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Virtue in argument

Argumentation 24 (2):165-179 (2010)

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  1. Argumentation and the Challenge of Time: Perelman, Temporality, and the Future of Argument.Blake D. Scott - 2020 - Argumentation 34 (1):25-37.
    Central to Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca’s philosophical revival of rhetoric and dialectic is the importance given to the temporal character of argumentation. Unlike demonstration, situated within the “empty time” of a single instant, the authors of The New Rhetoric understand argumentation as an action that unfolds within the “full time” of meaningful human life. By taking a broader view of his work beyond The New Rhetoric, I first outline Perelman’s understanding of time and temporality and the challenge that it poses for (...)
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  • Open-Mindedness as a Critical Virtue.Jack M. C. Kwong - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):403-411.
    This paper proposes to examine Daniel Cohen’s recent attempt to apply virtues to argumentation theory, with special attention given to his explication of how open-mindedness can be regarded as an argumentational or critical virtue. It is argued that his analysis involves a contentious claim about open-mindedness as an epistemic virtue, which generates a tension for agents who are simultaneously both an arguer and a knower (or who strive to be both). I contend that this tension can be eased or resolved (...)
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  • The Virtuous Troll: Argumentative Virtues in the Age of Argumentative Pluralism.Daniel H. Cohen - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (2):179-189.
    Technology has made argumentation rampant. We can argue whenever we want. With social media venues for every interest, we can also argue about whatever we want. To some extent, we can select our opponents and audiences to argue with whomever we want. And we can argue however we want, whether in carefully reasoned, article-length expositions, real-time exchanges, or 140-character polemics. The concepts of arguing, arguing well, and even being an arguer have evolved with this new multiplicity and diversity; theory needs (...)
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  • Virtue and Arguers.José Ángel Gascón - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):441-450.
    Is a virtue approach in argumentation possible without committing the ad hominem fallacy? My answer is affirmative, provided that the object study of our theory is well delimited. My proposal is that a theory of argumentative virtue should not focus on argument appraisal, as has been assumed, but on those traits that make an individual achieve excellence in argumentative practices. An agent-based approach in argumentation should be developed, not in order to find better grounds for argument appraisal, but to gain (...)
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  • Intellectual Humility, Confidence, and Argumentation.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):395-402.
    In this paper, I explore the relationship of virtue, argumentation, and philosophical conduct by considering the role of the specific virtue of intellectual humility in the practice of philosophical argumentation. I have three aims: first, to sketch an account of this virtue; second, to argue that it can be cultivated by engaging in argumentation with others; and third, to problematize this claim by drawing upon recent data from social psychology. My claim is that philosophical argumentation can be conducive to the (...)
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  • Is Open-Mindedness Conducive to Truth?Jack M. C. Kwong - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Open-mindedness is generally regarded as an intellectual virtue because its exercise reliably leads to truth. However, some theorists have argued that open-mindedness’s truth-conduciveness is highly contingent, pointing out that it is either not truth-conducive at all under certain scenarios or no better than dogmatism or credulity in others. Given such shaky ties to truth, it would appear that the status of open-mindedness as an intellectual virtue is in jeopardy. In this paper, I propose to defend open-mindedness against these challenges. In (...)
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  • Brothers in Arms: Virtue and Pragma-Dialectics.José Ángel Gascón - 2017 - Argumentation 31 (4):705-724.
    Virtue argumentation theory focuses on the arguers’ character, whereas pragma-dialectics focuses on argumentation as a procedure. In this paper I attempt to explain that both theories are not opposite approaches to argumentation. I argue that, with the help of some non-fundamental changes in pragma-dialectics and some restrictions in virtue argumentation theory, it is possible to regard these theories as complementary approaches to the argumentative practice.
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  • Reasoning and Arguing, Dialectically and Dialogically, Among Individual and Multiple Participants.Michael D. Baumtrog - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (1):77-98.
