ISSA Proceedings 2014 ~ Table Of Contents

Mark Aakhus & Marcin Lewinski – Toward Polylogical Analysis Of Argumentation: Disagreement Space In The Public Controversy About Fracking
Scott Aikin & John Casey – Don’t Feed The Trolls: Straw Men And Iron Men
Derek Allen – The Very Idea Of Ethical Arguments
Rodica Amel – The Synthetic Function Of Doxastic Dialectics
José Ángelgascón – What Could Virtue Contribute To Argumentation?
R. Jarrod Atchison & John Llewellyn – Don’t Drink That Water!: The Role Of Counter-Intuitive Science In Conspiracy Arguments
Sharon Bailin & Mark Battersby – Conductive Argumentation, Degrees Of Confidence, And The Communication Of Uncertainty
Michael J. Baker – The Integration Of Pragma-Dialectics And Collaborative Learning Research: Argumentation Dialogue, Externalisation And Collective Thinking
V. William Balthrop & Carole Blair – Controversy, Racial Equality, And American World War I Cemeteries In Europe
Natalia Barebina – Interpersonal Argumentation Through The Context Of Distributed Cognition: The Case Of Christian Sermon
Michael D. Baumtrog – Delineating The Reasonable And Rational For Humans
Sarah Bigi – Can Argumentation Skills Become A Therapeutic Resource? Results From An Observational Study In Diabetes Care
J. Anthony Blair – What Is Informal Logic?
Marina Bletsas –The Voices Of Justice – Argumentative Polyphony And Strategic Manoeuvring In Judgement Motivations: An Example From The Italian Constitutional Court
Emma Frances Bloomfield & Kari Storla – Evolutionary Arguments In The Birth Control Debate: Casuistic Shifting In Conservative Rhetoric
Dmitri Bokmelder – Cognitive Biases And Logical Fallacies
David Botting – Reasons Why Arguments And Explanations Are Different
Antonio Bova – A Study Of Undergraduate And Graduate Students’ Argumentation In Learning Contexts Of Higher Education
Emanuele Brambilla – On The Benefits Of Applying Argumentation Theory To Research On The Simultaneous Interpretation Of Political Speeches
Ann E. Burnette & Wayne L. Kraemer – Meeting The Demands Of A Changing Electorate: The political Rhetoric Of Julian Castro And Marco Rubio
Begoña Carrascal & Miguel Mori – Justification And Effectiveness: Critical Thinking And Strategic Maneuvering
Annalisa Cattani – A Reason That Desires, A Desires That Reasons Participatory Art And Guerrilla Advertising
Martha S. Cheng – The Sliding Scales Of Repentance: Understanding Variation In Political Apologies For Infidelity

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 ~ Preface

The Eighth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA), held in Amsterdam from 1 July to 4 July 2014, drew again more submissions for presentations than any ISSA Conference before. After a strict selection procedure, 320 scholars were invited to present their papers at the Conference. In addition, the Conference attracted some 200 interested colleagues and students who attended the presentations and took part in the discussions.

The 2014 ISSA Conference was, like previous ones, an international meeting place for argumentation scholars from a great variety of academic backgrounds and traditions, representing a wide range of academic disciplines and approaches: (speech) communication, logic (formal and informal), rhetoric (classical and modern), philosophy, linguistics, (critical) discourse analysis, pragmatics, law, political science, psychology, education, religious studies, media studies and artificial intelligence.

During the conference, papers were presented on academic argumentation, analogy argumentation, argument and computation, argument schemes, argumentation and cognition, argumentation and criticism, argumentation and culture, argumentation and epistemology, argumentation and ethics, argumentation and finance, argumentation and media, argumentation and norms, argumentation and probability, argumentation and religion, argumentation and speech acts, argumentation and style, argumentation in the public sphere, argumentation structures, argumentative strategies, critical discourse analysis, critical thinking, debate, definitions, education and learning, empirical research, ethos and pathos, fallacies, historical backgrounds, interpersonal argument, legal argumentation, medical argumentation, multimodal argumentation, narrative argument, political argumentation, political argumentation and national transitions, political discourse, practical argument, the Perelman approach, the Toulmin approach, theoretical issues and visual argumentation. In the opinion of the editors, the Proceedings of the Eighth ISSA Conference reflect the current richness of the discipline.

