Special Issue "Pragmatics and Argumentation"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 17259

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Steve Oswald
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of English, University of Fribourg, Av. De l’Europe 20, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
Interests: pragmatics; argumentation theory; discourse analysis; cognitive science; deception; fallacies; commitment.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract for a special issue of Languages, titled “Pragmatics and Argumentation”. This special issue is meant to (i) take stock of more than four decades of research at the interface of pragmatics and argumentation scholarship, (ii) reflect the current vigour of this research interface, and (iii) provide an overview of the different directions of investigation that have been explored (and continue to be explored) at this interface.

The connexion between pragmatic studies and argumentation studies is a strikingly natural one, given the proximity between their respective objects of inquiry and the way argumentation theory has steadily incorporated pragmatic models in many of its ramifications. Such proximity can for instance be witnessed in important theoretical endeavours such as in the pragma-dialectical full integration of speech act theory in its conception of argumentation as a speech act complex (see Snoeck Henkemans, 2014; van Eemeren & Grootendorst, 1984, 2004) and partial integration of Grice’s cooperative principle as a normative standard for the resolution of differences of opinion (van Eemeren & Grootendorst, 1988), or in the theoretical discussions highlighting the affinities between Grice’s (1989) notions of speaker meaning, implicature (see e.g. Kauffeld, 2001; Macagno & Walton, 2013; Moldovan, 2012) and principles of argumentative rationality (e.g., Jacobs, 2015; Sbisà, 2006), as well as in work on the pragmatic notion of commitment, as it relates to the management of disagreement in dialectical exchanges (Lewiński, 2011; Lewiński & Aakhus, 2014; Oswald & Lewiński, 2014; Walton & Krabbe, 1995). This proximity equally permeates methodological contributions to the issue of the reconstruction of argumentative discourse for evaluative purposes (see e.g. Becker, 2012; Gerritsen, 2001; Oswald, 2016) and current reflexions on the relationship between pragmatic and argumentative inference (Oswald, 2018; Oswald et al., 2020; Rigotti & Greco, 2019; Rocci, 2006). Moreover, a ‘linguistic turn’, many times driven by a semantic and pragmatic impulse, has steadily gained momentum in argumentation theory over the past decades, from early work by French scholars (Anscombre & Ducrot, 1983; Ducrot, 1980; Ducrot et al., 1980) on the inherently argumentative nature of meaning, to work on argumentative indicators (van Eemeren et al., 2007) and on specific linguistic structures and affordances that are argumentatively exploited by arguers (see e.g., Boogaart et al., 2021; Herman et al., 2018; Hinton, 2019; Oswald et al., 2018, 2020; Pollaroli et al., 2019). In recent years, some conversational approaches (e.g., Luginbühl & Kreuz, 2020; Mundwiler & Kreuz, 2018), philosophical approaches (Bermejo Luque 2011, Sbisà, 2018; Witek & Witczak-Plisiecka, 2019) and experimental approaches (Ozols et al., under revision, 2016; Schumann et al., accepted, 2019) to argumentation have all drawn on various strands of pragmatic research to address argumentative issues, thereby contributing to expand the already growing investigation of the pragmatics/argumentation interface.

We take all these to be clear indications of the mutual cross-fertilisation at play between the two disciplines, and at the same time as an indication that the time is right to take stock of these advances in order to provide a snapshot of what pragmatics has offered to argumentation, and vice-versa. While many international initiatives and research projects instantiate this interface in one way or another, a thorough collection of studies which frontally tackles it still missing. The projected special issue is meant to fill this gap.

We therefore invite abstracts for contributions which address one or more dimensions of the pragmatics/argumentation interface, across the board of approaches in pragmatics and in argumentation theory. Contributions of a theoretical, methodological, empirical, and experimental nature are welcome, and may deal with the following (non-exhaustive) list of topics:

  • meaning and argumentation
  • historical connexions between pragmatics and argumentation
  • (pragmatic and/or argumentative) inference
  • speech acts and argumentation
  • illocutionary and perlocutionary acts in argumentation
  • linguistic markers of argumentation
  • conversational aspects of argumentative practices
  • identity, face and argumentation
  • pragmatic constraints on the persuasiveness of argumentation
  • language, ethos and pathos
  • rhetorical advantages of pragmatic meaning

Important: As a general criterion for inclusion in the special issue, contributions which explicitly identify the pragmatic approach they draw on in discussing the modalities under which it can be fruitfully interfaced with argumentation theory will be privileged.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editor ([email protected]) or to Languages editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the special issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 15 April 2021
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 May 2021
  • Full manuscript deadline: 1 December 2021

References

Anscombre, J. C., & Ducrot, O. (1983). L’argumentation dans la langue. Editions Mardaga.

