A Text Rhetorically Designed to Negotiate Different Interests and Beliefs

in Shaping Science with Rhetoric

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780226099064
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226099088 | DOI:
A Text Rhetorically Designed to Negotiate Different Interests and Beliefs

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This chapter shows that when the text and its intertextual antecedents and responses are examined from a rhetorical perspective, a solution to two controversies begins to take shape. A rhetorical approach acknowledges that Schrödinger's book contains technical errors, making it scientifically flawed from a modern perspective. The temptation to view the benefits of collaboration only from the perspective of one's own discipline overcame the geneticist H. J. Muller. This approach would seem to be a more promising start for interdisciplinary collaboration. It has the potential to negotiate the interests of the two disciplines rather than reducing one while privileging the other. A rhetorical perspective also offers a solution to the other major scholarly dispute about this book by identifying polysemy as a rhetorical strategy employed (consciously or unconsciously) by Schrödinger to achieve interdisciplinary purpose.

Keywords: intertextual; rhetoric approach; polysemy; geneticist; Schrödinger

Chapter.  13503 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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