguments can also include nonlinguistic modes of representation such as symbolic or mathematical notations, various forms of pictorial representation, physical models, and computer simulations, which are common in science.10 Because such arguments involve ampliative inferences, their conclusions are more or less "probable." Unlike formal inductive logics, however, probability is not so much quantitative as pragmatic, in the sense associated with notions of cogency or plausibility (Toulmin, 1958: chapter 2; Walton, 1992).11 The level of probability or cogency typically depends on satisfying standards such as relevance, sufficiency, and acceptability. To apply such criteria, we must attend to the interpretive subtleties of argument in context.12 The normative treatment of informal arguments is also heavily invested in the definition, identification, and criticism of fallacies. Although Aristotle famously defined a fallacy as a nonargument masquerading as an argument (Sophistical Refutations I), contemporary theorists differ over its definition.13 Many informal logicians consider their approach to be a development of the dialectical tradition of argument evaluation stemming from the ancient Greeks (in particular, Aristotle) and the medieval practice of disputation. From a dialectical perspective, cogent arguments must meet a specified burden of proof and rebut relevant challenges (Rescher, 1977; Walton, 1998; Johnson, 2000; Goldman, 1994, 1999: chapter 5). Consequently, dialectical theorists often embed their accounts of the argument product in a theory of the argumentation process as a dialogue or critical discussion that should meet certain criteria (e.g., procedures that ensure severe testing of claims, social conditions that foster open, noncoercive communication).14 Such standards project an idealized social space, protected from "external" social-political factors, in which the community of inquirers is more likely to produce (and if possible agree on) arguments that are in some sense objectively better or more reasonable.15
Informal and formal approaches share an emphasis on the rational use of arguments:
reasons provide the conclusion with a justification or rational grounding. But we
can also take a rhetorical perspective on arguments. Although generally associated
with the study of persuasion, the rhetorical tradition--which stretches from ancient
Greece to modern discourse theory in the United States and Europe--addresses a vast
range of issues, some descriptive, some explanatory, some prescriptive; some con-
cerned with the speaker's "invention" (i.e., the discovery of arguments), others with
the "criticism" of texts.16 To keep our survey manageable, we focus on two subtradi-
tions explicitly devoted to the study of rhetoric and influential in the rhetoric
of science. Both are based in U.S. universities, specifically in the disciplines of
Communication (or Speech Communication, formerly Speech) and English
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Speech Communication Formed in U.S. universities around the teaching of public speaking and debate, this tradition foregrounds oral communication and the political context of deliberation. Much of its research is framed by an appreciation for or reaction against Aristotle's somewhat idealized account of the political speech situation: The species of rhetoric are three in number, for such is the number [of classes] to which the hearers of speeches belong. A speech [situation] consists of three things: a speaker, and a subject on which he speaks, and someone addressed, and the objective [telos] of the speech relates to the last [I mean the hearer]. Now, it is necessary for the hearer to be either a spectator [theoros] or a judge [krites], and [in the latter case] a judge of either past or future happenings. A member of a democratic assembly is an example of one judging about future happenings, a juryman an example of one judging the past. (Aristotle 1991: I.1.3, 1358a-b) So the key elements are the speaker, the speaker's purpose, and the audience. Aristotle speaks only very indirectly of context, since he presumes that the listeners have gathered in an institutional setting such as the legislature or the court for the purpose of coming to a judgment. While Aristotle recognizes that multiple elements play a role in the process of persuasion, he devotes more attention to argument (logos) than to the other means of persuasion, character (ethos) and emotion ( pathos).18 In contrast to philosophers, theorists in the U.S. speech tradition are less concerned with argument per se than with argumentation, and they focus not on dialectical exchanges intended to (dis)prove theses but on group deliberations aimed at making decisions about a course of action. Consequently, communication theorists usually position argumentation as part of a process of conviction (change in belief) or persuasion (change in action). A focus on persuasion means that arguments must take account of their contexts; they must be specific and relevant in the situation. And contexts are relative: arguments that matter in one context, no matter how "generally" valid, may not matter in another context. Persuasion also highlights the importance of audience, whose members evaluate arguments in view of their own standpoints and opinions. While rhetoricians in this tradition have done a considerable amount of innovation since the 1950s, much of it focusing on a rhetorical version of symbolic interactionism, traces of the tradition are still visible in much of the rhetoric of science literature, as in Goodnight's influential 1982 piece on "spheres of argument," which attempts to blend Aristotle with Habermas, or Campbell's many attempts to reconstruct the deliberative context for the acceptance of Darwinian theory.
English/Composition In English department
s, and the field of Composition, rhetoric
has typically been understood in terms of the figurative and the generic aspects of
written argument. Both aspects are important in teaching college student
s to write.
