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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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Science as Argumentative Practice

Science as Argumentative Practice

(p.16) (p.17) 1 Science as Argumentative Practice
Cogent Science in Context

William Rehg

The MIT Press

This chapter clarifies the concept of science as a set of “argumentation practices,” and explains the conceptual normative framework that integrates different approaches to scientific argumentation related to a number of theoretical developments. These developments include the “practice turn” in science studies, the “rhetorical turn” in the application of argumentation theory in the study of scientific texts, and the mutual exchange between rhetoric and argumentation studies. The chapter also highlights the obstacles and ambiguities in the alignment of key elements of this comprehensive framework by argumentation theorists who have inherited their evaluative perspectives from the ancient Greeks. It concludes that these theorists’ basic evaluative perspectives do not align with another one which takes an argument as product, procedure, and process. A useful set of methods for studying different conceptions of cogency in science studies can be obtained after making the required modifications in the perspectivist framework.

Keywords:   scientific argumentation, science studies, argumentation theorists, argumentation practices, scientific texts

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