Becker, T. (2012). The Pragmatics of Argumentation. In A. C. Schalley (Ed.), Practical Theories and Empirical practice: A Linguistic Perspective (pp. 257–272). John Benjamins.

Bermejo Luque, L. (2011). Giving reasons: A linguistic-pragmatic approach to argumentation theory (Vol. 20). Dordrecht: Springer.

Boogaart, R., Jansen, H., & van Leeuwen, M. (Eds.). (2021). The Language of Argumentation. Springer.

Ducrot, O. (1980). Les échelles argumentatives. Minuit.

Ducrot, O., Bourcier, D., & Bruxelles, S. (1980). Les mots du discours. Ed. de Minuit.

Gerritsen, S. (2001). Unexpressed premises. In F. van Eemeren (Ed.), Crucial concepts in argumentation theory (pp. 51–79). Sic Sat.

Grice, P. (1989). Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard University Press.

Herman, T., Jacquin, J., & Oswald, S. (Eds.). (2018). Les mots de l’argumentation. Peter Lang. https://doi.org/10.3726/b14941

Hinton, M. (2019). Language and argument: A review of the field. Research in Language, 17(1), 93–103.

Jacobs, S. (2015). Les principes pragmatiques de communication dans l’argumentation. Argumentation et Analyse Du Discours, 15.

Kauffeld, F. J. (2001). Argumentation, discourse, and the rationality underlying Grice’s analysis of utterance-meaning. Cognition in Language Use: Selected Papers from the 7th International Pragmatics Conference, 1, 149–163.

Lewiński, M. (2011). Towards a critique-friendly approach to the straw man fallacy evaluation. Argumentation, 25(4), 469.

Lewiński, M., & Aakhus, M. (2014). Argumentative polylogues in a dialectical framework: A methodological inquiry. Argumentation, 28(2), 161–185.

Luginbühl, M., & Kreuz, J. (2020). From flat propositions to deep co-constructed and modalized argumentations: Oral argumentative skills among elementary school children from grades 2 to 6. Research on Children and Social Interaction, 4(1), 93–114.

Macagno, F., & Walton, D. (2013). Implicatures as Forms of Argument. In A. Capone, F. L. Piparo, & M. Carapezza (Eds.), Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy (pp. 203–225). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01011-3_9

Moldovan, A. (2012). Arguments, Implicatures and Argumentative Implicatures.

Mundwiler, V., & Kreuz, J. (2018). Collaborative decision-making in argumentative group discussions among primary school children. In Argumentation and language—Linguistic, cognitive and discursive explorations (pp. 263–285). Springer.

Oswald, S. (2016). Commitment Attribution and the Reconstruction of Arguments. In F. Paglieri, L. Bonelli, & S. Felletti (Eds.), The Psychology of Argument. Cognitive Approaches to Argumentation and Persuasion (Vol. 59, pp. 17–32). College Publications.

Oswald, S. (2018). Pragmatic inference and argumentative inference. In S. Oswald & D. Maillat (Eds.), Argumentation and Inference: Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Argumentation, Fribourg 2017 (Vol. 2, pp. 615–629). College Publications.

Oswald, S., Greco, S., Pollaroli, C., Miecznikowski, J., & Rocci, A. (Eds.). (2020). Argumentation and meaning: Semantic and pragmatic reflexions. John Benjamins.

Oswald, S., Herman, T., & Jacquin, J. (Eds.). (2018). Argumentation and Language—Linguistic, Cognitive and Discursive Explorations. Springer International Publishing.

Oswald, S., & Lewiński, M. (2014). Pragmatics, cognitive heuristics and the straw man fallacy. In T. Herman & S. Oswald (Eds.), Rhétorique et cognition: Perspectives théoriques et stratégies persuasives—Rhetoric and Cognition: Theoretical Perspectives and Persuasive strategies (pp. 313–343). Peter Lang.

