Tag: metaphors

Rhetorical Studies of Science and Technology

The following discussion was co-authored with Elizabeth Pitts, a PhD student in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media program and NSF IGERT Fellow in Genetic Engineering & Society at North Carolina State University. --- An ethos of expertise—that is, an ethos grounded not in moral values or goodwill, or even in practical judgment, but rather in a narrow technical knowledge—addresses its audience only in terms of what it knows or does not know. The diminution of arete and eunoia in an ethos of expertise has a specifically rhetorical effect, because these qualities are relational in a way that expertise is not; similarly, the transformation of phronesis to episteme diminishes the practical, or relational, dimensions of knowledge. Without arete and eunoia, there is no basis for agreement on values or for belief in the good intentions of a rhetorical agent; the rhetorical relationship becomes impersonal. … The impersonality of an ethos of expertise runs (more...)

Talk About Anticipation

Have you ever noticed how ideas often come together to reveal a larger trend or zeitgeist? Last week, The CASTAC Blog featured a set of ideas advanced by Lyon-Callo in a post devoted to using anthropology to focus on the positive. The goal was to encourage a broadening of anthropology’s focus to find creative solutions for change in tackling difficult problems. The idea was to avoid the oft-felt pessimism that Lyon-Callo reports that his students often experienced in anthropology classes that orient around critical thinking. The suggestion in that post was to supplement critical thinking with pedagogy and research that focused more attention on positive examples of what is going right in the world. In a similar vein, Jacob L. Mey writes of something he calls “anticipatory pragmatics,” in the Journal of Pragmatics 44 (2012): 705-708. Put simply, pragmatics is defined as the study of language in use. According to (more...)

The Power of Metaphors

Metaphors are important elements of science and technology practice and pedagogy. They influence how knowledge is produced, interpreted, and represented. Many courses in science and technology studies introduce students to how metaphors inspire and orient investigations into the unknown. Sometimes, metaphors do not introduce new knowledge so much as overlay what we think we know onto interpretations about how the world works. As educators, it is instructive to find and share materials that help our students understand the power of metaphors, and how they influence our very perceptions. Over the years, I’ve benefitted from educators who have generously shared their teaching materials online. This blog post is an attempt to pay it forward, and share an exercise that I’ve developed for my class on anthropology and technology at California College of the Arts. This exercise is meant to inspire discussion on how metaphors influence our thinking in daily life, as (more...)