Reflective Argumentation: A Cognitive Function of Arguing

Argumentation 30 (4):365-397 (2016)
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Why do we formulate arguments? Usually, things such as persuading opponents, finding consensus, and justifying knowledge are listed as functions of arguments. But arguments can also be used to stimulate reflection on one’s own reasoning. Since this cognitive function of arguments should be important to improve the quality of people’s arguments and reasoning, for learning processes, for coping with “wicked problems,” and for the resolution of conflicts, it deserves to be studied in its own right. This contribution develops first steps towards a theory of reflective argumentation. It provides a definition of reflective argumentation, justifies its importance, delineates it from other cognitive functions of argumentation in a new classification of argument functions, and it discusses how reflection on one’s own reasoning can be stimulated by arguments.



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Michael H. G. Hoffmann
Georgia Institute of Technology

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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
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Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton, Christopher Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.

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