    Within three of the most well-known contemporary approaches to argumentation, the notions of solo argumentation and arguing with one’s self are given little attention and are typically argued to be able to be subsumed within the dialectical aspects of the approach being propounded. Challenging these claims, this paper has two main aims. The first is to argue that while dialogical argumentation may be most common, there exists individual dialectical argumentation, which is not so easily subsumed within these theories. Second, in (...)
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  • Virtuous Arguers: Responsible and Reliable.José Ángel Gascón - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (2):155-173.
    Virtuous arguers are expected to manifest virtues such as intellectual humility and open-mindedness, but from such traits the quality of arguments does not immediately follow. However, it also seems implausible that a virtuous arguer can systematically put forward bad arguments. How could virtue argumentation theory combine both insights? The solution, I argue, lies in an analogy with virtue epistemology: considering both responsibilist and reliabilist virtues gives us a fuller picture of the virtuous arguer.
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  • Teaching Critical Thinking Virtues and Vices.Stuart Hanscomb - 2019 - Teaching Philosophy 42 (3):173-195.
    In the film and play Twelve Angry Men, Juror 8 confronts the prejudices and poor reasoning of his fellow jurors, exhibiting an unwavering capacity not just to formulate and challenge arguments, but to be open-minded, stay calm, tolerate uncertainty, and negotiate in the face of considerable group pressures. In a perceptive and detailed portrayal of a group deliberation a ‘wheel of virtue’ is presented by the characters of Twelve Angry Men that allows for critical thinking virtues and vices to be (...)
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  • The Roles We Make Others Take: Thoughts on the Ethics of Arguing.Katharina Stevens - 2019 - Topoi 38 (4):693-709.
    Feminist argumentation theorists have criticized the Dominant Adversarial Model in argumentation, according to which arguers should take proponent and opponent roles and argue against one another. The model is deficient because it creates disadvantages for feminine gendered persons in a way that causes significant epistemic and practical harms. In this paper, I argue that the problem that these critics have pointed out can be generalized: whenever an arguer is given a role in the argument the associated tasks and norms of (...)
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  • Courageous Arguments and Deep Disagreements.Andrew Aberdein - forthcoming - Topoi:1-8.
    Deep disagreements are characteristically resistant to rational resolution. This paper explores the contribution a virtue theoretic approach to argumentation can make towards settling the practical matter of what to do when confronted with apparent deep disagreement, with particular attention to the virtue of courage.
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  • La virtud abductiva y la regla de introducción de hipótesis en deducción natural.Alejandro Ramírez Figueroa - 2014 - Revista de Filosofia Aurora 26 (39):487.
    Desde que Peirce la creara, la naturaleza de la inferencia abductiva ha sido interpretada de muchas maneras. Se analizan tres interpretaciones de ella y algunas de sus derivaciones, para luego examinar la posibilidad de considerar la abducción como una virtud argumentativa, de carácter cognitivo, en consonancia con las teorías actuales de las virtudes epistemológicas surgidas a partir de la obra de E. Sosa y de las virtudes argumentativas según A. Aberdein. Sobre la base de dicha interpretación se propone que la (...)
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  • Recognizing Argument Types and Adding Missing Reasons.Christoph Lumer - 2019 - In Bart J. Garssen, David Godden, Gordon Mitchell & Jean Wagemans (eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA). [Amsterdam, July 3-6, 2018.]. Amsterdam (Netherlands): pp. 769-777.
    The article develops and justifies, on the basis of the epistemological argumentation theory, two central pieces of the theory of evaluative argumentation interpretation: 1. criteria for recognizing argument types and 2. rules for adding reasons to create ideal arguments. Ad 1: The criteria for identifying argument types are a selection of essential elements from the definitions of the respective argument types. Ad 2: After presenting the general principles for adding reasons (benevolence, authenticity, immanence, optimization), heuristics are proposed for finding missing (...)
