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John Lyne, PhD

Professor, Department of Communication

University of Pittsburgh





University of Pittsburgh

Department of Rhetoric and Communication

Cathedral of Learning 1117
4200 Fifth Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15260


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Related Sites:

Dr. Lyne's Department of Comminication Faculty Page

John Lyne is a Professor of Communication/Director of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Bioethics, Resident Fellow, Center for the Philosophy of Science, Director of Graduate Studies for Communication Department.


John Lyne studies philosophical and theoretical issues in rhetoric and communication, rhetoric of science, and argumentation. He has published work on evolutionary biology and “gene talk,” the intersections of science and common sense, and philosophically oriented work influenced by C.S. Peirce, Kenneth Burke, and Wittgenstein. He also teaches a graduate seminar on the rhetoric and philosophy of medicine in the M.A. program in Bioethics. He has team taught seminars with faculty from History and Philosophy of Science, Biology, Economics, and Political Science. His work appears in journals and edited volumes both inside and outside the field of communication, and he has been editor-in-chief of a book series on the rhetoric of inquiry with the University of Wisconsin Press. He has directed several national award-winning dissertations. Doctoral advisees have taken faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Marquette University, University of Alabama at Huntsville, Temple University, Tulane University, the Claremont Graduate University, and other universities. Professor Lyne is the recipient of the 2010 Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring, for his success at mentoring doctoral students, and the 2014 Donald Ecroyd Research and Scholarship Award of the Pennsylvania Communication Association. He is a past president of the Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology and a past chair of Communication departments at the University of Iowa and the University of Pittsburgh.



BA – Philosophy and Speech, Western Kentucky University (1971)

MA – Speech Communication; minor in Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin (1973)

PhD – Communication Studies; minor in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin (1978)


Research and Professional Interests

Philosophy of medicine

Rhetorical aspects of pain and suffering

Philosophy and rhetoric

Rhetoric of science



Teaching Activities


  • Rhetorical Process (COMMRC 0310)
  • Argument (COMMRC 0500)
  • Discussion (COMMRC 0540)
  • 20th-Century Public Argument (COMMRC 1117)
  • Media Criticism (COMMRC 1122)
  • Rhetoric of Science (COMMRC 1147)


  • Modern Theories of Rhetoric (COMMRC 2217)
  • Science and Its Rhetorics (COMMRC 2285)
  • Rhetoric and Common Sense
  • Kenneth Burke (COMMRC 2218)
  • The Rhetoric of Pain
  • The Philosophy of Medicine (BIOETH 2658)


Selected Publications

Depew DJ, Lyne J. The productivity of scientific rhetoric. Poroi: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention 2013; 9(1).

Lyne J, Rhodes J, Von Burg R, Steiner MA. Seeking the productive energy in public debates over science and religion. Poroi: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention 2012; 8(1).

McCloskey D, Lyne J. A dialogue on market innovation and laissez faire. Poroi: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention 2011; 7(1).

Lyne J. Rhetoric and the third culture: scientists and arguers and critics. In: Porrovecchio M, editor. Reengaging the Prospect of Rhetoric. Routledge, 2010. pp.132-152.

Miller C, Lyne J. Rhetoric, disciplinary, and fields of knowledge. In: Lunsford A and Aune J, editors. The Rhetoric Handbook. SAGE, 2009. pp.167-174.

Lyne J. Science, common sense, and the third culture. Argumentation and Advocacy Summer 2005; 42: 38-42.

Lyne J. Not every two-sidedness is a dualism: a response to Lessl. Rhetoric and Public Affairs 2003; 5(4): 737-741.

Lyne J. Contours of intervention: how rhetoric matters to biomedicine. Journal of Medical Humanities Spring 2001; 22.

Lyne J. Knowledge and performance in argument: disciplinarity and proto-theory. Argumentation and Advocacy Summer 1998; 35: 1-7.

Lyne J. Intelligent Dasein. Rhetoric and Public Address December 1998; 1.

Lyne J. Rhetoric and scientific communities. In: Hogan JM, editor. Rhetoric and Community: Case Studies in Unity and Fragmentation. University of South Carolina Press, 1998. pp.245-67.