Towards a Critique-Friendly Approach to the Straw Man Fallacy Evaluation

Argumentation 25 (4):469-497 (2011)
Abstract
In this article I address the following question: When are reformulations in argumentative criticisms reasonable and when do they become fallacious straw men? Following ideas developed in the integrated version of pragma-dialectics, I approach argumentation as an element of agonistic exchanges permeated by arguers’ strategic manoeuvring aimed at effectively defeating the opponent with reasonable means. I propose two basic context-sensitive criteria for deciding on the reasonableness of reformulations: precision of the rules for interpretation (precise vs. loose) and general expectation of cooperativeness (critical vs. constructive). On the basis of analysis of examples taken from online political discussions, I argue that in some contexts, especially those that are critical and loose, what might easily be classified as a straw man following conventional treatment should be taken as a harsh, yet reasonable, strategic argumentative criticism.
Keywords Argumentation  Fallacies  Online deliberation  Pragma-dialectics  Strategic manoeuvring  The straw man fallacy
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-011-9227-6
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References found in this work BETA
On Sense and Reference.Gottlob Frege - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge. pp. 36--56.
Fallacies.C. L. Hamblin - 1970 - Vale Press.
Fallacies in Pragma-Dialectical Perspective.R. Grootendorst, Frans Eemeren & Frans H. van Eemeren - 1st ed. 2015 - In R. Grootendorst, Frans Eemeren & Frans H. van Eemeren (eds.), Reasonableness and Effectiveness in Argumentative Discourse. Springer Verlag. pp. 283-301.

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