From logos to pathos in social psychology and academic argumentation: Reconciling postmodernism and positivism in a sociology of persuasion

Argumentation 11 (1):35-50 (1997)

This paper argues that one can empirically test, via positivist methods, the post-modern attack on positivist epistemologies: Postmodern perspectives hold Knowledge and Truth to be intersubjective, consensus-driven social constructions. But traditional scientific approaches to knowledge, exemplified here by the cognitive social psychology of persuasion, seem oblivious to this and continue to detach the study of attitudes, beliefs, and emotions from that of knowledge, facts, and reason. Abandoning these artificial distinctions in both epistemology and method would enable this social psychology, reconstituted as a Sociology of Persuasion, to contribute greatly to illuminating the processes of Truth and Knowledge construction in social interaction. Moreover, this would facilitate academic engagement in civic discourse
Keywords Social construction  knowledge  affect  postmodernism  positivism
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DOI 10.1023/A:1017982511497
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