Media argumentation is a powerful force in our lives. From political speeches to television commercials to war propaganda, it can effectively mobilize political action, influence the public, and market products. This book presents a new and systematic way of thinking about the influence of mass media in our lives, showing the intersection of media sources with argumentation theory, informal logic, computational theory, and theories of persuasion. Using a variety of case studies that represent arguments that typically occur in the mass (...) media, Douglas Walton demonstrates how tools recently developed in argumentation theory can be usefully applied to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of media arguments. (shrink)
Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation presents the basic tools for the identification, analysis, and evaluation of common arguments for beginners. The book teaches by using examples of arguments in dialogues, both in the text itself and in the exercises. Examples of controversial legal, political, and ethical arguments are analyzed. Illustrating the most common kinds of arguments, the book also explains how to evaluate each kind by critical questioning. Douglas Walton shows how arguments can be reasonable under the right dialogue conditions (...) by using critical questions to evaluate them. The book teaches by example, both in the text itself and in exercises, but it is based on methods that have been developed through the author's thirty years of research in argumentation studies. (shrink)
The paper considers contemporary models of presumption in terms of their ability to contribute to a working theory of presumption for argumentation. Beginning with the Whatelian model, we consider its contemporary developments and alternatives, as proposed by Sidgwick, Kauffeld, Cronkhite, Rescher, Walton, Freeman, Ullmann-Margalit, and Hansen. Based on these accounts, we present a picture of presumptions characterized by their nature, function, foundation and force. On our account, presumption is a modal status that is attached to a claim and has (...) the effect of shifting, in a dialogue, a burden of proof set at a local level. Presumptions can be analysed and evaluated inferentially as components of rule-based structures. Presumptions are defeasible, and the force of a presumption is a function of its normative foundation. This picture seeks to provide a framework to guide the development of specific theories of presumption. (shrink)
Artificial Intelligence as a discipline has gotten bogged down in subproblems of intelligence. These subproblems are the result of applying reductionist methods to the goal of creating a complete artificial thinking mind. In Brooks (1987) 1 have argued that these methods will lead us to solving irrelevant problems; interesting as intellectual puzzles, but useless in the long run for creating an artificial being.
Edmund Husserl, Die Lebenswelt. Auslegungen der vorgegebenen Welt und ihrer Konstitution. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1916–1937). Rochus Sowa (ed) (Series Husserliana, vol. XXXIX) Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9072-8 Authors Roberto J. Walton, CEF (ANCBA), Av. Alvear 1711, 3º, C1014AAE Buenos Aires, Argentina Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 3.
The twelve essays by Kendall Walton in this volume address a broad range of issues concerning the arts. Walton introduces an innovative account of aesthetic value, and explores relations between aesthetic value and values of other kinds. His classic 'Categories of Art' is included, as is 'Transparent Pictures', his controversial account of what is special about photographs. A new essay investigates the fact that still pictures are still, although some of them depict motion. New postscripts have been added (...) to several of the reprinted essays. (shrink)
Abstract This paper addresses the role that argumentation schemes and argument visualization software tools can play in helping to find and counter objections to a given argument one is confronted with. Based on extensive analysis of features of the argumentation in these two examples, a practical four-step method of finding objections to an argument is set out. The study also applies the Carneades Argumentation System to the task of finding objections to an argument, and shows how this system has some (...) capabilities that are especially useful. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s10503-012-9261-z Authors Douglas Walton, Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR), University of Windsor, 2500 University Ave. W., Windsor, ON N9B 3Y1, Canada Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X. (shrink)
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time (...) such testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
In this paper, the defeasible argumentation scheme for practical reasoning (Walton 1990) is revised. To replace the old scheme, two new schemes are presented, each with a matching set of critical questions. One is a purely instrumental scheme, while the other is a more complex scheme that takes values into account. It is argued that a given instance of practical reasoning can be evaluated, using schemes and sets of critical questions, in three ways: by attacking one or more (...) premises of the argument, by attacking the inferential link between the premises and conclusion, or by mounting a counter-argument. It is argued that such an evaluation can be carried out in many cases using an argument diagram structure in which all components of the practical reasoning in the case are represented as premises, conclusions, and inferential links between them that can be labeled as argumentation schemes. This system works if every critical question can be classified as a assumption of or an exception to the original argument. However, it is also argued that this system does not work in all cases, namely those where epistemic closure is problematic because of intractable disputes about burden of proof. (shrink)