The Proceedings of the Conference are published on CD ROM by Rozenberg Publishers. For the reader’s convenience, in the Proceedings the papers are arranged in the alphabetical order of the authors’ surnames.

The four ISSA board members, Bart Garssen, David Godden, Gordon Mitchell and Francisca Snoeck Henkemans served as editors of the Proceedings. The editors were helped in their reviewing by members of the Department of Speech Communication of the University of Amsterdam. In addition, we received invaluable assistance in preparing the Proceedings from our research assistant Eugen Popa. We thank him very much for his help in getting the manuscripts ready for publication. Last but not least, we would like to thank our publisher Auke van der Berg for the production of these Proceedings.

For their financial support of the conference, the editors would like to express their gratitude to the Dutch-Belgian Speech Communication Association (VIOT), the City of Amsterdam, Springer Academic Publishers, John Benjamins Publishers, the International Learned Institute for Argumentation Studies (ILIAS), and the Sciential International Centre for Scholarship in Argumentation Theory (Sic Sat).
20 November 2014

Bart Garssen, ILIAS & University of Amsterdam
David Godden, Old Dominion University
Gordon Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh
Francisca Snoeck Henkemans, ILIAS & University of Amsterdam

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – Toward Polylogical Analysis Of Argumentation: Disagreement Space In The Public Controversy About Fracking

Abstract: This paper offers a new way to make sense of disagreement expansion from a polylogical perspective by incorporating various places (venues), players (parties), and positions (standpoints) into the analysis. The concepts build on prior implicit ideas about disagreement space by suggesting how to more fully account for argumentative context, and its construction, in large-scale complex controversies.
Keywords: argumentation, controversy, deliberation, disagreement space, fracking, polylogue.

1. Introduction
Deliberation in the contemporary globalized, mediated environment presents an opportunity for reflecting on method in argument analysis. As we have argued before (Lewiński & Aakhus, 2014), one key conceptual issue is this: while multi-party and multi-position argumentation (polylogue) is prevalent, the analytic apparatus in argumentation studies tends toward dialectical analysis of dyadic disagreements. Such an analysis is posited on a set of often tacit assumptions about argumentation: it typically takes place in a fixed and definable setting where two parties (proponent vs. opponent) exchange reasons and criticisms in order to justify (or refute) some standpoint over which they disagree. Argumentation is thus presumed to be a communicative activity which expands along the lines of a disagreement space co-constructed by the two parties through their argument-relevant speech acts (see Jackson, 1992; van Eemeren et al., 1993, pp. 95ff.).[i]

In this paper, we propose how to make sense of disagreement expansion from a polylogical perspective by incorporating various places (venues), players (parties), and positions (standpoints) into the analysis. We use a case about transporting oil by train drawn from the broader controversy about extraction of shale gas and oil resources using hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), to which various players (e.g., companies, federal regulators, local communities, environmentalists, professional associations) contribute their conflicting views and arguments. In this way, the controversy develops as a polylogue, which is discourse (logos) among many (poly), that is, a dia-logue more complex than simple dialogue (discourse between two) typically used to model and analyze argumentation (Lewiński, 2014). The paper contributes to argumentation theory by developing polylogical analysis, which is important for advancing understanding of large-scale, multi-party argumentation (Aakhus & Lewiński, 2011).

2. Argumentation analysis of public controversies over energy production
To see how the dyadic assumptions about argumentation hide the polylogical character of disagreement expansion in public controversies, we consider some analyses of argumentation over energy production, as it is a constant source of contemporary public controversy. The economic, social, political, and environmental impacts of various technologies (coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power, hydropower, wind and solar energy, etc.) are hotly debated between all the parties involved: from producers, distributors, state regulators, environmental groups, consumers, to local communities affected by energy production. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – Don’t Feed The Trolls: Straw Men And Iron Men

Abstract: The straw man fallacy consists in inappropriately constructing or selecting weak (or comparatively weaker) versions of the opposition’s arguments. We will survey the three forms of straw men recognized in the literature, the straw, weak, and hollow man. We will then make the case that there are examples of inappropriately reconstructing stronger versions of the opposition’s arguments. Such cases we will call iron man fallacies.
Keywords: Iron man fallacy, Straw man fallacy, Weak man fallacy

1. Introduction
As some of recent work has shown, there is more to the problem of straw manning than the distortion of an opponent’s argument. Some forms of straw man, such as the weak man, rely on accurate, even scrupulously accurate, depictions of arguments for criticism. Other forms, such as the hollow man do not actually involve representations of anyone’s actual argument or view. Nonetheless, these strategies, and others to be discussed here, are dialectically problematic for much of the same reasons the distortion form of straw man is, in that they, to use some metaphorical language, misrepresent the dialogical lay of the land. We will argue here that two further features complete the account of the fallaciousness of the straw man: (1) a move to close the argument with the straw man victim (and those with similar views) and (2) a move to paint the straw man victim as unworthy of being taken seriously. What makes the varieties of straw man fallacious can also be used to show that not all forms of straw men arguments ought to be considered fallacious. Finally, the considerations that distinguish fallacious from non fallacious straw men also uncover a related phenomenon, iron manning, or the practice of making an opponent’s argument stronger than it is. We will argue that there are both appropriate and fallacious versions of this tactic.

2. Varieties of the straw man
Our aim in this section is to show that
(1) there is a variety to the straw man,
(2) there’s more involved in the phenomenon than manipulation of commitments ploys, and
(3) that non fallacious, but formally identical variations of each of these forms exist. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – The Very Idea Of Ethical Arguments

Abstract: If non-cognitivism is true, an ethical argument cannot be a sequence of propositions as traditionally understood. I take steps towards developing an account of ethical argument that, as far as it goes, is, I believe, compatible with a particular version of non-cognitivism, namely expressivism.
Keywords: attitudinal consistency, attitudinal relevance, attitudinal validity, cogency, expressivism, non-cognitivism, propositionalism.

1. Introduction
I begin with an account of non-cognitivism:
According to non-cognitivism, there are no moral facts or truths…. Moral judgements don’t attempt to, and don’t ever, state facts. Their purpose isn’t to describe any sort of moral reality. Instead, they serve as expressive vehicles, primarily giving vent to our emotions, prescribing courses of action, or expressing our non-cognitive commitments. As such, they aren’t the sort of things fit to be considered either true or false. (Shafer-Landau, 2003, p. 18)

[F]or… non-cognitivists, there is nothing that can make moral judgments true – no moral facts or moral reality that they could possibly correctly represent, nothing they are true of (ibid., p. 20, note 8).

Starting from the idea that there is no moral reality that agents are trying to appreciate or depict in their moral judgements, non-cognitivists have analyzed such judgements as the expression of non-cognitive states (ibid., p. 153).

This last point is worth emphasizing. Non-cognitivists don’t start with the claim that moral judgments are expressive vehicles; rather, their expressive analysis of moral judgments is their alternative to the view that the purpose of moral judgments is to describe some sort of moral reality, and is motivated by their metaphysical claim that there is no such reality.
If, as non-cognitivism holds, moral judgments (or ethical judgments – I will use these terms interchangeably) are neither true nor false, then they aren’t propositions as traditionally understood, for as traditionally understood a proposition is either true or false, and this is the view I will take here.
If ethical judgments aren’t propositions, then ethical arguments aren’t arguments in what Woods, Irvine, and Walton (2004) call “the narrow sense,” namely “sequences of propositions, one of which is the argument’s conclusion, the rest of which are the argument’s premisses” (p. 2). There are more than a few textbooks which take arguments as such to be propositional. If arguments as such are propositional, then ethical arguments are impossible if noncognitivism is true. On one view, this is a problem for textbooks that take arguments as such to be propositional; on another view, it’s a problem for non-cognitivism. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – The Synthetic Function Of Doxastic Dialectics

Abstract: Regarding the synthetic function of doxastic dialectics, the present investigation will approach a single aspect: the metaphysical transubstantiation. We intend to explain, in personal terms, this idea which was introduced by P. Grice (1991) and to which we have briefly made reference several times. Grice’s idea supports our hermeneutic argument: the semantic nature of belief, crystallized by the dialectical mechanism of controversy, acquires persuasive prestige owing to a paradigmatic transfer: from a discursive paradigm to an axiological one. The demonstration will develop the thesis according to which belief has a self-referential dimension.

