The Burden of Criticism: Consequences of Taking a Critical Stance

Jan Albert van Laar*, Erik C. W. Krabbe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Some critical reactions hardly give clues to the arguer as to how to respond to them convincingly. Other critical reactions convey some or even all of the considerations that make the critic critical of the arguer's position and direct the arguer to defuse or to at least contend with them. First, an explication of the notion of a critical reaction will be provided, zooming in on the degree of "directiveness" that a critical reaction displays. Second, it will be examined whether there are normative requirements that enhance the directiveness of criticism. Does the opponent have in circumstances a dialectical obligation to provide clarifications, explanations, or even arguments? In this paper, it is hypothesized that the competitiveness inherent in critical discussion must be mitigated by making the opponent responsible for providing her counterconsiderations, if available, thus assisting the proponent in developing an argumentative strategy that defuses them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-224
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May-2013


  • Argumentation scheme
  • Connection premise
  • Countercriticism
  • Criticism
  • Directiveness
  • Fallacy
  • Presumption
  • Strategic advice

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