ISSA Proceedings 2002 – Indicators Of Dissociation

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logo  2002-11. Introduction
Dissociation is one of the two main categories that Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca distinguish in their influential taxonomy of argumentative techniques (the other being association). They define dissociation as an argumentation scheme in which the speaker separates elements that previously were considered by the auditorium as a whole or a conceptual unit (1969, 190). Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca distinguish dissociation from an attack against an association connecting or bringing together elements that were previously regarded as separate (1969, 412). Only in dissociation a more or less profound change is brought about in the conceptual basis of an argument: one single unitary concept is separated into two, new, concepts. An example is the separation of the single concept of ‘law’ into two new concepts, ‘the letter of the law’ and ‘the spirit of the law’.
Up till now, not much study has been made of dissociation. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca are the only authors who have treated the technique in detail(i). In previous publications (Van Rees 2002a, 2002b) I have investigated in which contexts and with which dialectical and rhetorical effects dissociation is actually used in argumentative discourse. In this article, I concentrate on the question how dissociation manifests itself in argumentative discourse, investigating what textual indicators there are for this argumentative technique. As a point of departure for this investigation, I first will seek clarification of the notion of dissociation.

2. The notion of dissociation
Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca do not give a more precise definition of dissociation than the rather vague one cited above. In various places in the chapter in which they treat this argumentative technique, however, they do mention various characteristics of dissociation. From these places we may deduce that Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca conceive of dissociation as an argumentative technique that serves to resolve the contradictions that a notion that originally was covered by a single term, and up till then was considered a unity, gives rise to. The speaker using a dissociation resolves these contradictions by distinguishing various aspects within that notion, some of which are subsumed under a new denominator(ii). The now reduced old notion and the new notion that has been split off are not equally valued, one is considered more important or more essential than the other; therein lies the source of the argumentative potential of the technique(iii).
The expanded definition just given can help to distinguish dissociation from other, related notions. First of all, dissociation can be distinguished from the notion semantic shift (Depperman 2000). In semantic shift, different participants in a discussion use the same term (for instance, “freedom”) in a different sense. Semantic shift differs from dissociation in several respects. Firstly, the multiple meanings with which the term is used suggest that no single, unitary concept actually is in use. Moreover, none of the participants tries to separate one meaning from the other one. Nor does anyone try to resolve the contradictions that result from using the term in different meanings (for instance, the consumptive society limits vs. extends my freedom) through reserving the term for one of the meanings while excluding and devaluating the others(iv).

The difference between dissociative and non-dissociative distinctions can now be clarified, as well. Through dissociation a number of aspects is placed outside a given domain, while through a non-dissociative distinction they are kept within a given domain. Moreover, in the former, the alternatives are not equivalent (that is what makes dissociation into an argumentative technique), in the latter, they are. The non-dissociative distinction between Newtonian physics and quantum physics (Goodwin 1991), for instance, distinguishes between two variants of physics that in principle are of equal value, albeit that the one serves to explain other phenomena than the other. The distinction would become dissociative if one of the two variants would no longer be considered true physics, that is, would be placed outside the domain of physics proper and would be valued differently from the other one. A typical example of a dissociative distinction is the slogan of a Dutch brewer “You’ve got beer and you’ve got Grolsch”. Grolsch is placed outside the category of beers and gets valued differently from the members of that category(v).
Finally, dissociation can be distinguished from the notion of precization. Naess’ (1966) definition of this notion contains important aspects of what goes on in dissociation: T0 has two reasonable interpretations, T1 and T2, such that T0 is only tenable if it is interpreted as T1 and untenable if it is interpreted as T2. An important difference is that precization merely describes existing usage. Dissociation introduces new usage and, in addition, stipulates that the term covers only one of the various interpretations. In Naess’ terms, what happens in dissociation is more like definition: stipulating that T0 be interpreted as T1. But there remains a difference with dissociation: in dissociation the two interpretations are valued differently, which is not the case in definition. The purpose of definition is to clarify the discussion, the purpose of dissociation is to decide the discussion to the advantage of the speaker(vi). Moreover, in dissociation, in many cases the reasonableness of the interpretation is doubtful. But that is a topic for another study.

