Argumentation 26 (1):99-114 (2012)

This paper discusses the definition of argumentation as a means for persuading an audience on the acceptability of a thesis. It is argued that persuasion is a goal that relates more to the communicative situation, the type of interaction or the type of discourse, rather than to the argumentative nature of it. Departing from the analysis of a short conversational sequence between people who agree on an issue and nevertheless argue, I suggest that a definition of argumentation in terms of persuasion fails to account for what people are actually doing in these situations. I propose instead that several functions may be assigned to argumentation when considering the context in which it is produced: a cognitive function (which helps participants to elaborate a position on the discussed issue), and an identifying function (which enables them to portray themselves through the expression and the justification of their opinion). In the case analyzed here, a third function to which the argumentative activity contributes can also be identified, namely the enhancing of the emotional tonality of the relationship between the participants. While it becomes clear from the discussion of this argumentative sequence that the participants do not seek to persuade each other or some third party, it is not suggested that argumentation never aims at persuading an audience, but rather that persuasion cannot be considered as a defining feature of argumentation
Keywords Interaction  Argumentation  Persuasion as defining feature  Persuasion as a contextual goal
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-011-9237-4
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References found in this work BETA

The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation.Chaïm Perelman - 1969 - Notre Dame, [Ind.]University of Notre Dame Press.
Rhetoric. Aristotle & C. D. C. Reeve - 2018 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Coalescent Argumentation.Michael A. Gilbert - 1995 - Argumentation 9 (5):837-852.
Argument Has No Function.Jean Goodwin - 2007 - Informal Logic 27 (1):69-90.

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Citations of this work BETA

Frozen.Kati Hannken-Illjes & Ines Bose - 2019 - Informal Logic 39 (4):465-495.

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