ISSA Proceedings 2014 – Testing The Relationship Between Argument And Culture

Abstract: This paper proposes a framework for testing the relationship between argument and culture. The framework is based on the ideas that: 1) the minimal requirement for what constitutes argument across different cultures is the idea of argument as “linkage”, and 2) that arguments can be conceptualized in terms of the context of messages. A short exploratory analysis of a data set is used to illustrate the framework.

Keywords: argument, contexts, culture, Edward Hall, linkages

1. Introduction
The relationship between argument and culture has not been a common topic of consideration in the field of argumentation. The traditional view was that argument was a universal process that fundamentally operated the same everywhere. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the relationship between argument processes and culture, which has been manifest in an increasing use of “culture” in theoretical treatments of argumentation (e.g. Johnson, 2000), consideration of argument in non-Western traditions (Jensen, 1992; Combs, 2004), and studies of argumentation practices in various societies (Hornikx & Hoeken, 2007; Hazen & Inoue, 1991). However, even with this increased attention, what is missing in the literature is a systematic attempt to relate argument to culture. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – The Linked-Convergent Distinction

Abstract: The linked-convergent distinction introduced by Stephen Thomas in 1977 is primarily a distinction between ways in which two or more reasons can directly support a claim, and only derivatively a distinction between types of structures, arguments, reasoning, reasons, or premisses. As with the deductive-inductive distinction, there may be no fact of the matter as to whether a given multi-premiss argument is linked or convergent.

Keywords: argument structure, coordinatively compound argumentation, convergent, linked, Monroe C. Beardsley, multiple argumentation, Stephen N. Thomas, support

1. Introduction
Once upon a time introductory logic textbooks did not mention the linked-convergent distinction. See for example Cohen and Nagel (1934), Black (1946), and Copi (1978). Stephen Thomas was the first one to draw it, in 1977.[i] Thomas took the term ‘convergent’ from Monroe Beardsley’s earlier textbook, from which come also the terms ‘divergent argument’ and ‘serial argument’ (Beardsley, 1950, p. 19). A contrast concept was already implicit in Beardsley’s recognition that a reason that “converges” along with one or more other reasons on a conclusion might itself consist internally of more than one coordinate premiss. Thomas refined Beardsley’s concept of convergence, made the contrast concept explicit, coined the term ‘linked’ for it, and supplemented Beardsley’s convention for diagramming convergent reasons with a convention for diagramming the linkage among the coordinate premisses of a multi-premiss reason. Independently of Thomas’s innovation, Michael Scriven (1976, p. 42) introduced a similar distinction, with a different diagramming convention, but used the term ‘balance of considerations’ to describe an argument with a convergent support structure. Johnson and Blair (1977, p. 177) and Hitchcock (1983, pp. 49-52) appropriate Scriven’s way of making the distinction. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – A General Rule For Analogy

Abstract: The following contribution attempts to introduce a number of candidate descriptions that can render an argument from analogy deductive. The starting point is the much–discussed notion that one of the argument’s premises could comprise a ‘general rule’ which helps guarantee the conclusion’s necessity. Taking Wohlrapp’s (2008) pragmatic approach to the issue, the general rule in analogy can be described in terms of its contribution to satisfy individuals’ need of orientation.

Keywords: argument from analogy; argument structure; deductive analogy; general rule; orientation; pragmatism; Wohlrapp

1. The rule issue with arguments from analogy

Imagine, Anna is a student who comes to see her professor during office hours saying

1. I need an extension on my paper


2. My classmate got an extension, too .

Evidently, what Anna is using here is an argument from analogy: it crucially relies on relevant similarity of two cases and it obviously comprises the characteristic general structure known at least since Aristotle (2003, 1131f):

A : B = C : D

A and B are properties of case I (Anna’s classmate’s case) and C and D are properties of case II (Anna’s case). Anna lets us know that her classmate (A) got an extension (B) and that Anna herself (C) should get an extension (D). But how does this work? Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – Internal Logic: Persuasive Form And Hierarchy In Kenneth Burke

Abstract: According to Kenneth Burke, language contains highly persuasive structures that are not necessarily detectable at the level of arguments. Every author or speaker constructs a unique vocabulary where words are given different nuances of meaning and operate within networks of form and hierarchies of values. These structures form an “internal logic” or a “pattern of experience” which creates both vertical and horizontal convergence. Burke’s unique method of analysis, “indexing,” reveals these implicit argumentation structures.