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  • Biases and Fallacies.Vasco Correia - 2011 - Cogency: Journal of Reasoning and Argumentation 3 (1):107-126.
    This paper focuses on the effects of motivational biases on the way people reason and debate in everyday life. Unlike heuristics and cognitive biases, motivational biases are typically caused by the influence of a desire or an emotion on the cognitive processes involved in judgmental and inferential reasoning. In line with the ‘motivational’ account of irrationality, I argue that these biases are the cause of a number of fallacies that ordinary arguers commit unintentionally, particularly when the commitment to a given (...)
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  • Pursuing Objectivity: How Virtuous Can You Get?Gascón José Ángel - unknown
    While, in common usage, objectivity is usually regarded as a virtue, and failures to be objective as vices, this concept tends to be absent in argumentation theory. This paper will explore the possibility of taking objectivity as an argumentative virtue. Several problems immediately arise: could objectivity be understood in positive terms— not only as mere absence of bias? Is it an attainable ideal? Or perhaps objectivity could be explained as a combination of other virtues?
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  • Reply to Commentary on “Patrick Bondy, Bias in Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments”.Patrick Bondy - unknown
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  • Commentary on Explicating and Negotiating Bias in Interdisciplinary Argumentation Using Abductive Tools.Tracy A. Bowell - unknown
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  • Evaluating Narrative Arguments.Al Tamimi Khameiel - unknown
    This paper addresses the question of how to evaluate narrative arguments. I will be discussing how to evaluate narrative arguments as process as opposed to arguments as product, as with dominant accounts of argument appraisal such as informal logic. The first part of this paper will show that dominant accounts of argument evaluation are not fit for narrative arguments because they focus on the product of argument. The second part of the paper will develop an account of argument evaluation for (...)
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  • Bias in Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments.Bondy Patrick - unknown
    This paper is about bias and ad hominem arguments. It will begin by rehearsing some reasons for thinking that there are both legitimate and illegitimate ad hominems, as well as reasons for thinking that biases can be both justified and unjustified. It will explain that justified biases about people with certain social identities can give rise to both legitimate and illegitimate ad hominem attacks, while unjustified biases only give rise to illegitimate ad hominems. The paper will then describe Audrey Yap’s (...)
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  • Commentary on Patrick Bondy, “Bias in Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments”.Andrew Aberdein - 2016 - Argumentation, Objectivity and Bias: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA), May 18–21, 2016.
  • DAMed If You Do; DAMed If You Don’T: Cohen’s “Missed Opportunities”.Bailin Sharon & Battersby Mark - unknown
    In his paper, “Missed Opportunities in Argument Evaluation,” Daniel Cohen has in his sights a “curious” asymmetry in how we evaluate arguments: while we criticize arguments for failing to point out obvious objections to the proposed line of reasoning, we do not consider it critically culpable to fail to take into account arguments for the position. Cohen views this omission as a missed opportunity, for which he lays the blame largely at the metaphorical feet of the “Dominant Adversarial Model” of (...)
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  • Inquiry: A New Paradigm for Critical Thinking.Mark Battersby (ed.) - 2018 - Windsor, Canada: Windsor Studies in Argumentation.
    This volume reflects the development and theoretical foundation of a new paradigm for critical thinking based on inquiry. The field of critical thinking, as manifested in the Informal Logic movement, developed primarily as a response to the inadequacies of formalism to represent actual argumentative practice and to provide useful argumentative skills to students. Because of this, the primary focus of the field has been on informal arguments rather than formal reasoning. Yet the formalist history of the field is still evident (...)
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  • Attacking Character: Ad Hominem Argument and Virtue Epistemology.Heather Battaly - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (4):361-390.
