Argumentation 36 (1):123-149 (2022)

In their book Commitment in Dialogue, Walton and Krabbe claim that formal dialogue systems for conversational argumentation are “not very realistic and not easy to apply”. This difficulty may make argumentation theory less well adapted to be employed to describe or analyse actual argumentation practice. On the other hand, the empirical study of real-life arguments may miss or ignore insights of more than the two millennia of the development of philosophy of language, rhetoric, and argumentation theory. In this paper, we propose a novel methodology for adapting such theories to serve as applicable tools in the study of argumentation phenomena. Our approach is both theoretically-informed and empirically-grounded in large-scale corpus analysis. The area of interest are appeals to ethos, the character of the speaker, building upon Aristotle’s rhetoric. Ethotic techniques are used to influence the hearers through the communication, where speakers might establish, but also emphasise, weaken or undermine their own or others’ credibility and trustworthiness. Specifically, we apply our method to Aristotelian theory of ethos elements which identifies practical wisdom, moral virtue and goodwill as components of speakers’ character, which can be supported or attacked. The challenges we identified in this case and the solutions we proposed allow us to formulate general guidelines of how to exploit rich theoretical frameworks to the analysis of the practice of language use.
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-021-09564-0
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References found in this work BETA

Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Experts: Which Ones Should You Trust?Alvin I. Goldman - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):85-110.
The Role of Trust in Knowledge.John Hardwig - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):693-708.

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