Norms of Legitimate Dissensus

Informal Logic 27 (2):179-196 (2007)

The paper calls for argumentation theory to learn from moral and political philosophy. Several thinkers in these fields help understand the occurrence of what we may call legitimate dissensus: enduring disagreement even between reasonable people arguing reasonably. It inevitably occurs over practical issues, e.g., issues of action rather than truth, because there will normally be legitimate arguments on both sides, and these will be incommensurable, i.e., they cannot be objectively weighed against each other. Accordingly, ‘inference,’ ‘validity,’ and ‘sufficiency’ are inapplicable notions. Further distinctive features of pro and con arguments in practical argumentation are explored, and some corollaries are drawn regarding evaluative norms of legitimate dissensus. Examples from immigrationrelated public debates in Denmark are given
Keywords argumentation theory, moral philosophy, political philosophy, dissensus, enduring dissensus, practical argumentation, Jürgen Habermas, Plato, Aristotle, John Rawls, Douglas Walton, logical dialogue games, burdens of judgment, stasis system, Isaiah Berlin
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,545
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Why Deliberative Democracy?Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson - 2004 - Princeton University Press.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
Engaging Reason: On the Theory of Value and Action.Joseph Raz - 1999 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 43 (3):578-578.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Rhetoric in Democracy: A Systemic Appreciation.John S. Dryzek - 2010 - Political Theory 38 (3):319-339.
Argumentation as Rational Persuasion.J. Anthony Blair - 2012 - Argumentation 26 (1):71-81.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consensus and Dissensus in Science.Robert Ackermann - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:99 - 105.
Dialectical Obligations in Political Debate.Christian Kock - 2007 - Informal Logic 27 (3):223-247.
Argumentation Practice: The Very Idea.Tone Kvernbekk - 2007 - In Christopher W. Tindale Hans V. Hansen (ed.), Dissensus and the Search for Common Ground. Ossa.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #516,239 of 2,325,466 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #523,443 of 2,325,466 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature