Normative theories of argumentation: are some norms better than others?

Synthese 190 (16):3579-3610 (2013)
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Abstract

Norms—that is, specifications of what we ought to do—play a critical role in the study of informal argumentation, as they do in studies of judgment, decision-making and reasoning more generally. Specifically, they guide a recurring theme: are people rational? Though rules and standards have been central to the study of reasoning, and behavior more generally, there has been little discussion within psychology about why (or indeed if) they should be considered normative despite the considerable philosophical literature that bears on this topic. In the current paper, we ask what makes something a norm, with consideration both of norms in general and a specific example: norms for informal argumentation. We conclude that it is both possible and desirable to invoke norms for rational argument, and that a Bayesian approach provides solid normative principles with which to do so

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Ulrike Hahn
Birkbeck College

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1973 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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