The Limits of Critical Thinking

Informal Logic 14 (2) (1992)

Don Levi
University of Oregon
This paper examines Robert Fogelin's suggestion that there may be deep disagreements, where no argument can address what is at issue. A number of possible bases for Fogelin's position are considered and rejected: people sometimes do not have enough in common for reasons to count as reasons; doubt is possible only against the background of framework propositions; key premises may be inarguable; argument must occur within a conceptual framework. The paper concludes by reflecting on why it is important to have a point of view when thinking critically about an argument and whether that fact constitutes a limitation as to what can be achieved by critical thinking
Keywords Deep disagreement, critical thinking, argumentative exchange, point of view, framework propositions, inarguability, conceptual framework, rule-governed activity, what is at issue, issue raised by argument, participant
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A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
Understanding the Abortion Argument.Roger Wertheimer - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):67-95.
The Logic of Deep Disagreements.Robert Fogelin - 1985 - Informal Logic 7 (1):3-11.

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