3. How dissociation manifests itself
The definition of dissociation given above also forms a starting point for gaining an insight into how dissociation becomes manifest in argumentative discourse. I sum up once more what this technique comprises. Speakers in a community use a term referring to a single unitary concept. The present speaker distinguishes various aspects in this concept and resolves the contradictions that the concept gives rise to, by redefining the original term, placing one or more aspects outside the original concept in a newly formed concept, and assigning different values to the reduced and the split off concept. The contradictions that arose from the original concept are now resolved because a statement containing a proposition in which the reduced concept occurs can now be denied, while a statement containing a proposition in which the split off concept occurs can now be asserted (or the other way around), without running into a contradiction.
From this definition a number of potential clues for dissociation can be derived. None of these is sufficient to serve as an unambiguous indicator for dissociation, but a combination may result in a strong indication that this argumentative technique is being used. Three groups of clues can be distinguished, each corresponding to a feature of dissociation. I treat the clues in each group separately, even though in the actual examples often a combination of types occurs(vii).

3.1 Separation
The most important group of clues can be derived from the feature that is crucial to this argumentative technique: from a single unitary concept one or more parts or aspects are separated and are brought under a different denominator. If a text contains clues that such a separation is effected, that is a strong indicator of dissociation.

In the following example, one aspect of an existing unitary concept is split off(viii).
1. Jury sports must go back to the circus, ice show, or freak show. Everything is all right, as long as we are delivered from them during the real sports events. Sports are sports except jury sports, another word for unfair. Jury sports are sometimes quite nice to watch, but they shouldn’t be made into competitive games.
De Volkskrant 15.02.2002

Jury sports are among the sports that are part of the Olympic Games. But in “Sports are sports, except jury sports” jury sports explicitly are separated from the concept of competitive sports. The sentence contains a (quasi-) definition of sports, through “except” separating what does not belong there. Separation is also signaled by the sentences that state that jury sports must be kept away from “the real sports events” and shouldn’t be made into competitive games.

Because, before the dissociation, the various aspects of the concept that is originally regarded as a unity are expressed in one single term, and because after the dissociation that term gets a different content, all references to precization or definition or the necessity thereof can serve as a clue for dissociation. An instance of an explicitly performed precization can be found in the following example.
2. We should precizate the image of the Dutchman: there is a difference between our cultural and our constitutional nationality.
De Volkskrant 16.03.2002

In the newspaper article from which this example originates, the writer defends the claim that the fact that all of us are Dutch does not mean that we all share the same culture. The notion ‘the Dutchman’ implies shared nationality. In this fragment of the text, however, the notion nationality is separated into two notions, cultural and constitutional nationality. With “we should precizate” the writer says explicitly that precization is necessary and after the colon he actually performs that precization.

Another clue for precization is a reference to the possibility that a term can be interpreted in various ways. The most clearly this is done in expressions like “in the meaning of” or “in the sense of”. An example can be found in the following fragment.
3. Bolkestein earlier did place a rectification in VN. In this, he says: ‘I meant “fraudulent declaration” not in the technical sense of the word, but in the sense of cooperating in giving a patently false impression of things with regard to my tax declaration’.
De Volkskrant 13.11.1999
Earlier, Bolkestein had claimed that reporter Fons de Poel had filed a fraudulent declaration against him with the IRS. Forced to rectify, he now states that De Poel did not make a fraudulent declaration in the technical sense of the word, but that he did in another sense. The dissociation is brought about by distinguishing two senses, one of which is completely new, of the term “fraudulent declaration”.

Another indicator of the necessity for precization occurs when a speaker points out that there is “confusion” about a concept. This happens in the next example.
4. The discomfort at cloning of humans seems to me to be the product of a confusion between the notions ‘identical people’ and ‘genetically identical people’.
De Volkskrant 11.4.1997

The speaker quoted in this newspaper interview contests the viewpoint of people who reject human cloning because it would lead to identical people (and thus loss of human dignity). He indicates that to the term “identical” two concepts correspond, (merely) genetically identical, and identical in the sense of having no separate individuality; cloning leads to the former only, not to the latter. He indicates the necessity for this precization by pointing to “a confusion” between the two concepts.

Because it is inherent to the separation of a concept that a (dissociative) distinction is made, all words and expressions signaling a distinction may form a clue for dissociation. Instances of these are “distinction”, “difference”, “not the same as”, and “something else than”.
Two types of indicators can be distinguished here: explicit and semi-explicit.
An explicit distinction is made if the speaker or writer says in so many words that a distinction must be made. This happens for instance in the following fragment.