Since the audience is not physically present in writing, generic considerations are
invoked to supply an appropriate context. Originally, genre referred either to literary
forms (essay, short story, etc.) or to what, after Alexander Bain (1996), were
called the "modes" of discourse: narration, description, exposition, and argument,
which represent a fusion of style and communicative function. Argument is one of
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William Keith and William Rehg
these modes, and in composition, argument was often treated as a product, similar to its treatment by philosophers. Students were taught to assemble evidence, avoid fallacies, and so forth, on the assumption that their arguments would be critically read by a "general audience." Growing out of its eighteenth century belles lettres heritage, composition instruction was also attentive to verbal style or the figurative aspects of writing. It distinguished between tropes, which involve nonliteral meanings of words, and schemes, which involve unusual arrangements of words. Tropes include metaphor, metonymy, and simile, while figures include repetition ("of the people, by the people, for the people"), antithesis, and klimax.19 Writing teachers understand the use of figuration with respect to different rhetorical aims: as primarily aesthetic or as strategic and functional (for example, as a way of supporting or clarifying an argument). In both subtraditions of rhetoric, scholars situate arguments within a larger social and communicative context. Rhetorical theorists thus insist on seeing the rationality of argumentation relative to the social, cultural, and political context of the participants, such that one cannot cleanly separate the "internal" dimension of reason from its "external" context. For critical evaluation, they tend to rely on field-specific or local standards, or political ideals and norms derived from the humanistic tradition of rhetoric.20 ARGUMENT IN SCIENCE: WHERE AND HOW The overlapping contexts in which arguments are made confront the participants with specific "exigencies": particular goals, modalities, and audiences. Arguments we find in journals and books originate in local settings--in the laboratory, at the field site, in small groups, in notebooks--where researchers engage in conversations and private reflection. Local processes of argument making, in turn, unfold within larger discursive contexts and institutional settings, including funding agencies, interested publics, and law- and policymakers. In this section, we organize the science-studies research according to these different contexts of argumentation. Starting with studies of argument-construction at the local research site, we move to studies of wider discourse communities, a context where much of the argumentation is conducted in print and where scientific controversies typically occur. Scientific argumentation is further affected by institutional and cultural aspects of science--its "ethos," funding mechanisms, disciplinary divisions, and the like. Finally, broader nonscientific publics also participate in arguments about the science. Naturally, many science studies investigations focus on more than one of these sites, since they investigate argument across multiple contexts or with multiple purposes. The schema nonetheless remains useful as a means of differentiating various sites for interdisciplinary engagement. To identify interdisciplinary possibilities, we rely on various boundary concepts that are relevant in both areas of study. Some of these concepts we already identified in O
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our survey of argumentation studies (logic, deduction, induction, dialectic, aspects of rhetoric, etc.); others emerge as salient concerns for science scholars (e.g., controversy, evidence, consensus). The Local Construction of Arguments at the Research Site Recent philosophical work on the local construction of arguments has focused on Normative Theories
of evidence that respond to flaws in logical empiricist treatments of confirmation (see Achinstein, 2001, 2005; Taper and Lele, 2004). In a departure from the Bayesian assumptions that had informed that approach, Mayo (1996) examines the "error-statistical" methods that scientists actually use to discriminate between hypotheses and eliminate likely sources of error. Staley (2004) has refined Mayo's approach and applied it to a detailed case study of the discovery of the top quark at Fermilab. Some aspects of Staley's study, for example, his analysis of the article-writing process
in a large collaboration, would certainly benefit from a deeper engagement with argumentation theory--in particular, dialectic and rhetoric (see Rehg & Staley, in press). Feminist philosophers of science have also contributed to theories of evidence, demonstrating how local argument construction depends on broader contexts of discourse. Longino (1990, 2002) shows how evidential arguments depend on metaphysical and value-laden background assumptions, including gender biases from the broader culture. According to Keller (1983), geneticist Barbara McClintock lacked recognition until late in her career because the genetics community was simply unable to understand the sort of arguments McClintock was making or the sort of evidence she provided. Keller argues that McClintock's vision of science stood outside the rapidly growing institutional laboratory structure, and this outsider status was the source both of her creativity and of the difficulty the biology community had in understanding her contributions. Philosophical models of evidence address both the product and process of local argument-making, and their attention to substantive, contextual detail goes far beyond logical empiricism. Many philosophers now recognize that rhetoric is a necessary component of scientific argument (McMullin, 1991; Toulmin, 1995; Kitcher 1991, 1995). Nonetheless, normative theories of evidence could still benefit from a closer attention to rhetorical studies of argument construction, such as that of Blakeslee (2001). In her study of article writing in physics as a face-to-face process of audience construction, Blakeslee examined how a physics research team revised their article (intended for biologists) according to the understanding of their audience, which they acquired through local interactions with biologists. Sociologists, anthropologists, and historians of science have also made impressive contributions to the understanding of local argumentative practices in science, although clear examples of cross-fertilization with argumentation studies remain limited.21 Latour and Woolgar's ethnography of laboratory work (1986) approaches the laboratory as a "system of literary inscription." The authors analyze O
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how scientists construct facts from data by working to transform qualified statements (e.g., "Smith observed evidence for x") into unqualified factual ones ("x exists"). They go on to explain scientists' behavior in terms of the quest for credibility rather than adherence to norms of method. Some of the most detailed and rigorously descriptive studies of argumentation at the research site we owe to ethnomethodologists, whose close description of scientists' shop talk serves to reveal the local, situated rationalities of everyday scientific practice (Lynch, 1993). For example, in his study of a neurosciences lab, Lynch (1985) catalogues the ways neuroscientists reach consensus on data interpretation. Livingston (1986, 1987, 1999) applies ethnomethodology to "cultures of proving," including mathematics.22 By tracking mathematicians through their construction of various proofs (geometrical, Gцdel's proof, etc.), he hopes to show how the proof text, or "proof account," provides a set of cues, a "gestalt or reasoning," whose sense of universal, objective compulsion depends on the embodied, social practices of mathematicians. Such intensely focused studies are complemented by analyses that link laboratory interaction with the broader ethos of the science community. In her study of high-energy physics, Traweek (1988) for example, notices that effective argument in this community requires an aggressive style of communication. Other sociologists attempt to explain how micro- and macro-sociological conditions (individual needs and goal orientations, professional and other social interests, class, etc.) affect local argument construction. MacKenzie, for example, links Karl Pearson's understanding of statistical argument with his promotion of social eugenics and, at a further remove, with class interests (MacKenzie and Barnes, 1979; MacKenzie, 1978). One of the best examples of actual cross-fertilization is Bloor's (1983, chapter 6; cf. 1991, 1984) Wittgensteinian explanation of choices between competing types of logic. Because "deductive intuitions" alone underdetermine this choice, further "interests and needs," i.e., aims of the various practices in which the logical language game is embedded, codetermine the choice. Since his collaboration with Woolgar, Latour has developed the rhetorical aspects of fact construction more fully in the context of actor-Network Theory
(though he draws more explicitly on semiotics than rhetorical studies).1 Latour (1987) systematically explains how scientific arguments are built through networks of texts, things, machines, inscriptions, calculations, and citations. He compares the elements of networks with rhetorical resources for turning opinions into facts: a "fact" is claim that no one any longer has the resources to challenge with an effective counterargument. Scientists achieve this persuasive effect partly by enlisting powerful allies in their cause--as, for example, the hygiene movement in France aided Pasteur's success as a
1 Meanwhile, Woolgar has gone on to elaborate the skeptical implications of social constructionism as
a critique of the rhetoric of objective representation in science--a critique that applies reflexively to
SSK itself (see Woolgar, 1983; 1988ab; Ashmore, 1989). Other scholars have further developed Latour
and Woolgar's (1979/1986) literary-critical approach to laboratory work by drawing on Derridean ideas
(see Lenoir, 1998).
