Ambiguous Weighting and Nonsensical Sense: The Problems of “Balance” and “Common Sense” as Commonplace Concepts and Decision-making Heuristics in Environmental Rhetoric
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Social Epistemology 26 (1):115-144 (2012)
Balance and common sense are commonplace concepts used to bring an audience to a place of shared understanding. These commonplaces also function as decision-making heuristics. I argue in this paper that the commonplaces ?balance? and ?common sense? are problematic because they suggest decision-making strategies that strip associated information of complexity and value. Through an examination of theory and responses to interviews conducted in relation to an ongoing project on environmental rhetoric, I problematize these concepts and consider how awareness of the interaction of these commonplaces and heuristics can benefit rhetors and agencies seeking environmental change
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References found in this work BETA
Jacob Bronowski (1951). The Common Sense of Science. London, Heinemann.
Kim Cuddington (2001). The “Balance of Nature” Metaphor and Equilibrium in Population Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):463-479.
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