5. According to Jorritsma, the cabinet will not revert to a tolerance policy, as it was applied in 1997. ‘That was once, but never again, we said at the time. But tolerating is something quite different from anticipating on a change of law which everybody thinks should be put into effect.’
De Volkskrant 22.01.1998

Minister Jorritsma has been brought to book in Parliament because she wants to adapt the allowable noise levels for Schiphol airport. Parliament is of the opinion that adaptation is the same as tolerating that the standards are exceeded, and had the minister earlier not asserted that such a policy of tolerance should no longer be put into force? Jorritsma contests the argument that adapting the allowable noise levels is the same as carrying out a tolerance policy. With the expression “is something quite different from”, the minister performs a usage declarative (Van Eemeren & Grootendorst 1984) through which she brings about a dissociative distinction in which the single concept ‘allowing violation of legal regulations’ is separated into two distinct concepts: ‘tolerance’ and ‘anticipating a change of law that everybody thinks should be put into effect’.

A semi-explicit distinction occurs when the dissociation is not achieved through a usage declarative like the one above, but is presupposed and as such referred to. That is the case in the following example.
6. That is the difference between ‘plaisir’ and ‘jouissance’, between pleasure and delight, the all too easy well-being while reading and the delight of reading that can very well go with discomfort, lust and pain (…).
De Volkskrant 15.03.2002

From the notion ‘delight of reading’ an aspect is separated that is not considered to belong to the true delight of reading, “the all too easy well-being” that is subsumed by the denominator “pleasure”. This is done semi-explicitly: the difference is not made, but presupposed (“that is the difference), but this difference is referred to.

In the next example, the distinction also is made semi-explicitly, but even more embedded than in (6).
7. The insurance company is a solid sponsor, that has been financially supporting skating as a sport for a quarter of a century. (…) Apparently Blankert doesn’t  recognize the difference between bona-fide financiers that have built sports and opportunist sponsors.
Algemeen Dagblad 19.02.2002

The notion of sponsor is separated here into “solid”, “bona-fide financiers” (real sponsors) and “opportunist sponsors”. The distinction is signaled through “the difference”. The author does not say that such a distinction should be made, nor does he say that the difference exists, the difference is presupposed and presented as self-evident.

Often the dissociative distinction is made completely implicitly and only the result is visible, as in the following example.
8. That her grandmother is known for being ambitious and vain, she also deems irrelevant. And incorrect, as well.‘She loved beautiful clothes, but was not vain. (…) She had the gift of a profound scholarly modesty.’
De Volkskrant 5.1.1999

From the notion ‘vanity’ the physical aspect of loving beautiful clothes is split off and is no longer considered to be a part of that notion. The original notion is now reduced to the mental aspect only. This separation is not explicitly performed, nor is it referred to in any way, as was the case in the examples above. The dissociation is taken as a self-evident starting-point for the opposition that is expressed. It does not need arguing that only in the explicit and semi-explicit cases we can speak of a true indicator of dissociation.
Unfortunately, the presence of words and expressions indicating a distinction as such is not sufficient to indicate dissociation; after all, they do no more than indicate a distinction. In order for them to indicate dissociation, the distinction needs to be one in which an existing unitary concept is split up, with one or more aspects being subsumed by a different denominator. That analyst has to decide in each instance whether that is the case.
Fortunately, Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca point out a number of indirect indications for a unitary concept having been split up: the use of paradox, tautology and opposition of synonyms. An example of paradox is: “She loved beautiful clothes, but was not vain”. An example of tautology is: “You’ve got beer and you’ve got Grolsch”. An example of opposition of synonyms is: “the difference between pleasure and delight”.

3.2 Negation
A second group of clues results from the fact that dissociation serves to resolve a contradiction or paradox. The speaker asserts that a statement in which a term occurs is true in one interpretation of that term and denies its truth in another interpretation. Through this denial, dissociation functions as a critical technique. Of course the mere fact that a statement is criticized is not a sufficient indication for dissociation. Not every criticism contains a dissociation. But when that criticism focuses on the application of a certain concept or the use of a certain term, it can serve as an indicator.

This type of indicator takes different shapes. Explicitly it can be found in the following example.
9. The chief conductor, in spite of what he calls a “bar on public speaking”, told about a number of abuses in the company. (…) The spokesman for National Rail, though, says that it is not a question of a bar on public speaking for personnel, but the agreement is that personnel encounter the press through public relations officers appointed for that task.
NRC Handelsblad 08.01.2002

Explicit mention is made of a statement of a chief conductor that there is a ban on public speaking, against which the quoted spokesman for National Rail levels criticism pertaining to the use of the term “bar on public speaking”. He denies that it is a question of such a bar and dissociates between a bar on public speaking and an agreement to encounter the press through public relations officers appointed for that task.