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scientist (Latour 1988). Latour thus links lab-level argumentation with institutional and technological dimensions of science. Among historical treatments of laboratory work, Galison's magisterial studies of high-energy physics, or HEP (1987, 1994), stand out for linking local argumentation with both laboratory technology and broader institutional trends. At the lab level, he shows how argumentation depends not only on theoretical commitments but also on the "material culture" of the laboratory--in particular its specific instrumental commitments. For physicists in the "image" tradition, evidential arguments depend on the analysis of visible tracks recorded in devices such as bubble chambers; physicists in the "logic" tradition employ statistical arguments based on the output of counting devices. As HEP became "big science" requiring massive material outlays and large collaborations, argumentation in the lab acquired the institutional complexity of science as a whole, forcing collaborators to develop skills at interdisciplinary communication. The above survey indicates that a rich potential for interdisciplinary work exists for the study of local argumentation. Some of the more pressing questions here concern the implications of the various contingencies and concrete particularities of laboratory culture for the normativity of evidential arguments. Under "Argumentation in Print," below, we suggest some possible interdisciplinary approaches to this issue.
Writing and Controversy: Science as Discourse Community and Field Much of the actual cross-fertilization between argumentation theory and science studies has occurred in the study of argumentation across a given discipline or field of research, where the sciences have been treated as discourse communities. The focus here has been on argumentation in print and controversy studies. First, since the record of scientific argumentation is mostly a written one, the text is a natural place to begin analyses of arguments. Second, as qualitative sociologists have long claimed, the underlying values and assumptions of a field are most visible during moments of crisis or breaks in the normal routine (Garfinkel, 1967). In the same way, controversies in science have been attractive to argumentation researchers, since they not only display scientific argument but also in some cases reflect on it as well. To the extent that science, in its presentation as "normal science," seems transparent and unavailable to rhetorical or argument analysis, controversies provide a site of entry.
Argumentation in Print Many of the disciplines that took the "rhetorical turn" are text-
oriented (see Klein, 1996: 6670), and so it should come as no surprise that much,
perhaps most, of the work in the rhetoric of science has focused on scientific texts.
Specific aims, perspectives, and foci differ. Some theorists show how scientific argu-
ment is continuous with other kinds of argument, whereas others show how it is dis-
tinctive. Many studies focus on single texts, but some authors (e.g., Myers, Campbell)
touch on the process of intertextual argumentation, attempting to account for
argument across a number of texts and sometimes authors. Much of the rhetorical
analysis is primarily descriptive or analytic, but some studies venture explanatory or
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Such a diverse range of scholarship resists neat organization. Here, we approach
this body of work as attempts to account for the textual aspects of argument in
relation to the discursive context and the various rhetorical conditions it imposes on
persuasiveness or acceptability. Our survey aims to convey a sense of the density of
the rhetorical dimensions
of scientific texts: once considered as marginal, suspicious,
and possibly irrelevant ornamentation in scientific argument, the rhetoric of science
has emerged as epistemically central and all-pervasive, open to seemingly endless
Working in the genre tradition, Bazerman (1988) shows how conventions of writing
help determine what can and cannot be argued, what kinds of evidence can be used,
and how conclusions can be drawn. His influential analysis of the American Psycho-
logical Association Manual of Style shows that the changes in the guide from the 1920s
through the 1980s reflect the changes in the discipline's self-understanding, as well as
changes in methodology that follow from the discipline's struggles to become more
empirical over time. The development of the familiar five-part structure of the research
article (introduction, literature review, method, results, and discussion) made it virtu-
ally impossible for introspectionist or philosophical arguments to make their way into
Fahnestock (1999) provides a good example of the figurative approach. She claims
that some scientific arguments are best understood by analyzing the stylistic ele-
ments--the figures and tropes--that express them. For instance, she considers the tra-
ditional figure gradatio (klimax in Greek), in which a repetition is combined with a
change in degree or scale. A traditional example is "I came, I saw, I conquered," which
not only uses repetition but also nests the early assertions within the expanding later
assertions. Fahnestock shows that scientists use this figure to structure an argument
in which an effect increases through a series of changes in experimental conditions
leading to a causal conclusion.
At least two textual studies are noteworthy for their sustained historical sweep: Gross
et al. (2002) track changes in the scientific article--analyzed in terms of Aristotle's dis-
tinction between style, presentation (i.e., arrangement), and argument--as it appeared
in three languages (English, German, and French) from the seventeenth through the
twentieth century. They attempt to explain these literary developments by drawing
on evolutionary models of conceptual change in science (e.g., Hull, 1988). Atkinson
(1999) combines resources from sociology of science, rhetoric, and quantitative lin-
guistics to document shifts in generic aspects of The Philosophical Transactions of theRoyal Society
from 1675 to 1975. By tracking changes in the frequency of linguistic
patterns ("registers") indicative of genre, Atkinson demonstrates the gradual emer-
gence of various textual features (e.g., non-narrativity, abstractness) of contemporaryscience writing
. Historians of science have also taken an interest in this kind of rhetor-
ical analysis. Drawing heavily on the figurative and generic traditions, the contribu-
tions in Dear (1991) analyze the textual dynamics that conditioned argument and
communication in a number of disciplines from the seventeenth through nineteenth
centuries, including zoology, physiology, mathematics, and chemistry.
