In the Quagmire of Quibbles: A Dialectical Exploration

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Criticism may degenerate into quibbling or nitpicking. How can discussants keep quibblers under control? In the paper we investigate cases in which a battle about words replaces a discussion of the matters that are actually at issue as well as cases in which a battle about minor objections replaces a discussion of the major issues. We survey some lines of discussion dealing with these situations in profiles of dialogue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3459-3476
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Early online date19-Jun-2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2021
EventJournées d’études : Pinailler, entre souci de précision et bavardage, - Centre de recherche approches pragmatiques en philosophie du language et de la communication (APPLA&CO), Laboratoire Communication, Information, Médias, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France
Duration: 25-Nov-201626-Nov-2016


  • Criticism
  • Difference of opinion
  • Freedom rule
  • Hairsplitting
  • Nitpicking
  • Objection
  • Profile of dialogue
  • Quibble
  • Talking at cross-purposes

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