    The recent literature on ad hominem argument contends that the speaker’s character is sometimes relevant to evaluating what she says. This effort to redeem ad hominems requires an analysis of character that explains why and how character is relevant. I argue that virtue epistemology supplies this analysis. Three sorts of ad hominems that attack the speaker’s intellectual character are legitimate. They attack a speaker’s: (1) possession of reliabilist vices; or (2) possession of responsibilist vices; or (3) failure to perform intellectually (...)
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  • In Defence of Virtue: The Legitimacy of Agent-Based Argument Appraisal.Andrew Aberdein - 2014 - Informal Logic 34 (1):77-93.
    Several authors have recently begun to apply virtue theory to argumentation. Critics of this programme have suggested that no such theory can avoid committing an ad hominem fallacy. This criticism is shown to trade unsuccessfully on an ambiguity in the definition of ad hominem. The ambiguity is resolved and a virtue-theoretic account of ad hominem reasoning is defended.
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  • Virtue and Argument: Taking Character Into Account.Tracy Bowell & Justine Kingsbury - 2013 - Informal Logic 33 (1):22-32.
    In this paper we consider the prospects for an account of good argument that takes the character of the arguer into consideration. We conclude that although there is much to be gained by identifying the virtues of the good arguer and by considering the ways in which these virtues can be developed in ourselves and in others, virtue argumentation theory does not offer a plausible alternative definition of good argument.
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  • The Ethics of Argumentation.Vasco Correia - 2012 - Informal Logic 32 (2):222-241.
    Normative theories of argumentation tend to assume that logical and dialectical rules suffice to ensure the rationality of argumentative discourse. Yet, in everyday debates people use arguments that seem valid in light of such rules but nonetheless biased and tendentious. This article seeks to show that the rationality of argumentation can only be fully promoted if we take into account its ethical dimension. To substantiate this claim, I review some of the empirical evidence indicating that people’s inferential reasoning is systematically (...)
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  • Virtue, In Context.Daniel H. Cohen - 2013 - Informal Logic 33 (4):471-485.
    Virtue argumentation theory provides the best framework for accommodating the notion of an argument that is “fully satisfying” in a robust and integrated sense. The process of explicating the notion of fully satisfying arguments requires expanding the concept of arguers to include all of an argument’s participants, including judges, juries, and interested spectators. And that, in turn, requires expanding the concept of an argument itself to include its entire context.
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  • Critical Thinking in Moral Argumentation Contexts: A Virtue Ethical Approach.Michelle Ciurria - 2012 - Informal Logic 32 (2):242-258.
    In traditional analytic philosophy, critical thinking is defined along Cartesian lines as rational and linear reasoning preclusive of intuitions, emotions and lived experience. According to Michael Gilbert, this view – which he calls the Natural Light Theory (NLT) – fails because it arbitrarily excludes standard feminist forms of argumentation and neglects the essentially social nature of argumentation. In this paper, I argue that while Gilbert’s criticism is correct for argumentation in general, NLT fails in a distinctive and particularly problematic manner (...)
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  • Visual Arguments and Meta-Arguments.Ian J. Dove - unknown
    Visual arguments—arguments that appeal to visual elements essentially—are legitimate arguments. To show this, I first consider what I call fit arguments—arguments in which the recognition that items fit together suggests that they were once conjoined, perhaps originally. This form of argumentation is a type of abduction or inference to the best explanation. I then consider mathematical visual meta-arguments—arguments in which the validity or soundness of a mathematical argument is confirmed or refuted by appeal to diagrams.
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  • Fallacy and Argumentational Vice.Andrew Aberdein - 2013 - In Dima Mohammed & Marcin Lewinski (eds.), Virtues of argumentation: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA), May 22–25, 2013. OSSA.
    If good argument is virtuous, then fallacies are vicious. Yet fallacies cannot just be identified with vices, since vices are dispositional properties of agents whereas fallacies are types of argument. Rather, if the normativity of good argumentation is explicable in terms of virtues, we should expect the wrongness of fallacies to be explicable in terms of vices. This approach is defended through case studies of several fallacies, with particular emphasis on the ad hominem.