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These studies show how generic and figurative elements are associated with specific
discourse communities and affect the substance of scientific argument. Another broad
area of research has focused on how more specific demands of audience and occasion,
connected with a specific topic or controversy, shape scientific texts. Prelli (1989a),
for example, approaches argument construction through the classical rhetoric of
invention, a perspective that catalogues the available resources for developing argu-
ments: the stases (potential points of disagreement) and available "lines of argument"
(or commonplaces) that are reasonable for a given content, audience, and situation.
In this manner, Prelli lays out an informal "topical" logic of argumentation that reveals
possible grounds, based in practical reasoning, for situated audience judgment. He
offers an extensive system of stases and commonplaces, and documents how scien-
tific texts systematically respond to their argumentative burdens. For example, biolo-
gists must defend their sampling techniques, methods of analysis, judgments of the
significance of the outcome, and the like. Prelli offers a perspective for comparing dis-
parate texts as arguments and for explaining their persuasive success or failure.
Numerous case studies examine the ways that texts reflect specific audiences inter-
ested in specific issues or "occasions." Gross (1990]1996), for example, shows how sci-
entific texts from Newton's Principia to Watson's Double Heix adapt their arguments to
the goals of the scientist, against a background of audience knowledge and assump-
tions. According to Gross, Newton deliberately cast his argument in a geometrical
idiom to meet the expectations of his readers. Selzer (1993) presents a range of analy-
ses from scholars from Communication and English, who comment on Stephen J.
Gould and Richard Lewontin's "Spandrels of San Marcos and the Panglossian Para-
digm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme," which is a critique of the excesses
of the adaptationist program in evolutionary theory. By situating Gould and Lewon-
tin's arguments in evolutionary debates, the essays bring out how they contingently
and strategically represent the history of biology, the literature in the field, and their
opponents' views. Miller (1992; cf. Fuller, 1995) argues that differences in the recep-
tion of scientific articles can be explained in terms of the Sophistic idea of kairos: suc-
cessful articles, such as Watson and Crick's 1953 Nature report on the structure of DNA,
position themselves at the opportune moment and place in the dynamic field of
Myers (1990) provides an exceptionally detailed and broad analysis of a range of
scientific texts (grant proposals, journal articles under development, popular science
essays) as they are shaped by the demands of specific professional and lay audiences.
Drawing both on his background in linguistics and on constructivist sociology of
science, Myers wants to show how texts, qua texts, argue not only for their conclu-
sions but also for their scientific status. By carefully describing how arguments emerge
from the textual negotiations among authors, editors, and referees, Myers illuminates
both the writing process and its products (see also Berkenkotter and Huckins, 1995;
John Angus Campbell's (1990, 1995, 1997) historically informed, close textual
studies of the argument strategies of Charles Darwin, show, among other things, that
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the structure of Darwin's notebooks is generative of argument found later in The Origin of Species. Campbell also demonstrates that Darwin strategically used the ambiguities in certain arguments to bridge the cultural gap between the older theological paradigm and the newer scientific one and that Darwin and his allies were clever selfpromoters who employed Public relations
techniques to win a favorable public hearing. Campbell (1986) examines Darwin's "cultural grammar," the background assumptions unfavorable to Darwin's case, which Darwin nonetheless used to his advantage in both intellectual and popular discourse. Finally, some authors go beyond explanation of textual arguments by setting them into a larger normative structure and critically reflecting on the possibilities for scientific argument. McCloskey--an economist deeply interested in rhetoric--shows that both historical and contemporary economic arguments are conditioned by rhetorical form and audience considerations (1998). Mathematical appearances notwithstanding, much economic argument relies on metaphors and narrative structures. McCloskey (1990) goes on to criticize the practice of economics as stunted and hypocritical: if economics were less constrained to argue exclusively in a mathematical idiom, it could contribute more effectively to understanding and resolving socialpolitical problems.25 Although it is not completely systematic (Gaonkar, 1997), the analysis of argumentation in scientific texts has shown that even apparently "dry" or transparent texts have interesting argumentative features that can be usefully explicated. The textual features of scientific texts are evidently functional--they respond to and help create discursive situations (e.g., "proof," "evidence") and effects (e.g., acceptance to a journal, a replication or refutation) within scientific communities and the cultures that house them. Interestingly, in some cases rhetorical features of textual arguments reflect disciplinary constituencies, while in other cases they seem to constitute them, helping determine what it means to be scientific or a scientist within a given setting.
Controversy and Theory Change Many studies described above focus on controversial
texts, but argumentation during controversies and in times of theory change has
also been a subject of another, distinct body of work which emerged in the wake
of the rationality debates following the publication of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific
Responding to Kuhn, philosophers proposed dialectical models of theoretical devel-
opment.27 Pera (1994; cf. 2000), for example, attempts to apply the dialectical tradi-
tion--which he considers the "logic" of rhetorical discourse--to the study of scientific
argumentation. He articulates a kind of informal logic for science, a set of substantive
and procedural rules for conducting and resolving debate (though his rules remain
rather abstract from a rhetorical perspective). Kitcher (1993, 2000) analyzes controver-
sies from an implicitly dialectical perspective. He takes "eliminative induction" as the
basic argumentative strategy: in controversies, scientists try to force their opponents
into positions that they cannot maintain without falling into internal inconsistencies
or suffering "explanatory losses" (severe cutbacks in the scope of their claims).
