Rhetoric, technical writing, and ethics

Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (4):463-478 (1999)
Many outside science and engineering, especially social scientists and “rhetoricians”, claim that rhetoric, “the art of persuasion”, is an important part of technical communication. This claim is either trivial or false. If “persuasion” simply means “effective communication”, then, of course, rhetoric is an important part of technical communication. But, if “persuasion” has anything like its traditional meaning (a specific art of winning conviction), rhetoric is not an important part of technical communication; indeed, its use in technical communication would be unethical. [By] an advocate is meant one whose business it is to smooth over real difficulties, and to persuade where he cannot convince.
Keywords rhetoric  ethics  professions  technical writing  technical communication  engineers  scientists  deception  persuasion
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-999-0046-1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Stephanic J. Bird (2000). Editorial—Our Developing Profile. Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (2):146-146.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

23 ( #204,479 of 1,902,847 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #324,370 of 1,902,847 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.