That’s No Argument! The Ultimate Criticism?

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What if in discussion the critic refuses to recognize an emotionally expressed (alleged) argument of her interlocutor as an argument? In this paper, we shall deal with this reproach, which taken literally amounts to a charge of having committed a fallacy of non-argumentation. As such it is a very strong, if not the ultimate, criticism, which even carries the risk of abandonment of the discussion and can, therefore, not be made without burdening oneself with correspondingly strong obligations. We want to specify the fallacies of non-argumentation and their dialectic, i.e., the proper way to criticize them, the appropriate ways for the arguer to react to such criticism, and the appropriate ways for the critic to follow up on these reactions. Among the types of fallacy of non-argumentation, the emphasis will be on the appeal to popular sentiments (argumentum ad populum). Our aim is to reach, for cases of (alleged) non-argumentation, a survey of dialectical possibilities. By making the disputants themselves responsible for the place of emotion in their dialogues, we hope to contribute to a further development of the theory of dialectical obligations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation
EditorsBart J. Garssen, David Godden, Gordon Mitchell, A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherSic Sat, International Centre for the Study of Argumentation
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-361-0450-0
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2015
EventThe 8th ISSA International Conference - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1-Jul-20144-Jul-2014


ConferenceThe 8th ISSA International Conference

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