We have previously built a small IKg ([Angle 89] and [Brooks 89]) six legged walking robot named Genghis. It was remarkably successful as a testbed to develop walking and learning algorithms. It encouraged us to build a more fully engineered robot with higher performance. We are building two copies of the robot, both 1.6Kg in mass. Their generic name is Attila. Attila has 24 actuators and over 150 sensors, all connected via a local network (the I2C bus) to 11 (...) onboard computers. (shrink)
Once seen as synonymous with "anti-feminism" postfeminism is now understood as the theoretical meeting ground between feminism and anti-foundationalist movements such as postmodernism, post-structuralism and post-colonialsm. In this clear exposition of some of the major debates, theorists and practitioners, Ann Brooks shows how feminism is being redefined for the twenty first century. Individual chapters look at postfeminism in relation to feminist epistemology, Foucault, psychoanalytic theory and semiology, postmodernism and postcolonialism, cultural politics, popular culture, film and media, and sexuality and (...) identity. For all students looking for guidance through the sometimes murky waters of contemporary feminist theory, this book will provide a reassuring first port of call. (shrink)
In common usage, quietism is often conflated with passivity, and pacifism is often equated with quietism. As a result, pacifism has often been confused with passivity. In the antebellum United States, John Brown and other militant abolitionists who endorsed the use of violent antislavery tactics criticized nonviolent reformers like William Lloyd Garrison as men of words instead of men of action. Garrison and his allies rejected the equation of their pacifism with quietism, but the charge that Garrisonian abolitionists were more (...) passive than Brown still survives. In fact, the most recent scholarship on John Brown has tended to reinforce Brown's own division of the movement into active reformers like himself and less radical pacifists like Garrison. In this article, McDaniel challenges this polarized view of the abolitionist movement, which is partly the product of the common polarization of quietism and activism. He shows that both Garrison and Brown were complex icons, neither of whom can be easily categorized as a quietist or activist. A careful look at the antislavery movement suggests, therefore, that pacifism and quietism are not synonymous. Moreover, a careful look at Brown suggests that quietism and activism are not antonyms. On some definitions of quietism, McDaniel argues, even a violent activist like Brown can exhibit quietistic aspects. This article therefore challenges, as well, the common connotation of quietism as inaction. (shrink)
Informal Logic is an introductory guidebook to the basic principles of constructing sound arguments and criticizing bad ones. Non-technical in approach, it is based on 186 examples, which Douglas Walton, a leading authority in the field of informal logic, discusses and evaluates in clear, illustrative detail. Walton explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical responses. Among the many (...) subjects covered are: forms of valid argument, defeasible arguments, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, straw man argument, jumping to a conclusion, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in drawing conclusions from polls and statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, arguments from analogy, and techniques of posing, replying to, and criticizing questions. This new edition takes into account many new developments in the field of argumentation study that have occurred since 1989, many created by the author. Drawing on these developments, Walton includes and analyzes 36 new topical examples and also brings in recent work on argumentation schemes. Ideally suited for use in courses in informal logic and introduction to philosophy, this book will also be valuable to students of pragmatics, rhetoric, and speech communication. (shrink)
A "slippery slope argument" is a type of argument in which a first step is taken and a series of inextricable consequences follow, ultimately leading to a disastrous outcome. Many textbooks on informal logic and critical thinking treat the slippery slope argument as a fallacy. Walton argues that used correctly in some cases, they can be a reasonable type of argument to shift a burden of proof in a critical discussion, while in other cases they are used incorrectly. (...) class='Hi'>Walton identifies and analyzes four types of slippery slope argument. Walton presents guidelines that show how each type of slippery slope argument can be used correctly or incorrectly, using over fifty case studies of argumentation on controversial issues. These include abortion, medical research on human embryos, euthanasia, the decriminalization of marijuana, pornography, and censorship, and banning of American flag burning. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that - despite the absence of any clear influence of one theory on the other - the legal theories of Dworkin and Hegel share several similar and, at times, unique positions that join them together within a distinctive school of legal theory, sharing a middle position between natural law and legal positivism. In addition, each theory can help the other in addressing certain internal difficulties. By recognizing both Hegel and Dworkin as proponents of a position (...) lying in between natural law and legal positivist jurisprudence, we can gain clarity in why their general legal theories seem to fit uncomfortably, if indeed they can be said to fit at all, within so many different camps - while fitting comfortably in no particular camp - as well as highlight what has been overlooked. (shrink)
