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Textual Persuasion: The Role of Social Accounting in the Construction of Scientific Arguments

Textual Persuasion: The Role of Social Accounting in the Construction of Scientific Arguments Phil. SOC. Sci. 11 (1981) 409-435 Textual Persuasion: The Role of Social Accounting in the Construction of Scientific Arguments* STEVEN YEARLEY, SocioIogy, Universiry of York 1. INTRODUCTIONt When historians study scientific knowledge they study scientific texts of various sorts, principally formal scientific writings and more personal diaries and notebooks. Sociologists, too, depend, on the examination of texts in a general sense, whether they be laboratory notes or interview transcripts. Observed scientific actions do not afford a pure datum because their meanings are only established as they are interpreted in the light of prevailing scientific beliefs.’ Understood in the broadest sense, scientific texts (i.e., verbalized or written interpretations of scientific actions and the information gleaned by scientists) constitute the sole evidence for meta-scientific enquiries. The most ubiquitous form of scientific text is the formal paper. Through the medium of such papers, scientists are commonly thought to put forward arguments and counter- arguments relating to the topics at the forefront of knowledge. Until fairly recently these formal papers have been accepted as straightfonvardly represent- ing the arena in which knowledge-claims are scrutinized. Scientific knowledge was regarded as really being evaluated just on the bases upon which it was said to be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy of the Social Sciences SAGE

Textual Persuasion: The Role of Social Accounting in the Construction of Scientific Arguments

Philosophy of the Social Sciences , Volume 11 (3): 27 – Sep 1, 1981

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0048-3931
eISSN
1552-7441
DOI
10.1177/004839318101100307
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Phil. SOC. Sci. 11 (1981) 409-435 Textual Persuasion: The Role of Social Accounting in the Construction of Scientific Arguments* STEVEN YEARLEY, SocioIogy, Universiry of York 1. INTRODUCTIONt When historians study scientific knowledge they study scientific texts of various sorts, principally formal scientific writings and more personal diaries and notebooks. Sociologists, too, depend, on the examination of texts in a general sense, whether they be laboratory notes or interview transcripts. Observed scientific actions do not afford a pure datum because their meanings are only established as they are interpreted in the light of prevailing scientific beliefs.’ Understood in the broadest sense, scientific texts (i.e., verbalized or written interpretations of scientific actions and the information gleaned by scientists) constitute the sole evidence for meta-scientific enquiries. The most ubiquitous form of scientific text is the formal paper. Through the medium of such papers, scientists are commonly thought to put forward arguments and counter- arguments relating to the topics at the forefront of knowledge. Until fairly recently these formal papers have been accepted as straightfonvardly represent- ing the arena in which knowledge-claims are scrutinized. Scientific knowledge was regarded as really being evaluated just on the bases upon which it was said to be

Journal

Philosophy of the Social SciencesSAGE

Published: Sep 1, 1981

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