Semi-explicitly a critical reaction against a statement is signaled by all indicators for opposition, specifically the presence of “but” combined with a negation. “But” indicates – apart from certain exceptions (Snoeck Henkemans 1995) – that the speaker distances himself from a position. This is the case with both concessive and replacement “but”. In a dissociation with concessive “but”, with the negation following the connective, the speaker agrees with the statement that he criticizes in one of the dissociated interpretations, but not in the other. With replacement “but”, with the negation preceding the connective, the speaker rejects the statement that he criticizes in one of the dissociated interpretations, and replaces it with a statement in the other interpretation. Of course, once again, the criticism must revolve around the applicability of a term or concept; the mere presence of concessive or replacement “but” is not sufficient to serve as a clue for dissociation.

An example of concessive “but” can be found in the following fragment.
10.
A: he is a good manager
B: well, he certainly couldn’t prevent that subsidy cut-off
A: no, he isn’t a good crisis manager, but as a general manager he’s just fine

B’s reaction shows that he thinks C is not a good manager. A concedes that C is not a good crisis manager, but maintains that he is a good manager(ix). Example (8) – “She loved beautiful clothes, but was not vain” – , as well, offers an instance of concessive “but”.

Instances of replacement “but” can be found in examples (3) – “not in the technical sense of the word, but in the sense of cooperating in giving a patently false impression of things with regard to my tax declaration” – and (9) – “not a question of a bar on public speaking but that the agreement is that personnel encounters the press through public relations officers that have been appointed for that task”. In both examples the one statement is replaced by the other.
In cases in which explicit or semi-explicit clues for contradiction are absent, a careful study of the context may provide clues. For instance, at first sight (6) may seem an ‘innocent’ distinction, in which it is not clear what contradiction is solved. But if we take the preceding paragraph into consideration, we can see that there is a contradiction involved indeed.

6a. ‘When something resounds too violently’, Barthes writes in his Discours, ‘it makes such a lot of noise in my body that I have to give up all activity; I lie down on my bed and let, without reply, the “inner storm” pass by; unlike the Zen monk, who wants to empty himself of the images, I let myself be filled by those images, I suffer their bitterness till the very end.’
That is the difference between ‘plaisir’ and ‘jouissance’, between pleasure and delight, the all too easy well-being while reading and the delight of reading that can very well go with discomfort, lust and pain (…).

In these two paragraphs, violence, noise, inner storm and bitterness are related to delight. That is a paradox that can only be solved by a dissociative opposition between easy pleasure, in which there is no place for pain, and delight, that can go together with discomfort.

Another example we find in (2). Here, too, we can only understand what contradiction is solved if we consider the context. In the newspaper column from which the fragment is taken, M. Februari argues that it makes little sense to hold up the ideal image of the Dutchman for immigrants, if the Dutch themselves maintain divergent norms and values – of which the author gives a number or examples.
2a. For the sake of convenience the discussion about safety lately has been linked to the discussion about the multi-cultural society: if we confront all Moroccan scamps thoroughly with Dutch norms and values, the swimming pools can re-open (…).
True, in the debate on immigrants ‘the Dutchman’ invariably appears as a mythical hero, an indestructible unity of nationality and indigenous culture. But so indestructible, so indivisible that unity is not. (…)
It is strange that in the debate about multi-culturality so little attention is given to the meaning of being Dutch. (…) We should precizate the image of the Dutchman: there is a difference between our cultural and our constitutional nationality.
The contradiction that the dissociation in (2) is intended to resolve is that we, as Dutchmen, are both the same and different.

3.3 Value
A third group of clues results from the fact that the two dissociated concepts are valued differently. The one is considered more important or essential than the other. In this connection, Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca pointed out that expressions like “real”, “pseudo”, and “true” point to a dissociation.

A clear example can be found in (1).
1. Jury sports must go back to the circus, ice show, or freak show. Everything is all right, as long as we are delivered from them during the real sports events.
The author distinguishes jury sports from ‘real’ sports.

Another example is (7).
7. The insurance company is a solid sponsor, that has been financially supporting skating as a sport for a quarter of a century. (…) Apparently Blankert doesn’t recognize the difference between bona-fide financiers that have built sports and opportunist sponsors.

The author distinguishes sponsors from (merely) opportunist sponsors. The phrase “opportunist” expresses that this is a spurious form of sponsorship.

