Effing the Ineffable: The Logocentric Fallacy in Argumentation [Book Review]

Argumentation 16 (1):21-32 (2002)
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Words, just because they are words, are not inherently clear. The message they contain becomes clear to those who speak the language and are familiar with the issues and contexts. If the message lacks linguistic clarity the recipient of the message will typically make a query that will bring forth further information intended to clarify. The result might be more words, but it might also involve pointing or drawing, or words that utilize other modes such as references to context, history, and so on. If the ambiguity derives from an inconsistency between, say, words and behaviour, one may look to either mode for clarity. Communication, we must accept, actually occurs in messages, and our ability to transmit information may be limited by any number of factors. When we focus entirely on discursive aspects of communication we limit both the ways in which we receive and ways in which we transmit information. The logocentric fallacy is committed when language, especially in it's most logical guise, is seen to be the only form of rational communication



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Michael A. Gilbert
York University

References found in this work

Coalescent argumentation.Michael A. Gilbert - 1995 - Argumentation 9 (5):837-852.
Multi-modal argumentation.Michael A. Gilbert - 1994 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (2):159-177.
Interpretation and Preciseness.Arne Naess - 1953 - Synthese 9 (6):413-416.
A Theory of Argumentation.Charles Arthur Willard - 1989 - Tuscaloosa, AL, USA: University of Alabama Press.
A Theory of Argumentation.Charles Arthur Willard - 1991 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 24 (2):174-179.

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