Manifest Rationality: A Pragmatic Theory of Argument

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Extending the notion of argument so that it encompasses different modes of arguing can be done without giving up the evidentiary notion of argument or the idea that evidence is presented in a set of premises that support some conclusion. One finds a more radical approach to the definition of argument in the work of Gilbert , cf. Carozza According to his account, arguing occurs when clusters of attitudes, beliefs, feelings and intuitions produce disagreement.

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This approach expands the scope of argument to include whatever can be used to bring about the coalescence that is the aim of argument. This allows the substance of argument to be, not only reasons in the traditional sense, but also emotional or physical or other means of coalescence. According to this account, a hug, a forlorn look, or tears may count as argument. In real life situations, this underscores the point that they may be a more effective method of resolving disagreement than premises as they have been traditionally conceived.

When we analyze real life arguments, our first task is the identification of its component parts. In the case of arguments, arguments on the hoof are arguments as they appear in their real life contexts. One dresses them to identify and isolate their key components in a way that prepares the way for argument evaluation.

Depending on the circumstances, and how extensive an analysis one wants to carry out, the following are key aspects of an argument that may need to be identified in the process of dressing it. The most obvious task in dressing an argument is the identification of its premises and conclusion. Whether one analyzes an argument from a formal or an informal point of view, this is the starting point for argument evaluation. Like formal logic, informal logic understands premises and conclusions as the core components of an argument.

In simple cases, they are clearly and explicitly indicated and easily identified. Dressing arguments is a key aspect of the analysis of arguments that occur in ordinary discourse because such arguments are frequently unclear or open to interpretation.

In isolating their premises and conclusions this means that we may have to:. The analysis of examples in this article illustrates how this can be done in a wide variety of cases. Some examples have already been noted. Another is the following argument, by then American Vice-President Dick Cheney, defending the decision by the Bush administration to try foreigners charged with terrorism offenses in tribunals located outside the United States -- locations not encumbered by protections of the accused guaranteed in American courts. Here the implicit premise identifies the link that ties the explicit premise to the conclusion.

In dressing the argument it needs to be made explicit because it needs to be assessed in any attempt to evaluate the argument. The task of identifying implicit premises or conclusions raises theoretical questions because there are many circumstances in which different implicit premises or conclusions can be attributed to an argument. A full account of the components of an argument must recognize aspects of their external as well as their internal components.

In ordinary discourse, arguments often function as a way to convince a specific audience of some point of view, making audience a key feature of the argument. A successful argument for the conclusion that the United Nations should be supported will, for example, need to address different issues when it is directed at a Chinese, Norwegian, or Swiss audience. In the world of actual argument, this frequently means that true premises and a valid inference are not sufficient for successful argument. This is why Tindale , , and others advocate an approach to informal logic that incorporates the analysis of audience.

The simplest way to build audience into the analysis and assessment of informal argument is in the way Aristotle suggests in his Rhetoric. Taking his approach, we must evaluate an argument not only by considering its logical strength its logos , but also the pathos of the audience to whom an argument is addressed, and the character the ethos of the arguer as it impresses itself on the audience. The latter because, as Aristotle says, an audience will be more easily convinced by someone who they perceive to be a good person.

Argumentation Theory - Lewiński - - Major Reference Works - Wiley Online Library

Another external component of arguments is the kind of dialogue in which they are embedded. In a dialogue of inquiry, arguments are used as tools in an attempt to establish what is true. So understood, arguments must adhere to strict standards that determine what counts as evidence and counter-evidence for some point of view.

In negotiation dialogue, arguments function in a different way. Here the aim is an agreed settlement between two parties who have conflicting interests and different, possibly irreconcilable, points of view.

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One can summarize these differences by saying that the expectations, norms and procedures for arguing depend on the kind of dialogue in which an argument is proposed. Walton understands a dialogue as an exchange made up of an opening stage, an argumentation stage, and a closing stage. In the opening stage, the arguers in the dialogue agree to participate.

The rules for the dialogue define what types of moves are allowed, what kinds of questions and responses are permitted, and what norms must be adhered to. The seven basic types of dialogue he distinguishes can be summarized as follows. Within these general categories, more specific kinds of dialogue may be governed by strict rules.

