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 scrutinising 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 organisation. 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 marginalised, especially poetic language use, biases, interests and contexts, multi-dimensional arguments and errors. Revealing a positivist bias and a regime of high-speed consumption that characterise 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
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
Martin Grünfeld is Assistant Professor in Metabolic Science in Culture at Medical Museion and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.