Argumentation 35 (4):629-643 (2021)

Authors
Michael D. Baumtrog
Ryerson University
Abstract
This paper offers insights into the nature and design of critical questions as they are found in argumentation schemes. In the first part of the paper, I address some general concerns regarding their purpose and formulation. These include a discussion of their evaluative function, their relationship with the patterns of reasoning they accompany, as well as the differing formulations of critical questions currently on offer. I argue that the purpose of critical questions for humans ought to be to provide the means for a scalar evaluation of the reasoning at hand. To do so, critical questions should be closely paired with individual premises in the accompanying pattern of reasoning and be open-ended. Doing so allows the roles of raising considerations relevant for the reasoning and scrutinizing those considerations to be clearly distinguished. In the second part of the paper, I offer a positive methodological proposal for the construction of questions and premises that aims at overcoming a number of the individual and systematic shortcomings of extant question styles. The paper concludes by arguing that the newly proposed approach is both normatively strong and practically useful for argumentation in context.
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-021-09549-z
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Neil Walton, Christopher Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

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