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This paper involves an extended study of the Andrew Wakefield vaccine case as an illustration of three ethotic phenomena: (i) the creation of ethos in the face of attack; (ii) attacks on that expert by other members of the relevant scientific community; and (iii) the extension of ethos to experts from a lay audience. This last is particularly fascinating insofar as it demonstrates the durability of trust that a specific audience continues to have in Wakefield’s expertise. The nature and ground of that trust will be explored

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Dismantling Expertise: Disproof, Retraction, and the Persistence of Belief

This paper involves an extended study of the Andrew Wakefield vaccine case as an illustration of three ethotic phenomena: (i) the creation of ethos in the face of attack; (ii) attacks on that expert by other members of the relevant scientific community; and (iii) the extension of ethos to experts from a lay audience. This last is particularly fascinating insofar as it demonstrates the durability of trust that a specific audience continues to have in Wakefield’s expertise. The nature and ground of that trust will be explored

 

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