Ozols, D., Gygax, P., Oswald, S., Maillat, D., & Maillat, D. (under revision). Do people agree with everyone? An experimental investigation of majority appeals in argumentation. PLOS ONE.

Ozols, D., Maillat, D., & Oswald, S. (2016). Repetition as context selection constraint: A study in the cognitive underpinnings of persuasion. In D. Mohammed & M. Lewiński (Eds.), Argumentation and Reasoned Action: Proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Argumentation, Lisbon, 2015. Vol. I (Vol. 1, pp. 421–429). College Publications.

Pollaroli, C., Greco, S., Oswald, S., Miecznikowski, J., & Rocci, A. (Eds.). (2019). Rhetoric and Language: Emotions and style in argumentative discourse (Special issue of Informal Logic 39:4).

Rigotti, E., & Greco, S. (2019). Inference in Argumentation: A Topics-Based Approach to Argument Schemes. Springer.

Rocci, A. (2006). Pragmatic inference and argumentation in intercultural communication. Intercultural Pragmatics, 3(4), 409–442. https://doi.org/10.1515/IP.2006.026

Sbisà, M. (2006). Two conceptions of rationality in Grice’s theory of implicature. Rationality of Belief and Action, 233–247.

Sbisà, M. (2018). Varieties of speech act norms. In M. Witek & I. Witczak-Plisiecka (Eds.), Normativity and variety of speech actions (pp. 23–50). Brill Rodopi.

Schumann, J., Zufferey, S., & Oswald, S. (accepted). The linguistic formulation of fallacies matters: The case of causal connectives. Argumentation.

Schumann, J., Zufferey, S., & Oswald, S. (2019). What makes a straw man acceptable? Three experiments assessing linguistic factors. Journal of Pragmatics, 141, 1–15.

Snoeck Henkemans, F. (2014). Speech act theory and the study of argumentation. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 36(1), 41–58.

van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (1984). Speech acts in argumentative discussions: A theoretical model for the analysis of discussions directed towards solving conflicts of opinion. Foris publications.

van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (1988). Rules for argumentation in dialogues. Argumentation, 2(4), 499–510.

van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (2004). A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-dialectical Approach. Cambridge University Press.

van Eemeren, F. H., Houtlosser, P., & Henkemans, A. F. S. (2007). Argumentative indicators in discourse: A pragma-dialectical study (Vol. 12). Springer Science & Business Media.

Walton, D., & Krabbe, E. C. (1995). Commitment in dialogue: Basic concepts of interpersonal reasoning. SUNY press.

Witek, M., & Witczak-Plisiecka, I. (2019). Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions. Brill.

Dr. Steve Oswald
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • pragmatics
  • argumentation
  • interface
  • inference
  • meaning
  • conversation