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  • The Virtuous Arguer: One Person, Four Characters.Katharina von Radziewsky - unknown
    When evaluating the arguer instead of the argument, we soon find ourselves confronted with a puzzling situation: What seems to be a virtue in one argumentative situation could very well be called a vice in another. This talk will present the idea that there are in fact two roles an arguer has to master – and with them four sometimes very different sets of virtues.
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  • Critical Thinking and the Argumentational and Epistemic Virtues.Tracy Bowell & Justine Kingsbury - unknown
    In this paper we argue that while a full-blown virtue-theoretical account of argumentation is implausible, there is scope for augmenting a conventional account of argument by taking a character-oriented turn. We then discuss the characteristics of the good epistemic citizen, and consider approaches to nurturing these characteristics in critical thinking students, in the hope of addressing the problem of lack of transfer of critical thinking skills to the world outside the classroom.
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  • The Virtues of Dissoi Logoi.Victor Ferry - unknown
    My claim is that rhetorical training is required to develop citizenship skills. I illustrate this claim by focussing on dissociation of notions, that is, a rhetorical technique that citizens might have to use in their civic life. After distinguishing a rhetorical and a normative approach to dissociation, I argue that dissoi logoi, as an exercise invented by the Sophists, offer a relevant training to master this technique.
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  • Willingness to Inquire: The Cardinal Critical Thinking Virtue.Benjamin Hamby - unknown
    Critical thinking skills have associated critical thinking virtues, and the internal motivation to carefully examine an issue in an effort to reach a reasoned judgment, what I call the “willingness to inquire”, is the critical thinking virtue that stands behind all skilled and virtuous thinking that contributes to critical thinking. In this paper, I argue that the willingness to inquire is therefore a more primary critical thinking virtue than charity, open-mindedness, or valuing fallacious-free reasoning.
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  • The Epistemic Approach to Argument Evaluation: Virtues, Beliefs, Commitments.Patrick Bondy - manuscript
    This paper discusses virtue argumentation theory, as modeled on virtue epistemology. It argues that virtues of argumentation are interesting but parasitic on a more fundamental account of what makes arguments good. -/- *Note: this is an unpublished manuscript presented at the 2013 conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation. An electronic copy is available in the Conference Archive, linked above.
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  • Virtuous Norms for Visual Arguers.Andrew Aberdein - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (1):1-23.
    This paper proposes that virtue theories of argumentation and theories of visual argumentation can be of mutual assistance. An argument that adoption of a virtue approach provides a basis for rejecting the normative independence of visual argumentation is presented and its premisses analysed. This entails an independently valuable clarification of the contrasting normative presuppositions of the various virtue theories of argumentation. A range of different kinds of visual argument are examined, and it is argued that they may all be successfully (...)
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  • Argumentational Virtues and Incontinent Arguers.Iovan Drehe - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):385-394.
    Argumentation virtue theory is a new field in argumentation studies. As in the case of virtue ethics and virtue epistemology, the study of virtue argumentation draws its inspiration from the works of Aristotle. First, I discuss the specifics of the argumentational virtues and suggest that they have an instrumental nature, modeled on the relation between the Aristotelian intellectual virtue of ‘practical wisdom’ and the moral virtues. Then, inspired by Aristotle’s discussion of akrasia, I suggest that a theory of fallacy in (...)
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  • Why Simpler Arguments Are Better.Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Argumentation 30 (3):247-261.
    In this paper, I argue that, other things being equal, simpler arguments are better. In other words, I argue that, other things being equal, it is rational to prefer simpler arguments over less simple ones. I sketch three arguments in support of this claim: an argument from mathematical proofs, an argument from scientific theories, and an argument from the conjunction rule.
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  • On the Priority of Agent-Based Argumentative Norms.David Godden - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):345-357.