This article argues that even if we grant that murderers may deserve death in principle, retributivists should still oppose capital punishment. The reason? Our inability to know with certainty whether or not individuals possess the necessary level of desert. In large part due to advances in science, we can only be sure that no matter how well the trial is administered or how many appeals are allowed or how many years we let elapse, we will continue to execute innocent persons (...) for as long as we legalize capital punishment. Thus, on grounds of desert, this article argues that retributivists should oppose capital punishment. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence research has foundered on the issue of representation. When intelligence is approached in an incremental manner, with strict reliance on interfacing to the real world through perception and action, reliance on representation disappears. In this paper we outline our approach to incrementally building complete intelligent Creatures. The fundamental decomposition of the intelligent system is not into independent information processing units which must interface with each other via representations. Instead, the intelligent system is decomposed into independent and parallel activity (...) producers which all interface directly to the world through perception and action, rather than interface to each other particularly much. The notions of central and peripheral systems evaporateeverything is both central and peripheral. Based on these principles we have built a very successful series of mobile robots which operate without supervision as Creatures in standard office environments. (shrink)
Polygamy is a hotly contested practice and open to widespread misunderstandings. This practice is defined as a relationship between either one husband and multiple wives or one wife and multiple husbands. Today, 'polygamy' almost exclusively takes the form of one husband with multiple wives. In this article, my focus will centre on limited defences of polygamy offered recently by Chesire Calhoun and Martha Nussbaum. I will argue that these defences are unconvincing. The problem with polygamy is primarily that it is (...) a structurally inegalitarian practice in both theory and fact. Polygamy should be opposed for this reason. (shrink)
It is widely accepted by the scientific community and beyond that human beings are primarily responsible for climate change and that climate change has brought with it a number of real problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, greater threats to coastal communities, greater risk of famine, and greater risk that tropical diseases may spread to new territory. In keeping with J. S. Mill's 'Harm Principle', green political theorists often respond that if we are contributing a harm to (...) others in contributing to climate change and its negative effects, we then have a negative duty to assist those we have harmed and to reduce our carbon emissions. In this paper, I will take seriously negative duties stemming from a contribution to climate change and demonstrate that our negative duties do not demand that we necessarily end our contribution to climate change if we were able to compensate those who may be affected by climate change. Thus, the conclusion of many green political theorists - that we must reduce our carbon emissions - does not necessarily follow from the view that humans are primarily responsible for climate change and its attended ill effects. (shrink)
I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be (...) ontological committed to what I will call almost nothings. Examples of almost nothings include holes, cracks, and shadows; almost nothings thrive in the absence of ‘positive’ entities such as donuts, walls, and sunlight. Let’s focus on holes, since the literature on them is voluminous.2 We quantify over holes, and even count them: we say, for example, that there are some holes in the cheese, seven to be precise. We ascribe features to them and talk as though they stand in relations: that hole is three feet wide, much wider than that tire over there. Holes apparently persist through time, as evidenced by the fact that my sweater has the same hole in it as the last time you saw me wear it. We even talk as though holes are causally efficacious: my ankle was badly sprained because I stepped in that hole in the sidewalk.3 It seems then that we believe in holes. If our beliefs are true, holes must enjoy some kind of reality. This puts the ontological monist in an uncomfortable position. According to her, everything that there is enjoys the same kind of reality, which is the kind of reality enjoyed by full-fledged concrete entities such as ourselves. She is committed to the unpleasant claim that holes are just as real as concretia, a claim that is apt to be met with incredulous stares by those not acquainted with contemporary metaphysics. Roy Sorensen (2008, p. 19) notes the tension almost nothings generate for ontological monists: ‘… it feels paradoxical to say that absences exist—but no better to say that absences do not exist’.. (shrink)
It is a very great honor to address my friends and colleagues as president of the American Society for Aesthetics, an organization that plays a unique role in a field that is, at once, a major traditional branch of philosophy and also central to disciplines often regarded as remote from philosophy, as well as depending crucially on their contributions.
