Disability studies can be of great value to medical education first, by placing the medical paradigm in the broad context of a sequence of ways of understanding and responding to disability that have emerged in the last two thousand years or so; second, by reminding medical professionals that people with disabilities have suffered as well as profited from medical treatment in the last two hundred years; finally, by providing access to a distinctive point of view from which the experience of (...) disability looks very different than it may from the outside. (shrink)
In this article I draw on two scenarios from my personal life—the diagnosis of my newborn grandnephew with CHARGE syndrome and the diagnosis of my father with depression—to reflect on whether and when diagnosis may be harmful to patients. Despite the great differences between the two scenarios, I argue that in both cases the tendency of diagnosis to generalize, categorize, and stigmatize can lead to insidious and counterproductive effects. The perspective of disability studies can help physicians to anticipate, minimize or (...) avoid these negative ramifications. I also reflect on the matter of who "owns" a particular diagnosis, whose purposes it serves, and how. (shrink)
This paper argues that the choice of backing to certify the authority of a warrant requires a legitimation inference. When brought into question, such an inference becomes a claim defended by showing sound reasons for the selection of backing pertinent to a shared context. Legitimation controversies ensue when an attributed consensus meets objection. It is argued that attention to legitimation controversies renders the Toulmin model a more useful critical paradigm for investigating the development and risks of communicative reasoning in a (...) public forum. The nomination of John Tower as Secretary of Defense is employed to illustrate how critical analysis of legitimation controversies reflexively expands the domain of inquiry for informal reasoning. (shrink)
This essay offers, as a counterpart to pragma-dialectical argument, a “new rhetoric” produced in the situated discourse of a public forum when a community addresses matters of common urgency and undertakes informed action. Such a rhetoric takes the principles of discourse ethics as its informing dialectic by identifying an interlocutor as one who is obligatedboth to argue effectively,and also to hold open, even reinforce, norms of communicative reason. Implications concerning the study of fallacies and theethos obligations of communicative reasoning are (...) discussed. (shrink)
A critical theory of controversy would require the integration ofthe normative study of argumentation with critical studies of practices. Jiirgen Habermas has made a substantial contribution to such a project by embedding argumentation in a theory of communication, while critically engaging academic and public debates. This essay explicates core concepts in Habermas's theory of argumentation, including his distinction between theory and practice, the different validity requirements for argumentation in general, the norms of moral and ethical-political argumentation and of bargaining. Argument (...) predicaments are posited as ways to discover and assess different types of validity claims competing as "the force ofthe better argument". Habermas's criticism of "administrative power" and "communicative power" illustrates a potential yield of critical inquiry into social controversy. (shrink)
New Institutional Theory is used to explain the context for argumentation in modern practice. The illustration of Direct to Consumer Drug advertising is deployed to show how communicative argument between a doctor and patient is influenced by force exogenous to the practice of medicine. The essay shows how strategic maneuvering shifts the burden of proof within institutional relations.
Modern thinkers long have been troubled by everyday talk. For example, one nineteenth-century Tory critic observes, “General small-talk” is any exchange “in mixed society, where men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, are all mingled together.” However available the occasion or obvious the topics, chatting is easy for the talented but awkward for the ungifted. On the other hand, “special, or professional small talk” is an exchange of words between persons of “the same mode of life, as between (...) two apothecaries, two dissenters, two lawyers, two beggars, two reviewers, two butlers, two statements, two thieves, &c.&c.&c.; in short all conversations which are tinctured with the art, craft, mystery, occupation... (shrink)
From early modernity, philosophers have engaged in skeptical discussions concerning knowledge of the existence, state, and standing of other minds. The analogical move from self to other unfolds as controversy. This paper reposes the problem as an argumentation predicament and examines analogy as an opening to the study of rhetorical cognition. Rhetorical cognition is identified as a productive process coming to terms with an other through testing sustainable risk. The paper explains how self-sustaining risk is theorized by Aristotle’s virtue ethics (...) in the polis. Moral hazard is identified as a threat to modern argument communities. (shrink)
B. L. Ware and Wil Linkugel (1973) identified apologia as a rhetorical genre. Ever since, argumentation scholars have spent an enormous energy analyzing speeches of self-defense as well as public relations efforts to deny charges. Much less attention has been accorded to the act that prompts such contention, accusation. Argumentation in Political Interviews takes up a special case: discussions between journalists and politicians where charges of inconsistency arise and are uttered, disputed, and dispatched. The practice is common. The stakes are (...) high. “Flip-flopping” is an undesirable term for a politician who cannot get his thinking straight. Thus, journalists prize catching up a politician in contradictions; politicians wish to escape the clutches of contradiction and to appear reasonable.Corina Andone explains the dialectical structures and the rhetorical contexts for contemporary practices in the United Kingdom.Argumentation in Political Interviews extends pragma-dialectics general. (shrink)
Current technological opportunities for preserving the texts of books, above all the microfilming process, have the unfortunate side effect, Tanselle argues, of destroying the books themselves. This modern form of book-burning is all the more unfortunate insofar as it is being pursued by many who would otherwise consider themselves advocates for books and reading. The principal mistake, which has guided public policy decisions in this process, is to elevate the “text” above the “book” and moreover above the experience of reading, (...) which entails an encounter with a physical object. Such objects, furthermore, carry within them vast fields of historical information that are lost when we concern ourselves solely with the text and, indeed, can even lead to the loss of texts themselves. Despite the mass destruction that has already been carried out, it is not too late for librarians and large professional organizations to voice their concerns and shift attitudes away from the promise of future bookless libraries and a public no longer sensitized to the pleasures and importance of the physical aspects of reading. (shrink)
Based on the proceedings of a 1985 conference held in the U.K., this volume embraces most of the important concerns in AI today, emphasizing common techniques and methodologies rather than applications. Topics covered include building efficient computational logic, planning and design, the representation of uncertain knowledge, user modelling, and psychological and philosophical issues. Papers on perception, theorem proving, expert systems, robotics, and data bases are also included. Each section is preceded by an introduction which draws comparisons between various papers.
Anecdotal reports obtained from three individuals with prosopagnosia, all of whom have participated in an investigation, capture the essence of their impairment. This article focuses on the contrast between two prominent forms of prosopagnosia, one of which results from an acquired brain insult in an otherwise premorbidly normal individual and a second which appears to be lifelong and occurs in the absence of any obvious brain damage, at least as evident on conventional brain imaging. It reviews two central issues: the (...) first concerns the similarities and differences in the psychological representations of faces in acquired prosopagnosia and congenital prosopagnosia, and the second concerns the nature of the underlying neural representations of faces in these two populations. Some well-established overlapping behavioral characteristics are identified. (shrink)