Rhetoric and Scientific Rationality

Feyerabend's views are construed as formulating the problem of determining the role of rhetoric in scientific rationality and posing the solution-theory that scientific rationality is essentially rhetorical. He is taken to give three arguments against reason, of which the one from the insufficiency of reason and the one from incommensurability are shown to presuppose his historical argument; his historical argument is based on his account of Galileo, which hinges essentially on Feyerabend's analysis of the tower argument. This analysis is insightful in certain important ways but misconceived in others. Feyerabend's main error is to see a conflict between reason and rhetoric, where none exists; it is argued that rhetorical devices have their own standards of propriety and impropriety, different from those of rational arguments, and that at the same time sound rhetorical analysis presupposes sound logical analysis.
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William K. Goosens (1980). Galileo's Response to the Tower Argument. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 11 (3):215-227.

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