Also mentioned by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca is the use of the expression “technical sense”, signaling a diminished value relative to ‘the’ sense. An example can be found in (3).
3. ‘I meant “fraudulent declaration” not in the technical sense of the word, but in the sense of cooperating in giving a patently false impression of things with regard to my tax declaration’.

The speaker did not intend his accusation in the (merely) technical sense, but in the non-technical sense, which he apparently thinks more important.

It is no accident that the notion that is considered central is often expressed by an unmarked term, and the notion that is considered peripheral by a marked term, containing a specification or circumlocution. Examples are: sport vs. jury sport (1), sponsors vs. opportunist sponsors (7), meaning vs. technical meaning (3), identical vs. genetically identical (4), manager vs. crisis manager (10), tolerance vs. anticipating on a change of law which everybody thinks should be put into effect (5), vain vs. loving beautiful clothes (8), and bar on public speaking vs. an agreement to encounter the press through public relations officers appointed for that task (9).

Another clue for the application of a value scale like essential-incidental, also mentioned by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, is the distinction between theory and practice. Which of the two is valued most, is not clear in advance. An instance of opinions in practice being valued over opinions in the abstract can be found in the following example.
11.
W: yeah well this is the Rotterdam point of view what I just told you
I: isn’t it a bit strange that in a small country like The Netherlands such diverging opinions reign between two large cities?
W: eh well for the moment yes you assume that there is a difference of opinion it could very well be the case that in practice in the end it will lead to the same result

An implicature of W’s first utterance is that Rotterdam has an opinion of its own. When the interviewer questions the desirability of this, W distances himself from this implicature; he says that ‘in practice’ there is no difference of opinion between the two cities. He makes a dissociation between opinions in the abstract, and opinions in practice, and the latter he deems decisive.

The opposite we find in the following fragment.
12.
D: practically speaking, really, I don’t see my way through it
B: but, OK, that is practically speaking, how how do you view it er, (.) policy-wise?

B has made a policy proposal that D rejects. Then B dissociates between practical implications of a policy and the policy itself, belittling the former in favor of the latter.

In addition to value scales of the sort of essential-incidental and real-pseudo, often a second value scale is applied to the two members of the dissociated pair, in which the one member is valued as good, the other as bad. In (1), jury sports are deemed “another word for unfair”; in (6), pleasure is identified with “all too easy well-being”; in (7), only the real sponsors are called bona-fide and solid. It is not necessarily the case, though, that the member considered central or essential gets a positive evaluation and the member considered peripheral or incidental a negative one. Examples of the opposite are to be found in, among others, (8) – ‘vain’, the central notion, is valued negatively, the peripheral notion ‘loving beautiful clothes’, positively – and (5) – ‘tolerance’, the central notion, is valued negatively, the peripheral notion ‘anticipation on a change of law which everybody thinks should be put into effect’, positively.

4. Conclusion
In order to get a better view on how dissociation is manifested in argumentative discourse, I first undertook to give a conceptual clarification of what this technique comprises. Dissociation is characterized by three features:
1. from an existing conceptual unit, expressed by a single term, one or more aspects are split off;
2. through this operation a contradiction or paradox is resolved because now a proposition can be considered true in one interpretation of the original term and false in the other;
3. the reduced and the split off concept are assigned a different value. On the basis of this characterization, dissociation can be distinguished from other, related notions.

