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Un-Certainty as a Pragmatic Resource for Psychiatric Argumentation: a Diachronical and Diatextual Approach.

Authors
  • Scardigno, Rosa1
  • Mininni, Giuseppe2
  • 1 Department of Educational Sciences, Psychology, Communication, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Crisanzio, 42, 70121, Bari, Italy. [email protected] , (Italy)
  • 2 Department of Educational Sciences, Psychology, Communication, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Crisanzio, 42, 70121, Bari, Italy. , (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Integrative psychological & behavioral science
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2021
Volume
55
Issue
2
Pages
267–287
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12124-020-09568-7
PMID: 32683590
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Psychiatry is the science that aims to propose plausible theories in the description and explanation of "body-mind" pathologies. Since also the modern institution of science produces a type of discourse aimed at reducing human insecuritas through a progressive falsification of conjectures on how things are actually, it seems very important to monitor the discursive construction of un-certainty about an extremely elusive object such as the abnormality of psychic functioning. In the light of this, the present paper aims to identify what changes are traceable in the argumentative structure of un-certainty in the psychiatric scientific communication by the British Journal of Psychiatry in its life span as well as how the construction of socially "credible" authorship profiles evolves. The randomly-selected 90 articles from the 160 years of the BJP life cycle were analyzed through various interpretative apparatuses, by practicing both bottom-up and top-down approaches. Indeed, in the perspective of cultural and discursive psychology, un-certainty is a multidimensional discursive construction which is not attributable to the psycho-linguistic level of the utterance in its entirety, but to the meta-pragmatic dimension of enunciation. The identified rhetoric, which collects the groupings of enunciative profiles, sees the researcher evolving between the explorer's attempts, the investigator's inquiries and the critical rigor of the technician.

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