“Logos” The Language of Science

Imagine that you are take a Kinesiology case studies course and you’re reading study, after study, after study. When you are reading these studies do you think you are reading anything to do with the tester’s emotions, or maybe reading something to do with the character of the testers or subjects? Most likely, your answer will be no. When you are reading or writing scientific paper, such as case studies, all of the information is drawn from logic and facts. The tester come up with a theory or hypothesis, come up with a logical way to test this theory, and then draw their conclusion from the results and facts of the performed test. No one talks about how the test made them feel emotionally, you don’t see sentences like, “Bill thought the test was a bad, so he got upset and was only able to reach 67% of his VO2max”. In study articles, no one cares about who felt what, if it does not apply to the scientific facts and findings of that study.
One logos tool that is used quite often in case studies is inductive logic. In Thank you for Arguing, Jay Heinrichs’ describes inductive logic as “taking a specific case or study and, in turn, using them to prove a premise or conclusion.” In just about every study, a conclusion is made based on the results from a specific test and is then turned in to an overall conclusion about the specific population being tested. In article one  it is stated that “The main finding of this study was that carbohydrate ingestion subsequent to a meal that is high in fat after 3 days of glycogen loading can enhance the endurance running performance of athletes.” The testers state that if an athlete follows the same instructions from this study, they will see the same results. However, that is not all entirely true. Article one in particular used all male athletes “Eight male collegiate long-distance athletes, who engaged in physical training almost every day, were recruited for the investigation”. So this actually means that if you are a “male collegiate long-distance athlete” and follow the instructions in this study then you will see the same results. Yet, even that may not be entirely true. There are a number of factors that are not counted for that can sway the results.
Jay Heinrichs continues to discuss induction and calls it “an argument by example, starting with specific and moves to general”. This can be seen is almost every discussion section of scientific studies, “this happened to this group of people so it can be applied to all those who fall in to this group”. He also discusses the examples used in inductive logic, “fact, comparison, and story”. This can be seen in article two‘s discussion section, “The findings of this study suggest that well-trained athletes who trained under conditions of high-carbohydrate availability (a high daily carbohydrate intake scheduled during daily training) for a 28-day training program achieved a greater increase in maximal muscle citrate synthase activity and  an increase in the oxidation of glucose consumed during submaximal exercise.” Here the testers gathered their “facts” or findings of the study, they then “compared” their findings or results to those who fall in to the category of “well-trained athletes”, and then told their “story” or explained how they came to their conclusion. Logos plays a huge roll in scientific material, whether it be a study, or an article, or a textbook. Science has always and forever will be a study of facts, and in scientific writing, one can use those facts to their rhetorical advantage.

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