Burke, Pasteur, and the Rhetoric of Science

40 %
60 %
Information about Burke, Pasteur, and the Rhetoric of Science

Published on April 2, 2007

Author: jthomaswright

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A few thoughts on Pasteur's rhetoric

Burke, Pasteur, and the Rhetoric of Science

Identification and division From A Rhetoric of Motives : “ You persuade a man only insofar as you talk his language by speech, gesture, tonality, order, image, attitude, idea, identifying your ideas with his.” “ [T]o begin with ‘identification’ is, by the same token, though roundabout, to confront the implications of division .”

From A Rhetoric of Motives :

“ You persuade a man only insofar as you talk his language by speech, gesture, tonality, order, image, attitude, idea, identifying your ideas with his.”

“ [T]o begin with ‘identification’ is, by the same token, though roundabout, to confront the implications of division .”

Persuasion by division Persuasion of one audience by division from another Very close connection between identification and division The “great persuasive power of mystery”

Persuasion of one audience by division from another

Very close connection between identification and division

The “great persuasive power of mystery”

My argument Pasteur established his place in the hierarchies of science and society by manipulating the relationship between identification and division His place in the hierarchy contributed to a powerful ethos Early emphasis on identification Later emphasis on division

Pasteur established his place in the hierarchies of science and society by manipulating the relationship between identification and division

His place in the hierarchy contributed to a powerful ethos

Early emphasis on identification

Later emphasis on division

Law of hemihedral correlation Explained correlation between internal chemical structure and external crystalline form Guided Pasteur’s research for eight years Never confirmed

Explained correlation between internal chemical structure and external crystalline form

Guided Pasteur’s research for eight years

Never confirmed

Rhetorical significance Pasteur could explain each “exception” to a law that had never been confirmed in the first place Research allowed him to rise in the academic hierarchy Based rhetorical strategy on identification

Pasteur could explain each “exception” to a law that had never been confirmed in the first place

Research allowed him to rise in the academic hierarchy

Based rhetorical strategy on identification

Auguste Laurent Highly respected chemist Worked with Pasteur in 1846-47 Very influential on Pasteur’s early work

Highly respected chemist

Worked with Pasteur in 1846-47

Very influential on Pasteur’s early work

Division from Laurent As Laurent’s career declined, so did Pasteur’s identification with him Not mentioned even once in Pasteur’s 1860 lectures on crystallography Early identification had become complete division This division led to persuasion of other scientists

As Laurent’s career declined, so did Pasteur’s identification with him

Not mentioned even once in Pasteur’s 1860 lectures on crystallography

Early identification had become complete division

This division led to persuasion of other scientists

The debates on spontaneous generation “I may even add: as a scientist, I don’t much care. It is a question of fact. I have approached it without preconceived idea, equally ready to declare—if experiment had imposed the idea upon me—that spontaneous generations exist as I am now persuaded that those who affirm them have a blindfold over their eyes.”

“I may even add: as a scientist, I don’t much care. It is a question of fact. I have approached it without preconceived idea, equally ready to declare—if experiment had imposed the idea upon me—that spontaneous generations exist as I am now persuaded that those who affirm them have a blindfold over their eyes.”

Presentation at the Sorbonne Compared to a “theatrical performance” Audience of novelists, artists, intellectuals, educated laypeople Pasteur’s first real success at persuading an audience by division from them

Compared to a “theatrical performance”

Audience of novelists, artists, intellectuals, educated laypeople

Pasteur’s first real success at persuading an audience by division from them

The real story Technical details part of Pasteur’s strategy of identification and division Pasteur admitted (although not in the Sorbonne presentation) that his experiments on spontaneous generation “succeeded only rarely, perhaps less than 10 percent of the time.”

Technical details part of Pasteur’s strategy of identification and division

Pasteur admitted (although not in the Sorbonne presentation) that his experiments on spontaneous generation “succeeded only rarely, perhaps less than 10 percent of the time.”

