Burden of Proof Rules in Social Criticism

Argumentation 11 (4):463-477 (1997)
Abstract
The article discusses burden of proof rules in social criticism. By social criticism I mean an argumentative situation in which an opponent publicly argues against certain social practices; the examples I consider are discrimination on the basis of species and discrimination on the basis of one's nationality. I argue that burden of proof rules assumed by those who defend discrimination are somewhat dubious. In social criticism, there are no shared values which would uncontroversially determine what is the reasonable presumption and who has the burden of proof, nor are there formal rules which would end the debate and determine the winner at a specific point
Keywords Presumptions  burden of proof rules  conservatism  discrimination  equality  open questions
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