An analysis of some ethical argumentation about genetically modified food

Argument and Computation 15 (1):1-20 (2024)
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We present an analysis of ethical argumentation and rhetorical elements in an article on the debate about growing genetically modified food (GMF), an issue of current interest in environmental ethics. Ethical argumentation is argumentation that a certain action is permissible, forbidden, or obligatory in terms of ethical intuitions, principles, or theories. Based on analysis of argumentation in the article, we propose several argumentation schemes for descriptive modeling of utilitarian arguments as an alternative to using more general schemes such as practical reasoning and argument from consequences. We also show how the article promoted its pro-GMF stance using rhetorical elements such as quotation, argument from expert opinion, and ad hominem attacks. Pedagogical and computational implications of the analysis of argumentation and rhetoric are discussed.



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