Writing and Thinking in Contemporary Academia: The Poetics of Clarity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Writing and Thinking in Contemporary Academia

The Poetics of Clarity, 1st Edition

By Martin Grünfeld


160 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138312135
pub: 2019-07-08
SAVE ~$28.00
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


Across disciplinary borders, clarity is taken for granted as a cardinal virtue of communication in contemporary academia. But what is clarity, how is it practised in writing across disciplinary borders and how does it affect our ways of researching and thinking? This book explores such questions by scrutinizing the ideal of clarity beyond its apparently self-evident value. Through a multi-methodological empirical analysis of the ideal of clarity, the author offers a sketch of what is termed ‘the poetics of clarity’, which is unfolded as a field of tension with important implications for sentence formation, authorial positioning and textual organization. By way of a series of reflections on the possible consequences of this for thinking, this volume also explores the parts of knowledge production that may be marginalized, especially poetic language use, biases, interests and contexts, multi-dimensional arguemtents and errors. Revealing a positivist bias and a regime of high-speed consumption that characterize what, in certain regards, might be considered a productive space for knowledge production, Writing and Thinking in Contemporary Academia will appeal to scholars with interests in the sociology of knowledge, continental philosophy, the philosophy of science and academic writing.

Table of Contents


Introductory Remarks: The Question of Clarity

Part 1: The Poetics of Clarity in Contemporary Academic Writing

1. The Idealised Plane of Poetics: Core Concepts and Ideals

2. The Formation of Sentences

3. Researchers-in-the-Texts

4. Textual Structures of Research Articles

Part 2: Reflections on The Consequences for Thinking

5. The Unstable Distinction Between Form and Content

6. Phrase Regimes, Genres, and the Expulsion of Metaphors

7. Authorial Effacement and the Suppression of Contexts, Biases, Interests

8. Textual Structures as Templates for Thinking

9. Thinking the Limits and the Limits for Thinking: The Inherent Positivist Bias

10. Clarity – A Potential Acceleration of Thinking?


Appendix I: A Note on Rancière’s Poetics of Knowledge

Appendix II: A Note on Methods

Works Cited and Empirical Material

About the Author

Martin Grünfeld is Assistant Professor in Science Communication at Medical Museion and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

About the Series

Public Intellectuals and the Sociology of Knowledge

Public Intellectuals and the Sociology of Knowledge
The sociology of knowledge has a long and distinctive history. Its function has always been that of attempting to bridge the aspirations of the discursive and institutional founding fathers of sociology with that of modern attempts to define the discipline through the study of the emergence, role and social function of ideas. However, since Mannheim first outlined his program in the 1920s, the sociology of knowledge has undergone many changes. The field has become extremely differentiated and some of its best practitioners now sail under different flags and discuss their work under different headings. This new series charts the progress that has been made in recent times - despite the different labels. Be it intellectual history Cambridge-style, the new sociology of ideas which is now gaining strength in North America, or the more European cultural analysis which is associated with the name of Bourdieu, this series aims at being inclusive while simultaneously striving for sociological insight and excellence. All too often modern attempts in the sociology of knowledge, broadly conceived, have only looked at form while they downplayed or disregarded content, substance of argument or meaning. This series will help to rectify this.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General