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As philosophers struggled to rescue science from contingency, social historians and sociologists of scientific knowledge emphasized its effects. The study of controversy provided a rich field for this project. For Collins (1983, 1985), the microanalysis of controversies brings out the contingencies that afflict inductive inference. Shapin and Schaffer's (1985) analysis of the Boyle-Hobbes debate situated the controversy in a broader macro-sociological context. Issues of social organization of the scientific community and of the polity hid behind the protagonists' opposing views about method (experimental vs. geometric), paths to consensus (publicly repeatable experiments vs. compelling deductions), and the definition of knowledge (probabilistic vs. certain). Shapin and Schaffer also show how the protagonists' different views were reflected in their different rhetorical strategies ("literary technologies"). Among sociologists, Kim's (1994) study of the Mendelian-biometrician debate in evolutionary theory goes further than most in providing an "internal" argumentationtheoretic explanation of closure. Kim analyzes the argumentative process in terms of three groups: the elite protagonists, the paradigm articulators (e.g., disciples open to theoretical conversion), and the "critical mass" of breeders and physicians who assessed the practical usability of the competing models for their own work. These social-historical studies generally follow Kuhn in his attempt to grasp the dynamics of theory change from the perspective of the historical participants themselves, without the benefit of hindsight (Kuhn, 1996; cf. Hoyningen-Huene, 1993; Golinski, 1998). In contrast to his structural macro-history of theory change, however, historians of science have tended to take a micro-historical approach to scientific controversies and describe argumentation in rich empirical detail (e.g., Rudwick, 1985; Galison, 1987).
The Institutional Structuring of Scientific Argumentation
Scientific argumentation takes place within specific institutional and disciplinary
structures: in virtue of specific modes of funding, within specific organizations (uni-
versity, government laboratory, corporations), via specific avenues of communication
(refereed journals, conferences, etc.), involving specific modes of recognition, gate-
keeping, and the like. How do these structures affect scientific argumentation? Inter-
disciplinary answers to this question can draw on boundary concepts that include
ideas of ethos, consensus, rational dialogue, and disciplinary boundaries.
Many of the studies that address the institutional dimension of scientific argumen-
tation are reactions to Merton's (1973) classic pre-Kuhnian sociology of the institu-
tional "ethos" of science. Merton attributed progress in modern science to certain
institutionalized "norms" or ideals that govern the behavior of scientists and make
science into a rational collective endeavor: universalism (adherence to impersonal
standards of evaluation), organized skepticism, disinterested pursuit of knowledge, and
"communism" (a commitment to share results with the community). A key issue that
arises concerns the relation between this ethos and consensus formation. Departing
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from the Mertonian approach to this issue, Gilbert and Mulkay (1984) regard con-
sensus not as an objective social fact but as a context-dependent discursive construc-
tion. Scientists invoke consensus, criticize opponents, and explain disagreement by
using "Social Accounting
" methods that exploit the interpretive flexibility of mean-
ings, membership, and beliefs.
Prelli (1989b) has explicitly linked Merton's idea of institutional ethos with Aristo-
tle's rhetorical concept of ethos (argument from character). Prelli argues that scientists
invoke "norms" such as Merton's not as general rules but as situated rhetorical topoi,
argumentative resources for establishing (or undermining) the credibility of those
whose research they want to support (or attack). Moreover, such topoi include the oppo-
sites of Mertonian ideals: Prelli's case study (the debate about whether the gorilla Koko
had learned sign language) shows how reversing traditional ideals can serve to support
controversial claims as "revolutionary."
Hull (1988) tests Merton's high-minded ethos against a kind of social naturalism.
Digging into debates in evolutionary biology and taxonomy, Hull shows how insti-
tutional mechanisms, such as credit, lead self-interested scientists to cooperate in the
production of knowledge. Solomon (2001; see also Solomon in chapter 10 in this
volume) takes naturalism in a social-psychological direction by analyzing controversy
in terms of the various "decision vectors"--formerly considered "biasing factors"--
that actually motivate scientists to accept or reject a theory. Solomon's social episte-
mology28 belongs to a growing body of critical work--pursued by philosophers,
sociologists, and historians--on cultural and gender-based biases in scientific argu-
mentation: in the interpretation of evidence, assumptions guiding theory construc-
tion, and so on (e.g., Harding, 1999; Wylie, 2002). Much of this work clearly bears on
the institutional level, whose history and structures have systematically worked to dis-
courage women in science (e.g., Potter, 2001; for an overview, see Scheibinger, 1999).
Some critical proposals appeal to process norms. Longino (1990: chapter 4; 2002:
128135), for example, develops a normative model of argumentative process that
invokes idealized standards (similar to Habermas's) for the conduct and institutional
organization of critical scientific discussion.
Institutional and cultural influences on arguments have also been demonstrated by
Paul Edwards (1996). Edwards shows how the development of computer science and
artificial intelligence research was heavily conditioned by a preference of the U.S. mil-
itary (and its arm, the RAND Corporation
) for mathematical model
s based on finite
sets of axioms (i.e., the "closed-world" assumption that everything relevant to the
problem at hand is contained in the model of the problem). Edwards shows that this
style of argument influenced both the understanding of science and development of
technology in the Cold War.