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Article
On the Normativity of Presumptions: Contrasting Kauffeld’s and Whatelian Accounts
Languages 2022, 7(4), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040261 - 12 Oct 2022
Viewed by 421
Abstract
On a Whatelian conception, a presumption is a “supposition … [that] must stand good until some sufficient reason is adduced against it.” This view may be understood as operationalizing a distinct quality of warrant for the acceptability of claims. Against this Whatelian conception, [...] Read more.
On a Whatelian conception, a presumption is a “supposition … [that] must stand good until some sufficient reason is adduced against it.” This view may be understood as operationalizing a distinct quality of warrant for the acceptability of claims. Against this Whatelian conception, Kauffeld offers an account on which “ordinary presumptions are inferences based on suppositions regarding the risk of resentment persons face should they fail to live up to (often openly incurred) commitments.” On Kauffeld’s analysis, presumptions are distinguished according to a special kind of backing, or grounding, upon which presumed claims are based. This article contrasts these views according to the different accounts each provides of the normative mechanisms at work in, and underwriting, warranted presumption. Viable argumentative norms must be both objectively well-founded and effective in regulating the activity of argumentation. Whatelian conceptions seek to explain the effectiveness (specifically, the binding force) of presumptions in terms of an arguer’s recognition of their well-foundedness by providing an account of presumptions as particularly well-adapted to methodological features inherent in the activity of transacting reasons. By contrast, Kauffeld’s analysis reverses this order of explanation, explaining the well-foundedness (specifically, the validity) of presumption and presumptive inference in terms of its effectiveness (specifically its binding force) over agents. By identifying a class of presumptions that are inherently, and extra-argumentatively, binding upon agents in ways that can manifestly influence their behavioral calculations to make it the case that what is presumed is so, Kauffeld’s analysis of presumption normatively generates well-foundedness out of effectiveness. Thus, a distinctive and innovative feature of Kauffeld’s analysis of presumption is that it identifies a hitherto unrecognized dimension of normativity—namely, our extra-argumentative obligations and our reactive attitudes concerning them—as capable of underwriting warranted presumptive inference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Revisiting the Relationship between Arguing and Convincing: Towards a New Pragmatic Account
Languages 2022, 7(3), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7030227 - 01 Sep 2022
Viewed by 726
Abstract
How do individuals change their minds as a result of argumentation? It is generally assumed the speech act of argumentation can trigger a change of mind in the other party—the perlocutionary act of convincing. This means that a discussant changes her commitment relative [...] Read more.
How do individuals change their minds as a result of argumentation? It is generally assumed the speech act of argumentation can trigger a change of mind in the other party—the perlocutionary act of convincing. This means that a discussant changes her commitment relative to the proposition under scrutiny when the other party presents argumentation that is in some way convincing or persuasive. I challenge this received view by showing that argumentation cannot trigger this change of commitment in the way that scholars commonly assume. Convincing cannot be triggered by assertives that are already in the listener’s commitment set, nor can it be triggered by assertives that are newly introduced in the discussion. Using the notion of “joint commitment” I propose an alternative account according to which change of mind is the result of two speakers jointly experiencing facts as stipulated by a joint commitment. I conclude the paper by sketching the impact of such an approach in the study of argumentation and provide suggestions for further developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Challenging Authority with Argumentation: The Pragmatics of Arguments from and to Authority
Languages 2022, 7(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7030207 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Authority is both a pragmatic condition of much public discourse and a form of argumentative appeal routinely used in it. The goal of this contribution is to propose a new account of challenging authority in argumentative discourse that benefits from the interplay of [...] Read more.
Authority is both a pragmatic condition of much public discourse and a form of argumentative appeal routinely used in it. The goal of this contribution is to propose a new account of challenging authority in argumentative discourse that benefits from the interplay of the resources of recent speech act theory and argumentation theory. Going beyond standard approaches of the two disciplines, the paper analyzes nuanced forms of establishing and, especially, challenging discourse-related authority. Can Donald Trump advise his own scientific advisors on potential COVID-19 treatments? Addressing questions like this, the paper identifies various paradoxes of authority and the forms of authority discussed in the literature. It then distinguishes between argument from authority (or expert opinion) and argument to authority (or expert opinion) and argues that this rearranged structure mutually benefits the pragmatic account of speech act theory and the schematic account of argumentation theory in the task of better understanding and critiquing discourses such as Trump’s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
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Article
How to Argue with Questions and Answers: Argumentation Strategies in Parliamentary Deliberation
Languages 2022, 7(3), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7030205 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 826
Abstract
