HenryJohnstone's philosophical development was guided by a persistent need to reform the concept of validity -either by reinterpreting it or by finding a substitute for it. This project lead Johnstone into interesting confrontations with the concept of rhetoric and especiaUy with the work of Chaim Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca. The project culminated in a failed attempt to develop a formal ethics of rhetoric and argumentation, but this attempt was itself not consistent with some of Johnstone's other (...) characterizations ofan ethics of argument ation. A virtue ethics would be truer to the Johnstonian philosophical project than a formal ethics of argument. Resume. (shrink)
Given the pragmatic tum recently taken by argumentation studies, we owe renewed attention to HenryJohnstone's views on the primacy of process over product. In particular, Johnstone's decidedly non-cooperative model is a refreshing alternative to the current dialogic theories of arguing, one which opens the way for specifically rhetorical lines of inquiry.
There are a number of reasons for being interested in uncertainty, and there are also a number of uncertainty formalisms. These formalisms are not unrelated. It is argued that they can all be reflected as special cases of the approach of taking probabilities to be determined by sets of probability functions defined on an algebra of statements. Thus, interval probabilities should be construed as maximum and minimum probabilities within a set of distributions, Glenn Shafer's belief functions should be construed as (...) lower probabilities, etc. Updating probabilities introduces new considerations, and it is shown that the representation of belief as a set of probabilities conflicts in this regard with the updating procedures advocated by Shafer. The attempt to make subjectivistic probability plausible as a doctrine of rational belief by making it more flowery -- i.e., by adding new dimensions -- does not succeed. But, if one is going to represent beliefs by sets of distributions, those sets of distributions might as well be based in statistical knowledge, as they are in epistemological or evidential probability. (shrink)
The dominant argument for the introduction of propensities or chances as an interpretation of probability depends on the difficulty of accounting for single case probabilities. We argue that in almost all cases, the "single case" application of probability can be accounted for otherwise. "Propensities" are needed only in theoretical contexts, and even there applications of probability need only depend on propensities indirectly.
Bishop Butler, [Butler, 1736], said that probability was the very guide of life. But what interpretations of probability can serve this function? It isn't hard to see that empirical (frequency) views won't do, and many recent writers—for example John Earman, who has said that Bayesianism is "the only game in town"—have been persuaded by various dutch book arguments that only subjective probability will perform the function required. We will defend the thesis that probability construed in this way offers very little (...) guidance, dutch book arguments notwithstanding. We will sketch a way out of the impasse. (shrink)
This is a critical examination of Johnstone's thesis that all valid philosophical arguments are ad hominem. I clarify his notions of valid, philosophical, and ad hominem. I illustrate the thesis with his refutation ofthe claim that only ordinary language is correct. r discuss his three supporting arguments (historical, theoretical, and intermediate). And r criticize the thesis with the objections that if an ad hominem argument is valid, it is really ad rem; that it's unclear how his own theoretical argument (...) can be ad hominem; that if an ad hominem argument is really valid, it would have to be based on the proponent's own assumptions; and that the thesis is not true of philosophical arguments that are constructive rather than critical. (shrink)
Personal reflections on the philosophical career of HenryJohnstone, B.S. Haverford College, 1942, and Ph.D. Harvard, 1950, professor at Williams College 1948-1952 and Pennsylvania State University, 1952 - 2000. Founder and editor of Philosophy and Rhetoric, Johnstone wrote eight books, including two logic texts, three monographs, and over 150 articles or reviews. The focus is on his efforts to resolve problems stemming from the conflict between the logical empiricism Johnstone embraced in his dissertation, and the arguments (...) of his absolute idealist colleagues at Williams, efforts he pursued in Philosophy and Argument (1959), and Validity and Rhetoric in Philosophical Argument (1978). (shrink)