    This paper argues against the priority of pure, virtue-based accounts of argumentative norms [VA]. Such accounts are agent-based and committed to the priority thesis: good arguments and arguing well are explained in terms of some prior notion of the virtuous arguer arguing virtuously. Two problems with the priority thesis are identified. First, the definitional problem: virtuous arguers arguing virtuously are neither sufficient nor necessary for good arguments. Second, the priority problem: the goodness of arguments is not explained virtuistically. Instead, being (...)
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  • Fostering the Virtues of Inquiry.Sharon Bailin & Mark Battersby - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):367-374.
    This paper examines what constitute the virtues of argumentation or critical thinking and how these virtues might be developed. We argue first that the notion of virtue is more appropriate for characterizing this aspect than the notion of dispositions commonly employed by critical thinking theorists and, further, that it is more illuminating to speak of the virtues of inquiry rather than of argumentation. Our central argument is that learning to think critically is a matter of learning to participate knowledgeably and (...)
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  • Introduction: Virtues and Arguments.Andrew Aberdein & Daniel H. Cohen - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):339-343.
    It has been a decade since the phrase virtue argumentation was introduced, and while it would be an exaggeration to say that it burst onto the scene, it would be just as much of an understatement to say that it has gone unnoticed. Trying to strike the virtuous mean between the extremes of hyperbole and litotes, then, we can fairly characterize it as a way of thinking about arguments and argumentation that has steadily attracted more and more attention from argumentation (...)
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  • The Vices of Argument.Andrew Aberdein - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):413-422.
    What should a virtue theory of argumentation say about fallacious reasoning? If good arguments are virtuous, then fallacies are vicious. Yet fallacies cannot just be identified with vices, since vices are dispositional properties of agents whereas fallacies are types of argument. Rather, if the normativity of good argumentation is explicable in terms of virtues, we should expect the wrongness of bad argumentation to be explicable in terms of vices. This approach is defended through analysis of several fallacies, with particular emphasis (...)
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  • The Virtuous Arguer: One Person, Four Roles.Katharina Stevens - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):375-383.
    When evaluating the arguer instead of the argument, we soon find ourselves confronted with a puzzling situation: what seems to be a virtue in one argumentative situation could very well be called a vice in another. This paper will present the idea that there are in fact two sets of virtues an arguer has to master—and with them four sometimes very different roles.
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  • Why Be an Intellectually Humble Philosopher?Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (2):205-218.
    In this paper, I sketch an answer to the question “Why be an intellectually humble philosopher?” I argue that, as far as philosophical argumentation is concerned, the historical record of Western Philosophy provides a straightforward answer to this question. That is, the historical record of philosophical argumentation, which is a track record that is marked by an abundance of alternative theories and serious problems for those theories, can teach us important lessons about the limits of philosophical argumentation. These lessons, in (...)
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  • Are Fallacies Vices?Andrew Ball - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):423-429.
    Why are some arguments fallacious? Since argumentation is an intellectual activity that can be performed better or worse, do we evaluate arguments simply in terms of their content, or does it also make sense to evaluate the arguer in light of the content put forward? From a ‘virtue’ approach, I propose understanding fallacies as having some link with intellectual vice. Drawing from recent work by Paul Grice, Linda Zagzebski, Andrew Aberdein, and Douglas Walton, this essay argues that if there is (...)
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  • Contextual Debiasing and Critical Thinking: Reasons for Optimism.Vasco Correia - 2018 - Topoi 37 (1):103-111.
    In this article I argue that most biases in argumentation and decision-making can and should be counteracted. Although biases can prove beneficial in certain contexts, I contend that they are generally maladaptive and need correction. Yet critical thinking alone seems insufficient to mitigate biases in everyday contexts. I develop a contextualist approach, according to which cognitive debiasing strategies need to be supplemented by extra-psychic devices that rely on social and environmental constraints in order to promote rational reasoning. Finally, I examine (...)
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