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Switch-side debating meets demand-driven rhetoric of science

Mitchell, GR (2010) Switch-side debating meets demand-driven rhetoric of science. Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 13 (1). 95 - 120. ISSN 1094-8392

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U.S. government agencies are collaborating with outside scholars to untangle disparate threads of knotty technoscientific issues, in part by integrating structured debating exercises into institutional decision-making processes such as intelligence assessment and public policy planning. These initiatives drive up demand for rhetoricians with skill and experience in what Protagoras called dissoi logoi - the practice of airing multiple sides of vexing questions for the purpose of stimulating critical thinking. In the contemporary milieu, dissoi logoi receives concrete expression in the tradition of intercollegiate switch-side debating, a form of structured argumentation categorized by some as a cultural technology with weighty ideological baggage. What exactly is that baggage, and how does it implicate plans to improve institutional decision making by drawing from rhetorical theory and expertise? Exploration of how switch-side debating meets demand-driven rhetoric of science not only sheds light on this question, but also contributes to the burgeoning scholarly literature on deliberative democracy, inform argumentation studies, and suggest new avenues of inquiry in rhetorical theory and practice. © 2010 Michigan State University Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mitchell, GRgordonm@pitt.eduGORDONM
Centers: University Centers > University Center for International Studies (UCIS)
Date: 1 March 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Rhetoric and Public Affairs
Volume: 13
Number: 1
Page Range: 95 - 120
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1353/rap.0.0134
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Clinical and Translational Science
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1094-8392
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 15:17
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2022 16:22


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