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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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Argumentation at Fermilab: Putting the Habermasian Model to Work

Argumentation at Fermilab: Putting the Habermasian Model to Work

Chapter:
(p.162) (p.163) 6 Argumentation at Fermilab: Putting the Habermasian Model to Work
Source:
Cogent Science in Context
Author(s):

William Rehg

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262182713.003.0007

This chapter analyzes a case of argument construction in high-energy physics—the writing of a scientific paper announcing the evidence for the existence of the top quark by the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF). In writing the 1994 papers at Fermilab, the CDF scientists “sought consensus on both the conclusions and supporting evidence.” This CDF case explains the different aims of critical assessment as it further clarifies and examines the potential of Habermas’s model for highlighting actual processes of scientific argumentation. It further shows how the use of Habermas’s argumentation theory can be helpful in creating interdisciplinary cooperation in the service of critical assessment of actual cases. The chapter concludes that Habermas’s model generated certain reform proposals in science as well as in science journalism .

Keywords:   argument construction, Collider Detector, Fermilab, high-energy physics, top quark, scientific argumentation, science journalism, critical assessment, Habermas’s argumentation theory

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