Negotiating Scientific Ethos in Academic Controversy

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The aim of this paper is to provide a rhetorical-linguistic analysis of academic ‘conflict articles’ that are part of an actual academic controversy in the field of archaeology, focusing on the concept of scientific ethos . In contexts of conflict, the act of establishing one’s ethos and attacking the rival’s ethos can become a central issue. Scientific ethos is a discursive construction reciprocally established and negotiated through various linguistic practices. First-person pronouns, citations, rhetorical questions, irony, positive and negative evaluations are all resources available to the authors, as well as labeling, quotation marks and punctuation. Scientific norms of disinterestedness and skepticism , as well as the values of consistency , simplicity and fruitfulness are realized in this argumentative context. Due to the ideological, political and religious implications of the subject, emotional neutrality as a scientific value was found to be especially significant.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)126-152
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Argumentation in Context
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


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