"Please, don't let me be misunderstood": The role of argumentation in a sociology of academic misunderstandings
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 21 (4):369 – 389 (2007)
Academic debates are so frequent and omnipresent in most disciplines, particularly the social sciences and humanities, it seems obvious that disagreements are bound to occur. The aim of this paper is to show that whereas the agent who perceives his/her contribution as being misunderstood locates the origin of the communication problem on the side of the receiver who "misinterprets" the text, the emitter is in fact also contributing to the possibility of this misunderstanding through the very manner in which his/her text is written. In other words, I propose a symmetric approach to understanding misunderstandings: taking simultaneously into account the position of the reader in the scientific field and the structure of the texts of the writers. The paper thus proposes to complement the sociological analysis of controversies in a scientific field with the close reading of texts, a practice usually found in studies of argumentation, in order to explain the occurrence of misunderstandings. The debate surrounding the charge of "relativism" among sociologists of scientific knowledge provides us with a case study to analyse in detail the argumentative context of misunderstanding.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Yves Gingras (2009). Response to Collins About 'One Point' That is Absent From My Review of His Book. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (1):112-.
Similar books and articles
Mika Hietanen (2011). The Gospel of Matthew as a Literary Argument. Argumentation 25 (1):63-86.
H. G. Callaway (1992). Does Language Determine Our Scientific Ideas? Dialectica 46 (3/4):225-242.
Massimiano Bucchi (2004). Science in Society: An Introduction to Social Studies of Science. Routledge.
Anne Warfield Rawls (2004). Epistemology and Practice: Durkheim's the Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Cambridge University Press.
Andrew Alexandra (2002). Academic Personality and the Commodification of Academic Texts. Ethics and Information Technology 4 (4):279-286.
Michael Lynch (1993). Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action: Ethnomethodology and Social Studies of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Tadeusz Szubka (2006). The Metaphysical Realism Debate: What is at Stake? Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 91 (1):301-316.
Mari-Ann Igland (2009). Negotiating Problems of Written Argumentation. Argumentation 23 (4):495-511.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads13 ( #119,482 of 1,099,028 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,293 of 1,099,028 )
How can I increase my downloads?