1. General remarks
1.1. Remarks regarding doxastic dialectics
At the beginning of our exploration of doxastic (/belief) field (Amel, 1999), we took for granted the cognitive autonomy of an alternative to epistemic truth, that of doxastic truth, which we call the persuasive truth[i]. In contrast with the epistemic truth, which represents the logical determination of episteme, the doxastic truth represents the ontological density of doxa, intelligibly perceived in its meaning. We should emphasize the following two aspects: a. regarding the field of investigation – in our opinion, doxastic dialectics does not refer to the pre-epistemic stage of truth, but is limited to the field of supersensible reality (the ‘reality’ of values), a cognition meaning-oriented; b. regarding participants’ bona fide – the condition, in virtue of which doxastic dialectics develops its investigations, excludes the premise that notices a cleavage of justification, as A.Kasher calls it[ii] (1986), namely, excludes any kind of contextually distorted utterance of belief.

The remarks regarding doxastic dialectics are selected from our previous studies about the respective issue (Amel 1999, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014):
1. Doxastic dialectics is the exclusive procedure that establishes the fundaments of axiology.
2. Generally speaking, the dialectical study of persuasive truth is a kind of semantic logic, trying to explain how to determine the doxastic meaning.
3. The semantic logic compatible with the doxastic field is based on a rational procedure that follows, in hermeneutical terms, the process of understanding (the meaning), not knowing (the truth).
4. From the philosophical point of view, the rationality of the meaning investigation is pursued dialectically in both senses of the concept of ‘dialectics’:
a. ‘dialectics’ as antithetic reasoning, challenging the subjects’ cognitive intentionality;
b. ‘dialectics’ as a formative process, during which the pragmatic subjectivity gets phenomenological dimension.

1.2. The goal of the present investigation
1. The investigation has in focus the synthetic mechanism of doxastic/belief dialectics.
In the first study about doxastic dialectics (Amel, 1999), we have mentioned three theoretical functions of doxastic (/belief) dialectics: the dissociative, the justificatory and the synthetic function.
2. Having in view the subjective and rhetorical involvement of the persuasive truth, we find profitable to approach the ‘rationality’ of doxastic thinking in phenomenological terms. With Husserl, belief is a thetic act, namely a ‘speech act’ in consciousness. Phenomenology acknowledges the cognitive priority of belief (Husserl, 1931: 301), a definition that supports our dissociative approach. From cognitive point of view, the dissociative function proves its importance, because it establishes cognitive intervals between belief – an idea posited in consciousness, doxa – the conceptual representation of the respective idea of value in reason, and opinion – corresponding to the discursive, namely the contingent form of belief. In our previous studies the attention was especially focused on the mechanism of decidability in doxastic dialectics, by demonstrating that the justificatory procedure requires operations on the three levels mentioned above.
3. The present investigation, which has in focus only the synthetic mechanism of doxastic/belief dialectics, will approach a single aspect: the metaphysical transubstantiation. We intend to explain, in personal terms, this idea which was mentioned by P.Grice (1991) and to which we have briefly made reference several times. Initially, the concept of metaphysical transubstantiation gave us the possibility to offer a general explanation of the dialectical mechanism of doxa. Grice’s idea supported our hermeneutical argument: the semantic nature of the ‘truth’ of beliefs, structured by antithetic rationality, gets persuasive prestige owing to a paradigmatic transfer: from a pragmatic paradigm to an axiological one. Due to the phenomenological perspective in which our enterprise approaches the doxastic dialectics, the concept of metaphysical transubstantiation will be treated inside the laboratory of the hermeneutical synthesis, which is the human consciousness. The metaphysical transubstantiation becomes the explanatory key of the meaning enquiry of beliefs, by revealing the rationality of the hermeneutical mechanism.
4. For a comprehensive understanding of the doxastic rationality, our demonstration will develop the thesis in conformity with which belief has a self-referential dimension. During doxastic dialectics, subjectivity acquires cognitive dimension, progressively becoming conscious of it. In phenomenological terms, subjectivity represents the origin of the thinking activity. It holds the power of translating the sensitive matters into intelligible ones. The beliefs’ contents, experienced and assumed by the subject/the speaker in his consciousness, represent thetic acts (acts in consciousness). The reference to the metaphysical transubstantiation supports the phenomenological explanation of the MORAL OBJECT[iii]. During the doxastic dialectics beliefs acquire ‘objectivity’. If Grice’s concept regarding metaphysical transubstantiation is conceived ‘in extenso’, the cognitive dialectics – meaning oriented – goes through more than one operation of cognitive synthesis. The self-referentiality of belief is finally crystallized in the form of the MORAL SUBJECT (=self-consciousness), ontologically reoriented.
5. The deep logic of belief dialectics explains the dynamics of self cognition. Read more

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