While apparently designed to request information, parliamentary questions are the most challenging and face-threatening acts, used argumentatively by opposition members of parliament (MPs) to confront and attack government MPs, and especially the Prime Minister (PM) in the notoriously adversarial Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). [...] Read more.
While apparently designed to request information, parliamentary questions are the most challenging and face-threatening acts, used argumentatively by opposition members of parliament (MPs) to confront and attack government MPs, and especially the Prime Minister (PM) in the notoriously adversarial Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). By contextually, discursively and rhetorically articulating varying degrees of relevance and persuasiveness, questioning and answering practices serve as basic debating tools for MPs, whose main parliamentary role and responsibility consist of holding the government and the PM accountable. The aim of this paper is to explore how argumentation/counter-argumentation strategies and persuasive/dissuasive techniques are shaped through the co-performance of MPs’ questioning and the PM’s answering practices in PMQs. To better capture the effects of the shifting dynamics of polemical question-answer exchanges between political adversaries, the present analysis is based on the cross-fertilization of pragma-rhetoric and argumentation theory. The commonalities and complementarities of these approaches have been used to identify and problematize the higher or lower degrees of argumentation at the question-answer interface in terms of valid or fallacious reasoning patterns in three categories of strategic questions: yes/no questions, wh-questions and disjunctive questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Utterer Meaning, Misunderstanding, and Cultural Knowledge
Languages 2022, 7(3), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7030172 - 05 Jul 2022
Viewed by 777
Abstract
All versions of Grice’s theory of utterer meaning couch success in terms of stressing the hearer’s ability to recognize what is intended. This ties naturally to the cooperative principle and the maxims of conversation. A later additional maxim of manner emphasizes that one [...] Read more.
All versions of Grice’s theory of utterer meaning couch success in terms of stressing the hearer’s ability to recognize what is intended. This ties naturally to the cooperative principle and the maxims of conversation. A later additional maxim of manner emphasizes that one should always facility the audience’s response in one’s communication. Meaning communication is successful with the right “uptake”, whether seen in the desires or beliefs that Grice addressed in the audience, or the achievement of understanding or comprehension that critics identified. In retrospective reflections, Grice saw the latter necessitated by the former. The point remains that if Grice is correct in requiring audience recognition for the successful communication of meaning, then this poses serious challenges for scholars working in argumentation. It provides, for example, an additional problem when exploring cross-cultural argumentative exchanges where societies have had no prior experience of each other, their norms, or shared beliefs. Moreover, the conditions that it requires makes misunderstanding a central concern. These problems are explored in the paper, beginning with an initial assumption that Grice is correct about meaning, with a view to considering whether there is need for modifications to Grice’s theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Ethos and Pragmatics
Languages 2022, 7(3), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7030165 - 01 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Ethos, the speaker’s image in speech is one of the three means of persuasion e stablished by Aristotle’s Rhetoric and is often studied in a loose way. Many scholars develop lists of self-images (ethos of a leader, modesty ethos, etc.), [...] Read more.
Ethos, the speaker’s image in speech is one of the three means of persuasion e stablished by Aristotle’s Rhetoric and is often studied in a loose way. Many scholars develop lists of self-images (ethos of a leader, modesty ethos, etc.), but few explain how one arrives at these types of ethos. This is precisely what the inferential approach described here intends to do. Considering, like many discourse analysts, that ethos is consubstantial with speech, this paper provides an overview of various types and subtypes of ethos and highlights how these can be inferred from the discourse. Mainly, we would like to point out that what the speaker says about him or herself is only a part of what has been called “said ethos”: inferential processes triggered by what the speaker says about collectivities, opponents, or the audience also help construct an ethos. This tool will be applied to analyze a corpus of Donald Trump’s tweets of 6 January 2021, the day of the assault on the Capitol. As the notion of inference is essential in creating ethos, the paper pleads for the integration of the study of this rhetorical notion in the field of pragmatics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
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Article
What Was the President’s Standpoint and When Did He Take It? A Normative Pragmatic Study of Standpoint Emergence in a Presidential Press Conference
Languages 2022, 7(2), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020153 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
In contrast to views that treat positions and standpoints as defining the scope of argumentation, our normative pragmatic approach sees positions and standpoints as interactionally emergent products of argumentative work. Here, this is shown in a detailed case study of a question-answer session [...] Read more.
In contrast to views that treat positions and standpoints as defining the scope of argumentation, our normative pragmatic approach sees positions and standpoints as interactionally emergent products of argumentative work. Here, this is shown in a detailed case study of a question-answer session in which former US President Donald J. Trump was pressed by journalists to express and defend his standpoint on the Charlottesville protests by neo-Nazis and White nationalists. Trump repeatedly evaded efforts to pin down his standpoint; however, with each of his answers to the questions, his built-up position circumscribed the range of possible standpoints he could take. To the end, he avoided backing down from any prior statement expressing his standpoint, while also preserving a degree of maneuverability regarding what his standpoint amounted to. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