Publication bias A serious detriment to the scientific process (Richard Feynman) Leads to putting “identification and division ambiguously together, so that you cannot know for certain just where one ends and the other begins” (Burke)

A serious detriment to the scientific process (Richard Feynman)

Leads to putting “identification and division ambiguously together, so that you cannot know for certain just where one ends and the other begins” (Burke)

Malice or lie? Burke “found that this wavering line between identification and division was forever bringing rhetoric against the possibility of malice and the lie.”

Burke “found that this wavering line between identification and division was forever bringing rhetoric against the possibility of malice and the lie.”

Julie-Antoinette Poughon A young girl with rabies Pasteur tried to treat her She died Case unpublished until 1995

A young girl with rabies

Pasteur tried to treat her

She died

Case unpublished until 1995

Joseph Meister Highly publicized Invariably presented as Pasteur’s first attempt to treat rabies in a human Boy survived

Highly publicized

Invariably presented as Pasteur’s first attempt to treat rabies in a human

Boy survived

Ethics of Meister’s case Pasteur’s estimate of people who would die without his treatment: 15-20% Meister had 80-85% chance of survival even if Pasteur did nothing No evidence that Pasteur had tested vaccine successfully even on dogs We have no way of knowing that Pasteur’s treatment saved him, even though every account of the case says that it did

Pasteur’s estimate of people who would die without his treatment: 15-20%

Meister had 80-85% chance of survival even if Pasteur did nothing

No evidence that Pasteur had tested vaccine successfully even on dogs

We have no way of knowing that Pasteur’s treatment saved him, even though every account of the case says that it did

Why that decision? Scientific and public audiences would have trouble identifying with someone who risked a boy’s life to try out a new vaccine Pasteur presented a version of the story with which they could identify

Scientific and public audiences would have trouble identifying with someone who risked a boy’s life to try out a new vaccine

Pasteur presented a version of the story with which they could identify

The germ theory Often associated with Pasteur (even by Burke) Pasteur did not propose it Pasteur divided himself from all others who did

Often associated with Pasteur (even by Burke)

Pasteur did not propose it

Pasteur divided himself from all others who did

Who developed the germ theory? “ On Contagion (1546) by Girolamo Fracastoro is generally regarded as the earliest exposition of germ theory . . . .” --Lois Magner, A History of Medicine

“ On Contagion (1546) by Girolamo Fracastoro is generally regarded as the earliest exposition of germ theory . . . .”

--Lois Magner, A History of Medicine

“ Does Rhetoric of Science Matter?” Yes! Facts do not speak for themselves

Yes!

Facts do not speak for themselves

Add a comment

Related pages

Burke, Pasteur, and the rhetoric of science | KB Journal

I've been reading a book called The Private Science of Louis Pasteur, written by Gerald Geison, a Princeton history professor. In spite of my sister's ...
Read more

Reading medical prose as rhetoric : A study in the ...

Title: Reading medical prose as rhetoric : A study in the rhetoric of science: Creator: Segal, Judith Zelda: Publisher: University of British Columbia: Date
Read more

The Productivity of Scientific Rhetoric | John Lyne ...

The Productivity of Scientific Rhetoric. ... Rhetoric and Contemporary Studies of Science Rhetoric of science is a ... Perhaps Burke’s pentadic ...
Read more

Call for Chapter Proposals for Serendipity in Rhetoric ...

Call for Chapter Proposals for Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research Maureen Daly Goggin and Peter N. Goggin, editors Dans les champs de ...
Read more

Tom Wright's blog - kbjournal.org

When we compare Pasteur's laboratory notebooks with his published work, ... and specifically to Burke's view of science and rhetoric, should be.
Read more

7KH 3ULYDWH 6FLHQFH RI /RXLV 3DVWHXU

Experimental Article in Science Madison University of Wisconsin Press ... H 1991 "Pasteur, ... Burke, Donald S 1993a "Of ...
Read more