Semantic shift (Depperman 2000) meets none of the three conditions for dissociation. One single term is used in different meanings by different discussion participants.  In that respect one can hardly speak of one single unitary concept. Moreover, nobody tries to resolve the contradictions which arise from these different usages by distinguishing one meaning from the other one, assigning only one of the meanings to the term, while excluding and assigning a different value to the other.
A non-dissociative distinction does not meet the first and the last condition. The distinction can be used to resolve a contradiction, but none of the aspects that have been distinguished is placed outside of the domain in question, and one member of the pair that was distinguished is not considered more important or essential than the other one.
Precization and definition do not meet the last condition. Different conceptual interpretations are distinguished within one term, but these do not receive a different value. Moreover, precization describes current usage, while in dissociation current usage is changed.
The conceptual clarification of the notion of dissociation also provides a starting point for gaining an insight into the way in which dissociation is manifested in argumentative discourse. With the three features that were distinguished, three categories of clues for dissociation correspond.
The first group of clues can be derived from the fact that dissociation involves separation of aspects from an existing unitary concept. Indicators for a usage declarative with which this is achieved are a strong clue for dissociation. All indicators, direct and indirect, for definition and precization belong to this category. A clue that is less strong are words and expressions that, explicitly or semi-explicitly, signal a distinction in the wider sense. Of course, in order to signal dissociation, the distinction made should be one in which an existing unitary concept is split up. That is to be decided by the analyst, but if in the distinction a paradox, tautology, or opposition of synonyms is expressed, that is a strong indication.
The second group of clues can be derived from the fact that dissociation serves to resolve a contradiction or paradox, the proposition in which the original concept figures being judged true for the reduced concept and false for the split off concept (or the other way around). A negation of the truth of a proposition in itself is not sufficient to serve as a clue for dissociation, but if the criticism revolves around the application of a concept or term, it does function as an explicit clue. Semi-explicitly a critical reaction is signaled by concessive or replacement ‘but’ preceding or following a negation. In cases in which these indicators are absent, the context may provide clues about a contradiction or paradox that is resolved.
The third group of clues can be derived from the fact that the two dissociated concepts are assigned a different value, which gives the dissociation its argumentative potential. The value scale involved is one of the kind of essential-incidental, central-peripheral, real-pseudo. All words and expressions signaling the application of a value scale like this on the dissociated concepts form a strong indication. Moreover, the concept considered central often is expressed by an unmarked term, while the concept considered peripheral is expressed by a marked term. Often a second scale is applied as well, of the kind of good-bad. Words and expressions signaling the application of a scale like that, also function as a clue for dissociation.
None of these types of clues in itself points unambiguously to dissociation. Minimally a combination of clues for separation and clues for application of a value scale, or else a combination of clues for resolving a contradiction or paradox and clues from the two other categories is required. But the presence of one of these combinations is a strong indicator of dissociation.

NOTES
i. Goodwin (1991, 1992) treats similarities between making a distinction and dissociation. Schiappa (1985, 1993) points out the essentialistic basis of dissociation. Grootendorst (1999) analyzes an example of inappropriate dissociation.
ii. Parts of this definition can be found in definitions that other authors give on the basis of Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca’s work. Van Eemeren, Grootendorst and Kruiger (1978) define dissociation as follows: ‘The speaker introduces a new term aside the old one that does no longer cover all differentiations and in this way performs a dissociation that serves his argumentative purposes’ (284). Schellens (1985) regards dissociation ‘as introducing differentiations within a concept, comparable to an activity like precization of concepts’ (59). Van Eemeren, Grootendorst and Snoeck Henkemans (1997) say that dissociation comprises ‘introducing a separation in a set of elements that previously the auditorium regarded as a unity. In practice this means that a certain concept is distinguished from the concept of which previously it was a part’ (144). Garssen (1997), finally, describes dissociation as follows: ‘By claiming that certain elements that the auditiorium reckons to belong to a certain concept, do not belong to that concept, the meaning of the word that expresses that concept is reduced: dissociation results in a re-definition of a term.’(72).
iii. Dissociation may have various consequences for the use of the original term. Firstly, the term denoting the original concept may be given up, while two new terms are introduced, one for the reduced notion and one for the notion that has been split off. That is the case, for instance, in the dissociation affecting the original term “law”, that term having been replaced with two new terms, “the letter of the law” and “the spirit of the law”. Alternatively, the term denoting the original concept may be reserved either for the reduced, or for the split off notion, a new term being introduced to denote the other notion. In that case, the original term is redefined (even if the redefinition is not always explicitly presented as such), because the meaning of that term is reduced. An example can be found in the dissociation affecting the original term “death”, the term “brain death” being introduced for the split off notion ‘manifesting no brain activity’, and the original term being reduced to the meaning ‘manifesting no outward signs of life’.
iv.  Depperman , too, asserts that there is no dissociation here. But he uses the term in a different meaning from the usual one. He uses the term to indicate a lack of coherence.
v. Typical for advertisements, the slogan has a second layer, in which the dissociation is cancelled: because we know that Grolsch is a brand of beer, the slogan functions as the expression ‘you’ve got beer and you’ve got beer’, in which two kinds of beer are distinguished, good beer and bad beer.
vi. Dissociation does not necessarily involve a violation of the rules of critical discussion. It can be performed both dialectically adequately and dialectically inadequately.
vii. The examples are translated from Dutch.
viii. The words and expressions signaling dissociation in the feature at issue are printed bold.
ix.  Although ‘no’ and ‘isn’t’ seem to indicate negation, in this case they signal agreement with a negative standpoint, and the assertion in the second clause in actual fact is a negation of the negative standpoint of B.

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    Rozenberg Quarterly aims to be a platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress. Read more...
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