Title

Who Speaks And Who Replies In Human Science Scholarship?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-1997

Published In

History Of The Human Sciences

Abstract

Intelligibility in the human sciences, as elsewhere, is born of tradition. The present inquiry is into the traditions currently deployed in the human sciences to achieve credibility. In particular, how are we to understand the character of voice in human science writings such that they achieve rhetorical power, and how do these writings variously position their readers! Four traditions of voice are identified: the mystical, the prophetic, the mythic and the civil. These modes oi annunciation are contrasted with two additional genres of more recent, postmodern vintage: the autobiographical and the fictional. Illustrations are provided from major scientific writings. The modes of voice are contrasted in terms of the functions served within the sciences, along with their limitations in communicative capacity, and the cultural forms of life which the author-reader relationships variously invite.