Hartry Field has suggested that we should adopt at least a methodological deflationism: "[W]e should assume full-fledged deflationism as a working hypothesis. That way, if full-fledged deflationism should turn out to be inadequate, we will at least have a clearer sense than we now have of just where it is that inflationist assumptions... are needed". I argue here that we do not need to be methodological deflationists. More precisely, I argue that we have no need for a disquotational truth-predicate; that (...) the word 'true', in ordinary language, is not a disquotational truth-predicate; and that it is not at all clear that it is even possible to introduce a disquotational truth-predicate into ordinary language. If so, then we have no clear sense how it is even possible to be a methodological deflationist. My goal here is not to convince a committed deflationist to abandon his or her position. My goal, rather, is to argue, contrary to what many seem to think, that reflection on the apparently trivial character of T-sentences should not incline us to deflationism. (shrink)
In the writings of Henry W. Johnstone, Jr. there can be found an evolving and gradually more sophisticated discussion of the relationship between rhetorical and dialectical argument. Johnstone's view on these matters was highly original, and at odds with the prevailing logical empiricism of the time, much like Toulmin's views on argumentation in The Uses of Argument (1958). In view of the rising importance of the issue of the relationship between rhetoric and informal logic, Johnstone's analysis (...) of the argumentum ad hominem, and its relationship to Hamblin's notion of commitment, is especially worth careful consideration. (shrink)
When considering the interactions between rhetoric and argumentation, readers of this journal will no doubt be reminded of the seminal work of Henry W. Johnstone Jr. (1959; 1978) who gathered both concerns together in ways that were designed to engage philosophers and persuade them of the intellectual seriousness of both enterprises. He was, of course, a principal force among those who brought Chaïm Perelman’s work to the attention of audiences in North America, and he himself entered into deep (...) and fruitful dialogues with Perelman by way of reviewing the value that rhetoric brought to argumentation and logic, as well as to philosophy generally. His interest in philosophical argumentation prompted an early .. (shrink)
Edited by Marthe Chandler and Ronnie Littlejohn, this work is a collection of expository and critical essays on the work of Henry Rosemont, Jr., a prominent and influential contemporary philosopher, activist, translator, and educator in the field of Asian and Comparative Philosophy. The essays in this collection take up three major themes in Rosemont's work: his work in Chinese linguistics, his contribution to the theory of human rights, and his interest in East Asian religion. Contributions include works by the (...) leading scholars in Chinese philosophy in the Western world and Rosemont's close associates: Roger T. Ames, Bao Zhiming, Mary Bockover, Marthe Chandler, Ewing Y. Chinn, Erin M. Cline, Fred Dallmayr, Jeffrey Dippmann, Herbert Fingarette, Harrison Huang, Eric Hutton, Philip J. Ivanhoe, David Jones, William La Fleur, Ronnie Littlejohn, Ni Peimin, Michael Nylan, Harold Roth, Sumner Twiss, Tu Weiming, David Wong, with responses from Henry Rosemont, Jr. and a brief Reminiscence by Noam Chomsky. (shrink)
In Vol. XI, No.1, this journal announced an argument analysis contest. Two eminent colleagues agreed to serve as judges-Professor Henry W. Johnstone, Jr. and Professor Michael Scriven. In short order, four entries were received and sent off to the judges, who had no knowledge of the contestants' identities, and in due course the judges' verdicts were delivered. Immediately below we have reproduced the argument which was to be analyzed, along with the rules of the contest, followed by the (...) four entries. Thereafter we present the judges' rulings. (shrink)
An analysis of effectiveness of some of hume's arguments in a framework developed by the author. The author states his position that arguments attacking positions attempt to show that, Given the assumptions of a position, Certain consequences are incompatible with it--A valid species of "argumentum ad hominem". Although this species does not work for constructive philosophical "proofs," it will work inversely in arguments (defending such proofs) which cite possible objections. These charge "petitio": the objection assumes what the position denies or (...) "vice versa". Eight arguments are judged as "ad hominem" or as charging "petitio" and as effective or ineffective in either case. The analyses elaborate the author's position, And the mode of analysis is suggested as an adjunct to considering a philosopher's conclusions. (shrink)