Finally, a number of theorists have brought argumentation theory to bear on issues
connected with disciplinary boundaries. Ceccarelli (2001) focuses on the management
of disciplinary differences by examining three famous works in biology from the
standpoint of audience effects. She shows how arguments and presentation styles used
in two of these works (Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origins of Species and
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Argumentation in Science
Schrцdinger's What Is Life?) are designed to extend their audiences beyond disciplinary boundaries. These books became classics precisely because their arguments "spoke" the language of more than one discipline, strategically suppressing disagreement between a descriptionist biological tradition and an analytic tradition in physics and chemistry. Taylor (1996) also applies rhetorical analysis to the question of boundaries, showing how disciplinary boundaries are created and maintained through strategies of argument. In his view, scientific argumentation belongs to an "ecosystem" of people, publications, and institutions that certify or reject arguments. Disciplinary boundaries have also been a problem for STS because a strong sense of disciplinary incommensurability leads to a reluctance to engage "other" fields, thus thwarting interdisciplinary argument and communication (Fuller and Collier, 2004; see also Fuller 1988, 1993). Rejecting the underlying internalist assumption that arguments must be relative to fields, Fuller and Collier propose dialectical and rhetorical strategies for promoting responsible interdisciplinary dialogue. Their model also has implications for the relationship between science and politics, the fourth setting we treat here.
Public Discourse and Policy Argumentation
Scientific argumentation occurs not only in experimental, discursive, and institutional
contexts within the science community but also at the interfaces of science and
society. These interfaces have long been the concern of critical social theorists, such
as Habermas (1971), whose attempt to situate policy argumentation within a democ-
ratic context anticipated the "argumentative turn" in policy studies (Fischer & Forester,
1993; cf. Majone, 1989; Schцn & Rein, 1994; Williams & Matheny, 1995; De Leon
1997; Forester 1999). The literature is as diverse as the interfaces themselves (court-
room, bureaucracy, legislature, hospital, media venue, etc.). Here we focus on studies
dealing with the prospects for democratic public involvement.
Fuller approaches issues of science and democracy by way of a critical social theory
informed by constructivist sociology of science. He takes the social conditioning of
science seriously but, unlike many sociologists, maintains a deep commitment to a
normative critique that bridges the gap between scientific argumentation and public
deliberation (Fuller, 1988, 1993; cf. Remedios, 2003). Recalling the Enlightenment
ideal of science as both a path to more scientific governance and a model for democ-
ratizing society, Fuller (2000a) asks what science would look like if we held it account-
able for its democratic character (or lack thereof), as we do other institutions. He thus
opposes the elitist stance that served the interest of post-WWII research universities
by assuring them of government funding free of public oversight (and found its philo-
sophical justification in Kuhn [Fuller, 2000b]). If we restrict the participation in argu-
ments about science policy and funding to experts in the field, then neither the public
nor other scientists would be able to influence the goals of scientific research
allotment of research money. Explicating the "liberal" versus "republican" modes of
evaluating scientific argument, Fuller finds that neither is in harmony with what he
calls the "mafia" tendencies of current funding processes.
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Willard (1996) takes up the issue of science and democracy via Lippmann's (1925) question: Doesn't an expertise-driven society make democracy useless and counterproductive? Willard believes this problem emerges out of a mistaken liberal conception of community, where experts appear, endlessly, to be outside the democratic community. He thus proposes an "epistemics" model of scientific argument in society, which would shift the focus of debates from questions of "Who's included?" and "Who's watching the government?" to the characteristics of scientific and policy argument that make it accessible and/or controversial across multiple audiences. Willard's account takes seriously both the political content of scientific argument and the scientific relevance of political points of view. Such proposals must face the challenge of meaningful public participation in science-intensive policy argumentation. Whereas Willard points out the importance of translation across venues, Brown (1998) invokes the advantages of narrative: scientific arguments are typically nestled within narratives and must be understood in relation to them. Brown tries to offer an account of scientific argument that would make it more accessible to democratic institutions. Of course, work on science-and-democracy hardly exhausts the work in this area. We close with two examples of issue-focused studies.4 Condit (1999) examines the development of genetic theory in the twentieth century in relation to its public reception. She shows that public arguments about what genetics means for society and human self-understanding interact with those in the scholarly literature
. The essays in Campbell and Meyer (2003) grapple with the many sides of the creationism debate. Starting with the question of what should be taught to students in school, they delve into arguments not only about education but also about the kinds and quality of arguments for evolution, intelligent design, and creation theory--should we teach the debates or just the "right" answers?
EXPANDING INTERDISCIPLINARY RECIPROCITY: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Our overview reveals a rich body of work concerned with scientific argumentation.
We have also identified some notable examples of science studies scholars drawing on
and employing categories from the argumentation studies literature. We believe,
however, that there are important problem areas where a closer and more direct col-
laboration between argumentation theorists and STS scholars would prove particularly
For example, given the increasing need of lay publics to make critical assessments
of expert advice, as well as the growing interest among STS researchers in policy debate
and expertise, collaborations between STS scholars and argumentation theorists might
be especially interesting in this area. As we saw in the "Where and How" section,
above, a number of scholars have pursued some version of what we might call
"critical science studies" (CSS) (e.g., Fuller, 1988; Longino, 1990; cf. Hess, 1997: chapter
5). A collaboration between scholars interested in CSS and argumentation theorists
might allow for a better integration of philosophical, rhetorical, and sociological per-
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spectives. Here, the main challenge lies in overcoming the deep differences between
normative philosophical approaches and descriptive/explanatory sociologies of
knowledge, often considered noncritical or antiprescriptive. We close by suggesting
three paths for circumventing such differences. The paths present increasingly strong
versions of interdisciplinarity, but in each case the rhetorical perspective helps bridge
The first path allows each side to cooperate while retaining its initial stance on argu-
mentation, by agreeing to set aside divisive philosophical commitments for the sake
of a particular case. Consider, for example, the deep differences that separate critical
theorists, such as Habermas, from the Strong Program in the Sociology of Knowledge.