Philosophical questions concerning parts and wholes have received a tremendous amount of the attention of contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In what follows, I discuss some of the central questions. The questions to be discussed are: how general is parthood? Are there different kinds of parthood or ways to be a part? Can two things be composed of the same parts? When does composition occur? Can material objects gain or lose parts? What is the logical form of the parthood relation enjoyed by (...) material objects? (shrink)
The claim that composition is identity is an intuition in search of a formulation. The farmer’s field is made of six plots, and in some sense is nothing more than those six plots. According to the friend of composition as identity, the six plots are identical with the farmer’s field.1 Some philosophers, such as Peter van Inwagen (1994), have claimed that the view that composition is identity is incoherent. Van Inwagen cites the apparent ungrammaticality of sentences like ‘the six plots (...) are the farmer’s field’ as evidence for his view. Perhaps van Inwagen is right, but I needn’t settle this question here. I will argue against the view that composition is identity, whatever that view amounts to, in the following way. First, I will elucidate a principle called ‘the Plural Duplication Principle’ [PDP]. Any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity— i.e., any way that properly conforms to the intuitions that lead one to utter this slogan— must validate PDP. Second, I argue that PDP is false. So any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity is false. The slogan that composition is identity will be refuted prior to being properly formulated. Following David Lewis (1986: 59-63), let us say that x and y are duplicates just in case there is a 1-1 correspondence between their parts that preserves perfectly natural properties and relations. Suppose that A is identical with B. Then any duplicate of A must also be a duplicate of B. This follows via Leibniz’s Law: if some duplicate of A were not.. (shrink)
The problem of global poverty has reached terrifying proportions. Since the end of the Cold War, ordinary deaths from starvation and preventable diseases amount to approximately 250 million people, most of them children. Thomas Pogge argues that wealthy states have a responsibility to help those in severe poverty. This responsibility arises from the foreseeable and avoidable harm the current global institutional order has perpetrated on poor states. Pogge demands that wealthy states eradicate global poverty not merely because they have the (...) resources, but because they share responsibility for its continuation. For Pogge, global poverty is more than a wrong imposed on the poor: it is a violation of human rights and a crime. In this paper, I critically examine Pogge's claim that global poverty is a crime. My aim is to demonstrate that Pogge's conclusions do not follow from his arguments. That is, if affluent states have a negative duty to assist those in severe poverty, their duty is not absolute because they are not fully responsible for this poverty. Moreover, if global poverty is one of the greatest crimes against humanity, then it seems inappropriate at best to champion proposals, pace Pogge, that lets the guilty parties walk free. (shrink)
The problem of qualitative heterogeneity is to explain how an extended simple can enjoy qualitative variation across its spatial or temporal axes, given that it lacks both spatial and temporal parts. I discuss how friends of extended simples should address the problem of qualitative heterogeneity. I present a series of arguments designed to show that rather than appealing to fundamental distributional properties one should appeal to tiny and short-lived tropes. Along the way, issues relevant to debates about material composition, persistence (...) over time and existence monism are discussed.  . (shrink)
Composition as Identity is the view that, in some sense, a whole is numerically identical with its parts. Compositional universalism is the view that, whenever there are some things, there is a whole composed of those things. Despite the claims of many philosophers, these views are logically independent. Here, I will show that composition as identity does not entail compositional universalism.
I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism (but some of my best friends are!), (...) like many I continue to be fascinated by the doctrine. (shrink)
In this paper, I formulate, elucidate, and defend a version of modal realism with overlap , the view that objects are literally present at more than one possible world. The version that I defend has several interesting features: (i) it is committed to an ontological distinction between regions of spacetime and material objects; (ii) it is committed to compositional pluralism , which is the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental part-whole relation; and (iii) it is the modal analogue (...) of endurantism , which is the doctrine that objects persist through time by being wholly present at each moment they are located. (shrink)
The most widespread interpretation amongst contemporary theorists of Kant's theory of punishment is that it is retributivist. On the contrary, I will argue there are very different senses in which Kant discusses punishment. He endorses retribution for moral law transgressions and consequentialist considerations for positive law violations. When these standpoints are taken into consideration, Kant's theory of punishment is more coherent and unified than previously thought. This reading uncovers a new problem in Kant's theory of punishment. By assuming a potential (...) offender's intentional disposition as Kant does without knowing it for certain, we further exacerbate the opportunity for misdiagnosis. (shrink)
If _presentism_ is true, then no wholly non-present events exist. If _absence orthodoxy_ is true, then no absences exist. I discuss a well-known causal argument against presentism, and develop a very similar argument against absence orthodoxy. I argue that solutions to the argument against absence orthodoxy can be adopted by the presentist as solutions to the argument against presentism. The upshot is that if the argument against absence orthodoxy fails, then so does the argument against presentism.
In a recent article, Thomas Christiano defends the intrinsic justice of democracy grounded in the principle of equal consideration of interests. Each citizen is entitled to a single vote, equal in weight to all other citizens. The problem with this picture is that all citizens must meet a threshold of minimal competence. My argument is that Christiano is wrong to claim a minimum threshold of competency is fully consistent with the principle of equality. While standards of minimal competency may be (...) justifiable, these standards justify political inequality. This paper explores the relationship between equality and democracy in terms of minimal competency, demonstrating how minimal competency is justified and why it is inegalitarian in interesting ways. (shrink)
It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those attempts, we draw a moral that leads us to the correct account of conditional desires. We then extend the account of conditional desires to an account of all desires. It emerges that desires do not have the structure that they have been thought to have. We attempt to (...) explain the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic desire in light of our account of desire. We show how to use our account to solve Wollheim's paradox of democracy and to save modus ponens. Finally, we extend the account of desire to related phenomena, such as conditional promises, intentions, and commands. (shrink)