Keywords: Aesthetic truth, equations, god-terms, hierarchies, indexing, internal logic, Kenneth Burke, literary form, persuasive form.

1. Introduction
In Strategic Maneuvering in Argumentative Discourse, Eemeren conducts a brief review of the field of rhetoric and the most cited rhetorical scholars. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, Toulmin, Zarefsky, Fahnestock, and Kennedy are most cited and discussed, whereas Kenneth Burke is only given a few passing remarks. The few times Kenneth Burke is mentioned he is credited with expanding the definition of rhetoric from “persuasion” to “identification” (Eemeren, p. 74) and being part of the theoretical foundation for Fahnestock’s research on rhetorical devices. I think this is much less attention than Kenneth Burke deserves from students of argumentation. What I hope to do with this presentation is to show how Burke gives us the vocabulary to discuss some central persuasive features of texts, which I will call “persuasive form” and “hierarchy,” and also gives us the critical tools we need to analyze these features. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – Deference, Distrust, And Delegation: Three Design Hypotheses

Abstract: A design hypothesis in argumentation is a broad notion about how argumentative practice can be shaped toward greater reasonableness. Different design hypotheses do not compete with one another in the way empirical hypotheses do; each may add to our overall rationality in some circumstance, and each may have unwanted by-products. The complicated controversy over childhood vaccination displays tensions among three quite different design hypotheses related to the role of expert opinion in decision-making.

Keywords: argument from authority, design theory, expertise, vaccination controversy.

1. Introduction
A central premise of a design theory of argumentation (Jackson, 2012) is that argumentation is a set of invented cultural practices that change over time to adjust to material circumstances, including the emergence of new communication technologies. A design perspective suggests that societies try out ideas about how to reach conclusions and agreements, embodying them in techniques and technical systems, some of which accrete to a durable set of reasoning practices, even though they may not be consistent with ideas that have already been added to the set. The result at any point in time is some collection of practices carried forward from the past, plus new, emerging ideas that must somehow co-exist with the old. Read more

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ISSA Proceedings 2014 – Creating Disagreement By Self-Abasement. Apologizing As A Means Of Confrontational Strategic Maneuvering

Abstract: The analysis of the different stages in a preface to a stage play (1617) by Gerbrand Bredero makes clear that antitheses, exaggerated modesty and self-humiliation may be used as strategic tools in the confrontation stage. The disagreement between protagonist and the primary audience has been created in the confrontation stage by polarizing the parties’ attitude towards each other.

Keywords: Antitheses, Apologizing, Confrontational Strategic Maneuvering, Disagreement, Double audience, Modesty, Polarization, Self-Humiliation

1. Introduction
It is an open secret that European debate, which is characterized as a rather formal discussion, becomes livelier and even biting in election time. The discussants have in fact a double role. On the one hand they discuss with each other in a reasonable way, in accordance with the parliamentary conventions. On the other hand, conscious of the role of media in forming impressions of public opinion, they push the boundaries to play to their electoral audiences, aiming at successes with a much wider circle of voters and public opinion. The parliament is a public discussion arena with plenty of possibilities to engage the public and voters (Van Haaften, 2010; Te Velde, 2003). Therefore, parliamentary debate has two main audiences, the parliament as well as the society. As a consequence, it has a double institutional goal, reaching decisions by prevailing rules and procedures, but also giving an account to the public, a goal that is linked to the protagonist’s relation to public and voters. To win the support of potential voters, members of parliament try to get – to quote Yvon Tonnard (2011) – their party’s priority issues `on the table’. Moreover, this addressing of a dual audience has a direct influence on the way one has to maneuver strategically: in the choice from the topical potential, in audience-directed framing of argumentative moves, as well as in the purposive use of presentational choices one not only has to deal with parliamentary rules for the debate but also with one’s personal relation to the voters and with public opinion (Van Haaften, 2010). Read more

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