ERIC Number: ED381776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Violence and Objectivity in Psychology.
The subject and the object are more strategically assigned than some might readily assume, both as people speak and as they live them. Subjectivity is associated with doing, hence responsibility, and therefore it noticeably slides in matters of credit and blame, with issues like Newton's or LaPlace's discovery. In scientific papers the subject has an ironic status, as illustrated by such expressions as, "The subject was given a mild dose...." In this statement the subject is the receiver rather than the performer of an action. This primary rhetorical move of science is only half completed, however, and requires the additional objectification of the subject (the scientist) to make it whole. Beneath the thin veil of language, however, the scientist is present as the subject--not only as the puller of levers but also as he or she who adopts a certain position toward "the subject." Excerpts from three autobiographical writings--concerning the electroconvulsive therapy of Uglo Cerletti, the lobotomy of Egaz Moniz, and the electrode implantations of Jose Delgado--demonstrate the extent to which scientists can objectify their subjects. However, the writings also demonstrate the extent to which these scientists cannot eliminate their own subjectivity. In describing their works, their subjectivity surfaces as egoistic absorption. Characteristically, the researchers reveal themselves as pioneers, venturing into unknown territory with courage, forthrightness, and insight. (Contains 14 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Author Text Relationship; Science Writing; Subjectivity; Voice (Rhetoric)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (80th, New Orleans, LA, November 19-22, 1994).