Whereas the latter takes a skeptical view of the justificatory "force" of arguments in
explaining consensus formation, the former seem to believe in the intrinsic "force of
the better argument."30 In fact, neither side denies that scientists believe arguments
can be compelling; thus, both sides can proceed on that phenomenological assump-
tion. In effect, they would then be making a claim about the rhetorical effects of argu-
ment and then asking how consensus formation (or the lack of it) should be explained
in the given case by the available arguments and other social conditions. If sociolog-
ical analysis reveals that the outcome depends in its substance on social conditions,
then a further critical question becomes pertinent: does knowledge of this dependence
undermine our confidence in the reasonableness of the outcome? In some cases
it might, in others it might not; the answer, again, depends on the rhetorical-
dialectical situation, specifically, the aims of science in context (Rehg, 1999).
The second path, involving ethnomethodologists and critical theorists, challenges
both sides to engage, and perhaps modify, their methodological commitments. Unlike
critical social theorists and philosophers, radical ethnomethodologists strive simply to
notice and perspicuously describe--but not theorize, evaluate, or criticize--the situ-
ated "methods" and local rationalities that practitioners themselves employ in their
interactions (Lynch, 1993; cf. Lynch, 1997). As it turns out, however, these studies
show that scientists use norms of method to hold one another accountable for their
practices (e.g., Gilbert and Mulkay, 1984). This suggests that ethnomethodologically
informed critical theorists need not abandon critique so long as they adopt the atti-
tude of participants and contextualize argumentative norms. At a minimum, they may
view idealized norms in pragmatic and rhetorical, rather than legislative, terms; seeing
norms as rhetorical moves, the intelligibility of which depends on substantive features
of the local context of inquiry, opens up new possibilities for critique (Rehg, 2001; cf.
Prelli, 1989b). Conversely, this approach suggests the idea of a critical ethnomethod-
ology (cf. Lynch, 1999).
A final path to the normative appreciation of scientific arguments places scientific
argument more firmly into a multilayered rhetorical context that sets it in dialog with
its civic and political contexts. (For an articulation of the possibilities for that dia-
logue, see Cherwitz, 2004, 2005a,b.) The critical theorist, that is, creates a description
of argument that makes argumentation in the lab and the journals continuous with
argumentation in the legislature and the public sphere. This is already a reality in
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politically divisive fields, such as marine ecology and forestry, and it is rapidly emerging in certain biomedical areas. Relative to a context of democratic governance and principles of social justice (Fuller, 2000a), it would be possible (in a highly nuanced way) to create a critical dialog between scientific practices and public/social values, neither determining the other. For example, the movement toward increasing attention to medical research on women, driven by a perception of unfairness and scientific inadequacy (i.e., results from clinical trials on men only cannot be easily generalized to women), shows that scientific practice can be fruitfully criticized. These examples suggest that sociology of scientific knowledge scholars who aim primarily at descriptive and explanatory analyses of argumentation can nonetheless engage interdisciplinarily with a critical project committed to normative standards of reasonable argument. If argumentation theory can foster such surprising alliances, then greater cross-fertilization between science studies and argumentation theory is a promising prospect.2 Notes The authors thank Olga Amsterdamska and the four anonymous reviewers for their feedback on an earlier draft of this essay. 1. For anthologies on the rhetoric of science, see Simons (1989, 1990), Pera and Shea (1991), Krips et al. (1995); Gross & Keith (1997); Harris (1997); Battalio (1998). 2. The interdisciplinary character of argumentation studies is evident in conferences (e.g., International Society for the Study of Argumentation, Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation), journals (Argumentation, Informal Logic), and graduate programs (e.g., University of Amsterdam). For overviews of argumentation theory, see Cox & Willard (1982), van Eemeren et al. (1996). 3. Our treatment of science studies focuses mainly on studies of mathematics and the natural sciences in various contexts, including policymaking; a thorough treatment of other areas of STS is beyond the scope of this chapter. 4. An exception is found in areas of AI that attempt to model argumentation among "intelligent agents" (see McBurney & Parsons, 2002), which, while not human, are still plural. 5. Warner (2002); this idea is also central to Latour (1987). 6. To be sure, philosophical theories of discourse have significantly influenced rhetorical analysis. We focus here mainly on the two disciplinary traditions in the United States that have produced the largest body of literature explicitly devoted to rhetorical analysis. Thus, we do not directly take up all the continental traditions in discourse theory and linguistic analysis, though some of the rhetoric of science we describe below draws on such work; for a useful overview of these traditions, see Sills & Jensen (1992). We also pass over other areas that contribute to argumentation theory, such as law, whose scholars have studied aspects of legal argumentation. Continental scholars explicitly identified with rhetoric have mostly worked in classical rhetoric and so contribute only indirectly to argumentation in science.
2 The authors thank Olga Amsterdamska and the four anonymous reviewers for their feedback on an
earlier draft of this essay.
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7. In the United States, pragmatists have produced important studies of logic and scientific argumentation (e.g., Peirce, 193133; Hanson, 1958), but by the 1950s their influence on philosophy departments was giving way to analytical philosophers.
8. Philosophers have traditionally understood propositions to represent the content of sentences or statements, independent of their superficial form (e.g., German or English); some philosophers, however, consider sentences, not propositions, the basic "truth-bearer" in arguments; see Kirkham (1992: chapter 2) for further details.
9. We refer here to the second of the various senses of "formal" that Barth and Krabbe (1982) distinguished: formal1 (Platonic Forms), formal2 (rules of syntax for using logical constants in a deductive system), formal3 (rules of dialogical procedure).
10. There is a growing interest in nontextual representation and argument, both in argumentation studies (Birdsell & Groake, 1996; Hauser, 1999) and in science studies (Lynch & Woolgar, 1990; Galison, 1994; Perini, 2005; Ommen 2005).
11. Rescher (1976) attempts to formalize plausibility arguments; theorists interested in Computational Model
ing of argument systems have attempted to formalize types of defeasible reasoning (cf. Prakken, 1997; Gilbert, 2002). Keith (2005) reconstructs Toulmin's model as nonmonotonic reasoning and amplifies the various senses of "probably" at issue.
