Pragmatism and pain : the melioristic rhetoric of mirror box therapy Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/12579x17z

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  • The phenomenon of phantom limb pain has been well documented for centuries, but little clinical work has been done to alleviate it. Physician and neuroscientist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran began researching this condition nearly two decades ago, and has discovered a promising alternative treatment: mirror-box therapy. This therapy is not yet widely accepted by the scientific and medical communities because there is insufficient data explaining how and why it works. This study analyzes Ramachandran's rhetoric promoting the therapy. Scott Stroud's melioristic method is applied to Ramachandran's scientific and popular publications. The purpose is to determine whether or not his rhetoric is melioristic in that it promotes positive, and thus, pragmatic changes. This thesis indicates the important insights pragmatism can yield when utilized in acts of rhetorical criticism.
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