In this kind of negotiation, the use of threats to strike or lock employees out are a key part of the process. In sharp contrast, threats are not acceptable in critical inquiry, where they are classed as instances of the fallacy ad bacculum. The question whether there are other kinds of dialogue which need to be recognized remains open, as does the question whether there are types of argumentation which cannot be categorized in terms of any of the standard forms of dialogue because they are a hybrid of different kinds of dialogue, or some new form of dialogue which is not clearly defined.

Recognizing a dialogue in which an argument is embedded is an important part of dressing when this imposes standards for argumentative exchange which arguers may not have properly adhered to.

Ralph H. Johnson (2000), Manifest Rationality. A Pragmatic Theory of Argument

Dialectics highlights the extent to which argumentation is an exchange between real or imagined interlocutors who argue for opposing points of view. It positions argument within the broader scope of dispute and debate. In argumentation theory, this approach to argument has been highlighted in pragma-dialectics, a theory which originates in Van Eemeren and Grootendorst It understands argumentation as a means of resolving differences of opinion according to the rules of critical discussion a particular kind of dialogue that aims at the rational resolution of differences of opinion. As arguers, this suggests that our fundamental dialectical obligation is an obligation to respond to and, where possible, anticipate alternative points of view.

In particular, we must respond to objections to our own views that are likely to be raised by our opponents in the dispute in which we are engaged. The illative core is the set of premises offered in support of the conclusion; the dialectical tier consists of alternative points of view, likely objections to the conclusion, and the premises and whatever assumptions characterize debate about the conclusion.

According to Johnson, all genuine arguments are dialectical and all arguers are obligated to discharge dialectical obligations. Whether or not one goes as far as Johnson, one of the external components of argument that needs to be taken into account in dressing many real life arguments is the extent to which it is dialectical and the objections of interlocutors real or potential who have different points of view. This is another aspect of argument which may need to be noted in preparing it for assessment. Dressing arguments is a precursor to argument evaluation.

It aims to identify and isolate their premises and conclusions, the inferences they contain, and other components which may be relevant to their assessment. In many cases, it requires a recognition that it is embedded in a particular kind of dialogue, is part of an exchange with some identifiable argumentative opponent, or is addressed to a specific audience an arguer is trying to convince.

In this way, a full dressing of an argument requires a detailed account of its internal and external features.

http://learn2useyourcamera.com/line-tracker-tool-for-cell-phone.php As Blair has emphasized, the ultimate goal of informal logic is normative. Its aim is an account of argument that can be used to decide when arguments are strong and weak; good and bad; and plausible and implausible. Informal logicians dress arguments to prepare them for evaluation. In view of this much of informal logic is an attempt to develop standards, criteria and processes for judging arguments. Particular arguments may be assessed in terms of general criteria for good argument; or as an instance of a fallacy or a particular scheme of argument. One way to assess arguments in ordinary discourse is by translating them into a formal language and assessing them accordingly.

This is a method which informal logicians sometimes use, especially in discussions of artificial intelligence, game theoretic approaches to dialogue, and formal accounts of various kinds of reasoning. More informal methods have been emphasized in the teaching of arguments and reasoning. In classical logic, an argument is deductively valid if its conclusion follows from its premises -- if it is impossible for its premises to be true and its conclusion false. Many issues arise if one tries to apply these criteria to informal arguments without adapting them in a number of ways, but they usefully make the point that the strength of an argument is a function of two things: i the viability of its premises, and ii the strength of the inference from these premises to its conclusion.

Within informal logic the simplest criteria for judging arguments is an informal analogue of soundness. The premises of an argument count as relevant to its conclusion when they provide some support for the conclusion and sufficient when they provide enough support to establish it as plausible. In contrast with classical logic, both the AV and ARS criteria assess premises as acceptable or unacceptable rather than true or false. Informal logic evaluates premises in this way for many reasons.

As Pinto points out, the aim of many arguments does not appear to be assent to the truth of a proposition but the withholding of assent or full assent or a particular attitude or emotional state. An argument may, for example, function as a means of instilling fear or hope or disapprobation. Informal logic favors acceptability over truth as a criteria for judging premises for other reasons as well.

Because real life arguing tends to take place in contexts characterized by uncertainty which make it difficult to make judgments of truth or falsity. Because such arguments frequently revolve around ethical and aesthetic judgments which are not easily categorized as true or false. Because there are contexts e.