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Cogent Science in ContextThe Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas$
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William Rehg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262182713

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262182713.001.0001

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Adjusting the Pragmatic Turn: Lessons from Ethnomethodology

Adjusting the Pragmatic Turn: Lessons from Ethnomethodology

Chapter:
(p.212) (p.213) 7 Adjusting the Pragmatic Turn: Lessons from Ethnomethodology
Source:
Cogent Science in Context
Author(s):

William Rehg

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262182713.003.0009

This chapter discusses the challenge of radical contextualism—which is generally identified with the social-constructivist and conventionalist forms of relativism—and “its implications for the ideas of truth, objectivity, and reasonable dialogical process.” It emphasizes that Habermas’s pragmatic presuppositions have to be regarded as rhetorical potentials implicit in argumentative practices. The ethnomethodology of scientific work (ESW) also plays an important role in addressing the problem of contextualization as the ethnographic discussions directly engage the study of scientific inquiry. The chapter emphasizes the methods to be applied by critical theorists while incorporating the insights of ESW without losing their commitment to critical assessment.

Keywords:   radical contextualism, relativism, truth, objectivity, ethnomethodology, ethnographic discussions, scientific inquiry, critical theorists, critical assessment

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