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Science, rhetoric, and the sociology of knowledge: a critique of dascal’s view of scientific controversies


sociology of knowledge
speech acts

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RAJAGOPALAN, K. Science, rhetoric, and the sociology of knowledge: a critique of dascal’s view of scientific controversies. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 25, n. 2, p. 433–464, 2016. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 dez. 2023.


Dascal’s position on scientific controversies is submitted to a critical examination. It is pointed out that his distinction between knowledge and understanding, between ‘hard rationality’ and ‘soft rationality’ is unlikely to survive sustained critical probing. What is egregiously missing in his approach is a recognition of the role of so-called ‘sociology of knowledge’ in the way scientific controversies play out. It is argued that, insofar as they constitute pragmatic events, scientific controversies cannot be studied properly without taking into account their inalienable sociological dimension.



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