12. For typical criteria, see Johnson & Blair (1977), Johnson (2000), Govier (2005); for contextualist approaches to relevance, see Hitchcock (1992), Tindale (1999), Walton (2004).
13. Some examples: Tindale (1999) views fallacies as bad product, procedure, or process; van Eemeren et al. (2002) as violations of the ten rules of dialogue; Walton (1996) as illicit shifts in the type of dialogue, i.e., as an argument that blocks the inherent goal of the given dialogue-type.
14. Lakatos (1976) is an example of a procedurally focused dialectical approach in the philosophy of mathematics. Criticizing the formalist approach, he reconstructs historical developments in geometry as a fictional conversation in which students argue about the "real" definition of a particular polyhedron and self-consciously challenge each other about their modes of argument and counterargument. By showing that this process conforms to a Popperian account, proof followed by refutation and further proof, Lakatos lays bare the dialectical structure of mathematical reasoning. Although Popper was a deductivist in his approach to argument analysis, his methodology of conjecture and refutation is dialectical (Lakatos 1976: 143 note 2).
15. Dialogical and deliberative democratic models often take this approach; Habermas's work is especially well known among argumentation theorists (e.g., Habermas, 1984, 1996: cf. Rehg, 2003), but see also Alexy (1990), van Eemeren et al. (1993), Bohman & Rehg (1997); on the difficulties in applying these standards, see Elster (1998), Blaug (1999).
16. The modes of rhetorical analysis are too varied to list here. For historical overviews, see Kennedy (1980), Bizzell & Hertzberg (2001); on contemporary rhetoric, see Lucaites et al. (1999), Jasinski (2001); on rhetorical criticism, see Burgchardt (2000); for a treatment of the tradition of invention, see Heidelbaugh (2001). Farrell (1993) and Leff (2002) argue for a normative understanding of rhetoric.
17. This is not intended to be an exhaustive or international survey of all that has been done under the heading of "rhetoric" in the last hundred years but instead a handy interdisciplinary guide to those traditions that have influenced the study of argument in science. Nor do we suggest that rhetorical studies fully encompasses, or is encompassed by, these two disciplines.
18. As means of persuasion, ethos and pathos may count as arguments for Aristotle in a broader sense,
which he distinguishes from the style and arrangement of speeches; in any case, interpretations of Aris-
totle remain controversial. Note also that within the European tradition, an Isocratean/Ciceronian
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humanism, rather than Aristotle per se, dominated university pedagogy until the nineteenth century; see Kimball (1995).
19. For example, "You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy" is an antithesis, while the word "country" is a metonym for rural culture.
20. In the critical thinking movement, domain-specific standards have been advocated by some; for discussion of the relevant debates, see Siegel (1988) and McPeck (1990). Toulmin et al. (1984) draw evaluative standards from disciplinary fields (law, science, ethics, etc.); Willard (1989, 1996) further situates incommensurable disciplinary problem-solving rationalities in contexts of democratic critique. Drawing on Foucault, McKerrow (1989) conceives a "critical rhetoric" aimed at discursive performance rather than truth. Fisher (1984, 1987) has proposed narrative as a tool for evaluating the quality of argument.
21. A major exception to this characterization is historical work on the rhetoric of experiment, e.g., Dear's (1995) rhetorically informed study of the different uses of the term experimentum in the seventeenth century; see also Dear (1991).
22. For other work on mathematical proof and cultures of proving, see the literature cited in Heintz (2003).
23. Meanwhile, Woolgar has gone on to elaborate the skeptical implications of social constructionism as a critique of the rhetoric of objective representation in science--a critique that applies reflexively to SSK itself (see Woolgar, 1983; 1988a,b; Ashmore, 1989). Other scholars have further developed Latour and Woolgar's (1986) literary-critical approach to laboratory work by drawing on Derridean ideas (see Lenoir, 1998).
24. Indeed, some critics charge the rhetoric of science with being vapid and uninformative (Fuller, 1995; Gaonkar, 1997). A more just criticism might be that there have typically not been well-defined research programs; many studies of scientific rhetoric, even if high quality, are motivated by "here is another interesting text."
25. Two close philosophical engagements with texts deserve mention in this section: Suppe (1998) and Hardcastle (1999) test different normative models of scientific argument through line-by-line analyses of actual articles.
26. Anthologies on the study of controversy include Engelhardt & Caplan (1987), Brante et al. (1993), Machamer et al. (2000).
27. Works such as Laudan (1977) and Shapere (1986) are at least tacitly dialectical in approach; Brown (1977) and Ackerman (1985) present their models as dialectical; for a formal approach to Kuhn's account of theory change, see Stegmьller (1976).
28. The term is due to Fuller (1988), and proponents of social epistemology include Nelson (1990); Hull (1988); Kitcher (1993, 2001); Longino (1990, 2002); Goldman (1999); Harding (1999); Kusch (2002); for a range of views, see Schmitt (1994).
29. Argumentationtheoretic case studies of the science-society interface are numerous; for some wellknown examples, see Harris (1997: chapters 79); Waddell's study of public hearings regarding research at Harvard is well known (Waddell 1989, 1990) as is Farrell and Goodnight's (1981) study of the ThreeMile Island episode. Fabj & Sobnosky (1995) draw on Goodnight's (1982) model of argument spheres to analyze the much-studied case of AIDS treatment activism; for a detailed analysis of argumentation at NAS and NIH, see Hilgartner (2000).
30. See Barnes & Bloor (1982) and Bloor (1984) for views that suggest this reading of the Strong
Program; Habermas (1984) represents the opposite view (cf. also McCarthy, 1988; Bohman, 1991). For
our purposes, what matters is not so much the accuracy of these interpretations, but whether scholars
who interpret their counterparts this way might still manage to collaborate.
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