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Article
Oral Argumentation Skills between Process and Product
Languages 2022, 7(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020139 - 30 May 2022
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Oral argumentation skills have become a ‘hot topic’ within pragmatic language acquisition research as well as didactical research. In this study, we first discuss characteristics specific to oral argumentation which, compared to written argumentation, has its own mediality and therefore specific requirements. To [...] Read more.
Oral argumentation skills have become a ‘hot topic’ within pragmatic language acquisition research as well as didactical research. In this study, we first discuss characteristics specific to oral argumentation which, compared to written argumentation, has its own mediality and therefore specific requirements. To reconstruct different levels of oral argumentation skills of school children in grades 2, 4 and 6, we collected a corpus of 180 peer discussions without adult supervision and analyzed them based on conversation analysis. In our case study we compare two conversations in terms of different modalizations and epistemic stances in positionings and justifications and briefly show how the use of modalizations can shape both the character as well as the argumentative structure of a conversation. We argue that process-related and stylistic conversational aspects beyond structural aspects in a narrow sense shape oral argumentation to a high degree and therefore belong to the core aspects of oral argumentation skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Argumentation in the Interpretation of Statutory Law and International Law: Not Ejusdem Generis
Languages 2022, 7(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020132 - 24 May 2022
Viewed by 916
Abstract
This contribution bridges three fields—pragmatics, argumentation, and law. Arguments can be seen as the verbal formulation of inferences that articulate justificatory relationships, meaning that behind every argument is at least one argumentative inference. As an argumentative activity and verbal practice, legal discourse has [...] Read more.
This contribution bridges three fields—pragmatics, argumentation, and law. Arguments can be seen as the verbal formulation of inferences that articulate justificatory relationships, meaning that behind every argument is at least one argumentative inference. As an argumentative activity and verbal practice, legal discourse has gaps to be filled by pragmatic inference. Neo- and post-Gricean frameworks can thus tentatively be used for its analysis. Based on these frameworks, this contribution asks whether argumentation in the interpretation of statutory law is the same as in international law. More precisely, it looks at judges’ legal interpretations, which function as justifying arguments because they are constrained by rules/canons of interpretation. It is shown that neither a pragma-dialectical hierarchy of statutory canons nor a hierarchy of related presumptions carries over to international law where there is no such hierarchy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Do People Perceive the Disagreement in Straw Man Fallacies? An Experimental Investigation
Languages 2022, 7(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020111 - 03 May 2022
Viewed by 1040
Abstract
So far, experimental studies on the straw man have targeted the misrepresentational dimension of this fallacy. In order to provide a more detailed understanding of the way the straw man is perceived, the focus of this paper lies on the refutational dimension. In [...] Read more.
So far, experimental studies on the straw man have targeted the misrepresentational dimension of this fallacy. In order to provide a more detailed understanding of the way the straw man is perceived, the focus of this paper lies on the refutational dimension. In two experiments, I will assess (1) if people are sensitive to the underlying disagreement expressed through the use of a straw man and (2) if question wording plays a role for the perception of disagreement. The results of the experiment show that participants indeed notice easily that the person performing a straw man disagrees with his opponent. It also emerges from the experiment that the difference between a positive or negative formulation of the experimental questions does not affect the perception of disagreement in the straw man. The underlying disagreement in the straw man is thus perceived either way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Beliefs, Commitments, and Ad Baculum Arguments
Languages 2022, 7(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020107 - 27 Apr 2022
Viewed by 989
Abstract
Typically, an ad baculum argument is one where an arguer threatens a respondent in order to induce them to adopt a standpoint. It is a fallacy, a common account goes, because the power to impose a standpoint is irrelevant to its truth or [...] Read more.
Typically, an ad baculum argument is one where an arguer threatens a respondent in order to induce them to adopt a standpoint. It is a fallacy, a common account goes, because the power to impose a standpoint is irrelevant to its truth or acceptability. However, fallacies, if they are to be anything, ought at a minimum to be persuasive, and it is hard to see how an ad baculum might persuade. Employing an ad baculum just underscores how terrible someone’s reasons are. Despite this, cases of fallacious ad baculum arguments seem to exist, and this is a fact that requires some explanation. This paper offers an account where the real target of an ad baculum is an audience downstream from the initial ad baculum exchange. This means that the ad baculum consists of misrepresenting the quality of evidence by means of the forced adoption of a particular standpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Two Views of Speech Acts: Analysis and Implications for Argumentation Theory
Languages 2022, 7(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020093 - 07 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
