Over the last few decades, scientific research and technology have advanced at incredible speed, creating the conditions for previously unimaginable progress in all areas of life, but at the same time raising ethical concerns often exacerbated by the rapidly spreading commercial exploitation of emerging technologies. One domain where both progress and ethical questioning have been especially strong is that of genetic engineering, which so far has reached widespread application primarily in the field of agri-biotechnologies. While having become progressively established throughout the world, agri-biotechnologies are far from being equally accepted everywhere. Objections to them range from misgivings about their moral acceptability, to fears about their possible consequences for human health, to the perceived risk of environmental damage, to the negative socio-political implications of giving a handful of seed producers what basically amounts to a monopoly on global food production. In the face of this criticism, agri-biotechnology companies have mounted a massive counteroffensive involving a sustained, coordinated rhetorical effort. This paper explores the argumentative strategies employed by major players in the agro-biotech sector (the like of Monsanto, now part of Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and Corteva Agriscience) in order to legitimate their operations and the technologies upon which they are based. In particular, it investigates the extent to which such argumentative strategies engage explicitly or implicitly with ethical issues, and attempts to identify recurring rhetorical structures in the self-legitimating narratives of major players in the industry. The study is rhetorical and (critical) discourse-analytical in focus and relies on pragmadialectics and the Argument Model of Topics for the analysis of argumentative patterns.

Ethics and Legitimacy in the Discourse of Agri-biotechnology. A Study in Argumentation / P. Catenaccio. - In: ANGLISTICA AION AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL. - ISSN 2035-8504. - 23:1(2019), pp. 203-225. [10.6093/2035-8504/8624]

Ethics and Legitimacy in the Discourse of Agri-biotechnology. A Study in Argumentation

P. Catenaccio
2019

Abstract

Over the last few decades, scientific research and technology have advanced at incredible speed, creating the conditions for previously unimaginable progress in all areas of life, but at the same time raising ethical concerns often exacerbated by the rapidly spreading commercial exploitation of emerging technologies. One domain where both progress and ethical questioning have been especially strong is that of genetic engineering, which so far has reached widespread application primarily in the field of agri-biotechnologies. While having become progressively established throughout the world, agri-biotechnologies are far from being equally accepted everywhere. Objections to them range from misgivings about their moral acceptability, to fears about their possible consequences for human health, to the perceived risk of environmental damage, to the negative socio-political implications of giving a handful of seed producers what basically amounts to a monopoly on global food production. In the face of this criticism, agri-biotechnology companies have mounted a massive counteroffensive involving a sustained, coordinated rhetorical effort. This paper explores the argumentative strategies employed by major players in the agro-biotech sector (the like of Monsanto, now part of Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and Corteva Agriscience) in order to legitimate their operations and the technologies upon which they are based. In particular, it investigates the extent to which such argumentative strategies engage explicitly or implicitly with ethical issues, and attempts to identify recurring rhetorical structures in the self-legitimating narratives of major players in the industry. The study is rhetorical and (critical) discourse-analytical in focus and relies on pragmadialectics and the Argument Model of Topics for the analysis of argumentative patterns.
agri-biotechnologies, argumentation, ethics, legitimation, rhetorical strategies
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
   Knowledge Dissemination across media in English: continuity and change in discourse strategies, ideologies, and epistemologies
   MINISTERO DELL'ISTRUZIONE E DEL MERITO
   2015TJ8ZAS_003
2019
20-nov-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/749667
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