This essay argues that scientific discourse is amenable to interpretation and assessment from the perspective of the narrative paradigm and its attendant logic, narrative rationality. It also contends that this logic entails a revised conception of knowledge, one that permits the possibility of wisdom. The text analyzed is James D. Watson and Francis H. Crick's proposal of the double helix model of DNA.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Barrett, William: 1979,The Illusion of Technique: A Search for Meaning in a Technological Civilization, Garden City, NY, Anchor Books.
Bazerman, Charles: 1988,Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science, Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin Press.
Derrida, Jacques: 1981,Dissemination, trans., Barbara Johnson, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Dewey, John: 1988, ‘The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action,’ in Jo Ann Boydston (ed.),The Later Works, 1925–1953, Vol. 4: 1929, Carbondale IL, Southern Illinois University Press.
Feyerabend, Paul: 1988,Farewell to Reason, London, Verso.
Fischer, Frank: 1990,Technology and the Politics of Expertise, Newbury Park, CA, Sage Press.
Fisher, Walter R.: 1978, ‘Toward a Logic of Good Reasons,’The Quarterly Journal of Speech 64, 376–384.
Fisher, Walter R.: 1987, 1989,Human Communication as Narration: Toward a Philosophy of Reason, Value, and Action, Columbia, SC, University of South Carolina Press.
Fisher, Walter R.: 1987, ‘Technical Logic, Rhetorical Logic, and Narrative Rationality,’Argumentation 1, 3–21.
Fisher, Walter R.: 1988, ‘The Narrative Paradigm and the Interpretation and Assessment of Historical Texts,’Journal of the American Forensic Association 25, 50–53.
Foucault, Michael: 1988,Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, trans., Richard Howard, NY, Vintage Books.
Gross, Alan G.: 1990,The Rhetoric of Science, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.
Lyotard, Jean-François: 1988,The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans., Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi, Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota Press.
Nussbaum, Martha C.: 1990,Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature, London, Oxford University Press.
Pagels, Heinz: 1988,The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Age of Complexity, NY, Simon and Schuster.
Perelman, Chaim and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca: 1969,The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation, trans., John Wilkinson and Purcell Weaver, Notre Dame, IN, University of Notre Dame Press.
Polanyi, Michael: 1962,Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Polanyi, Michael: 1967,The Tacit Dimension, Garden City, NY, Anchor Books.
Prelli, Lawrence J.: 1989,A Rhetoric of Science: Inventing Scientific Discourse, Columbia, SC, University of South Carolina Press.
Prelli, Lawrence J.: 1990, ‘Rhetorical Logic and the Integration of Rhetoric and Science,’Communication Monographs 57, 315–322.
Rorty, Richard: 1979,Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
Ryle, Gilbert: 1949,The Concept of Mind, London, Hutchinson's University Library.
Toulmin, Stephen: 1958,The Uses of Argument, London, Cambridge University Press.
Toulmin, Stephen: 1990,Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity, NY, Free Press.
Watson, James D. and Francis H. Crick: 1953, ‘A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,’Nature 171, 736–737.
About this article
Cite this article
Fisher, W.R. Narrative rationality and the logic of scientific discourse. Argumentation 8, 21–32 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00710701
- scientific discourse