Argumentation theorists need to command a clear view of the sources of the obligations that arguers incur, e.g., their burdens of proof. Theories of illocutionary speech acts promise to fill this need. This essay contrasts two views of illocutionary acts: one, that they [...] Read more.
Argumentation theorists need to command a clear view of the sources of the obligations that arguers incur, e.g., their burdens of proof. Theories of illocutionary speech acts promise to fill this need. This essay contrasts two views of illocutionary acts: one, that they are constituted by rules, the other, that they are constituted by paradigmatic practical calculations. After a general comparison of the two views, the strength of the pragmatic view is demonstrated through an account of the illocutionary act of making an accusation. It is shown that the essential conditions of ACCUSING revealed by conceptual analysis are just what is practically necessary to manage a routine, but complex, communicative problem. The essay closes with remarks on the implications of the pragmatic view of speech acts for argumentation theory generally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
More than Relata Refero: Representing the Various Roles of Reported Speech in Argumentative Discourse
Languages 2022, 7(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7010059 - 03 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
Reported speech, or relata refero, although not always part of the argumentation tout court, can be an important element of argumentative discourse. It might, for instance, provide information on the position of another party in the discussion or function as part [...] Read more.
Reported speech, or relata refero, although not always part of the argumentation tout court, can be an important element of argumentative discourse. It might, for instance, provide information on the position of another party in the discussion or function as part of the premise of an argument from authority. Whereas existing methods of representing argumentative discourse focus on arguments and their interrelations, this paper develops a method that enables the analyst to also include informative elements in the representation, focusing on reported speech. It does so by incorporating the notion of ‘voice’ into the representation framework of Adpositional Argumentation (AdArg). In particular, the paper explains how to formalize the constituents of this notion and illustrates its use in representing (1) an author’s report of the position of another party (including the supporting argumentation); (2) an author’s own position (including the supporting argumentation); and (3) source-based arguments such as the argument from authority, with an indication of the distance of the source from the author. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
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Article
Technical Language as Evidence of Expertise
Languages 2022, 7(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7010041 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
In this paper, I focus on one argumentative strategy with which experts (or putative experts) in a particular field provide evidence of their expertise to a lay audience. The strategy consists in using technical vocabulary that the speaker knows the audience does not [...] Read more.
In this paper, I focus on one argumentative strategy with which experts (or putative experts) in a particular field provide evidence of their expertise to a lay audience. The strategy consists in using technical vocabulary that the speaker knows the audience does not comprehend with the intention of getting the audience to infer that the speaker possesses expert knowledge in the target domain. This strategy has received little attention in argumentation theory and epistemology. For this reason, the aim of the present paper is not to reach any definitive conclusions, but mainly exploratory. After introducing the phenomenon, I discuss various examples. Next, I analyse the phenomenon from an argumentative perspective. I discuss the pragmatic mechanism that underlies it, the quality of the evidence offered, and its capacity to persuade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
Article
Ignoring Qualifications as a Pragmatic Fallacy: Enrichments and Their Use for Manipulating Commitments
Languages 2022, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7010013 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
The fallacy of ignoring qualifications, or secundum quid et simpliciter, is a deceptive strategy that is pervasive in argumentative dialogues, discourses, and discussions. It consists in misrepresenting an utterance so that its meaning is broadened, narrowed, or simply modified to pursue different [...] Read more.
The fallacy of ignoring qualifications, or secundum quid et simpliciter, is a deceptive strategy that is pervasive in argumentative dialogues, discourses, and discussions. It consists in misrepresenting an utterance so that its meaning is broadened, narrowed, or simply modified to pursue different goals, such as drawing a specific conclusion, attacking the interlocutor, or generating humorous reactions. The “secundum quid” was described by Aristotle as an interpretative manipulative strategy, based on the contrast between the “proper” sense of a statement and its meaning taken absolutely or in a certain respect. However, how can an “unqualified” statement have a proper meaning different from the qualified one, and vice versa? This “linguistic” fallacy brings to light a complex relationship between pragmatics, argumentation, and interpretation. The secundum quid is described in this paper as a manipulative argument, whose deceptive effect lies in its pragmatic dimension. This fallacy is analyzed as a strategy of decontextualization lying at the interface between pragmatics and argumentation and consisting of the unwarranted passage from an utterance to its semantic representation. By ignoring the available evidence and the presumptive interpretation of a statement, the speaker places it in a different context or suppresses textual and contextual evidence to infer a specific meaning different from the presumable one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pragmatics and Argumentation)
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