The Rhetorical Unconscious of Argumentation Theory: Toward a Deep Rhetoric

Philosophy and Rhetoric 46 (4):392-414 (2013)

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Abstract
The contemporary study of argumentation has adopted a fundamentally rhetorical account of the standards of rationality, although it has also developed several ways to deny this. One is by obscuring the fact that its standards of rationality are primarily communicative and that an audience of some kind is the ultimate judge of the strength of arguments. Another is by defining “rhetoric” in such a way that it can no longer play any role in providing rational normativity. I want to challenge these denials by pressing a single question. The question is: if formal validity is no longer the standard for evaluating arguments, then exactly what is? I direct this question at three highly developed, systematic, and ..
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DOI 10.5325/philrhet.46.4.0392
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