Argumentation 36 (2):155-176 (2022)

This paper argues that some words are so highly charged with meaning by a community that they may prevent a discussion during which each participant is on an equal footing. These words are indeed either unanimously accepted or rejected. The presence of these adjectival groups pushes the antagonist to find rhetorical strategies to circumvent them. The main idea we want to develop is that some propositions are not easily debatable in context because of some specific value-bearing words, and one of the goals of this paper is to build a methodological tool for finding and classifying these VBWs. Our study echoes the importance of “cultural keywords” in argument, but is rather based on a German approach developed by,, and about “Miranda” and “Anti-Miranda” words that is expanded and refined here. In particular, our study tries to understand why some statements, fueled by appreciative or evaluative adjectives, have such rhetorical effects on a pragmatic level in the particular context of a vote on the Swiss popular initiative called “for more affordable housing”. This context is fruitful since two parties offer reasons for two opposing policy claims: namely, to accept or to reject an initiative. When one party uses arguments containing such universally unassailable adjectival groups to defend a “yes” vote, the opposing party cannot use a symmetrical antonym while pleading for the “no” vote. The methodological tool that is proposed here could shed light on the use of certain rhetorical and referential strategies in conflicting policy proposition contexts.
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-021-09558-y
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References found in this work BETA

Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation.Douglas Walton - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
Presupposition.David I. Beaver - 1997 - In Johan van Bentham & Alice ter Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language. MIT Press.
Argumentation Mining.Manfred Stede & Jodi Schneider - 2018 - San Rafael, CA, USA: Morgan & Claypool.
The Rhetorical Situation.Lloyd F. Bitzer - 1992 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 25 (1):1 - 14.
Traité de l'Argumentation.Charles Perelman - 1961 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 15 (1):142-144.

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