Postmodern Rhetorics of Technology: The Montreal Fluoridation Controversy

Maurice Charland

Abstract


Abstract: Montreal's recent controversy over water fluoridation illustrates the challenge to deliberative rhetoric within postmodernity. The dispute ultimately turns on the claim to knowledge of public health officials. No non-controversial meta-narrative stands to legitimate their character and claims. Rhetorical discourse performs the impossible task of rendering the incommensurable to the court of judgment. Résumé: La récente controverse sur la fluoration de l'eau à Montréal illustre bien le défi que pose la post-modernité à la rhétorique délibérative. Le différend met en cause le discours scientifique des organismes de santé publique. Aucun grand récit possède suffisamment d'autorité pour légitimer leur caractère et leur propos. La rhétorique effectue l'impossible tâche de traduire l'incommensurable devant la cour du jugement.

Keywords


Rhetorical Theory; Postmodernity; Quebec fluoridization

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.1992v17n2a660

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