In this paper, a reaction is presented to Siegel’s claim that the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation ignores or neglects epistemological viewpoints that he finds vital to any normative theory of argumentation. The focus is on the most important problems in Siegel’s argument: 1) the ambiguity of the term ‘argument’ and the alleged negligence of this ambiguity in pragma-dialectics; 2) the critical rational perspective of the pragma-dialectical account; and 3) the alleged negligence of the “abstract propositional sense” of argument in pragma-dialectics.
This article discusses Harvey Siegel’s general justification of the epistemological theory of argumentation in his seminal essay “Arguing with Arguments." On the one hand, the achievements of this essay are honoured—in particular, a thorough differentiation of the different meanings of ‘argument’ and ‘argumentation,’ the semantic justification of the fundamentality of arguments as sequences of propositions, and the detailed critiques of alternative theories of argumentation. On the other hand, suggestions for strengthening the theory are added to Siegel's expositions, which make different (...) perspectives within the epistemological theory of argumentation recognisable. (shrink)
This paper is a response to H. Siegel’s “Arguing with Arguments” from a rhetorical perspective on argumentation. First I address Siegel’s concept of ‘argument in its abstract propositional sense’ and attempt to show that it is not at all an obvious object that should unquestionably be the privileged focus of argumentation theory. I then defend C. W. Tindale’s rhetorical perspective on argumentation against some of Siegel’s misreadings and also some of his legitimate disagreements regarding the relations between _persuasion_ and _rational_ (...) _justification_ and the way we should understand the source of argumentative normativity. (shrink)
‘Argument’ has multiple meanings and referents in contemporary argumentation theory. Theorists are well aware of this but often fail to acknowledge it in their theories. In what follows, I distinguish several senses of ‘argument’ and argue that some highly visible theories are largely correct about some senses of the term but not others. In doing so, I hope to show that apparent theoretical rivals are better seen as collaborators or partners, rather than rivals, in the multi-disciplinary effort to understand ‘argument,’ (...) arguments, and argumentation in all their varieties. I argue as well for a pluralistic approach to argument evaluation and argumentative norms, since arguments and argumentation can be legitimately evaluated along several dimensions, but urge that epistemic norms enjoy conceptual priority. (shrink)