Argumentation 24 (3):319-335 (2010)

In a critical discussion, interlocutors can strategically maneuver by shading their expressed degree of standpoint commitment for rhetorical effect. When is such strategic shading reasonable, and when does it cross the line and risk fallacious derailment of the discussion? Analysis of President George W. Bush’s 2002–2003 prewar commentary on Iraq provides an occasion to explore this question and revisit Douglas Ehninger’s distinction between argumentation as coercive correction and argumentation as a person-risking enterprise. Points of overlap between Ehninger’s account and pragma-dialectical argumentation theory suggest avenues for harmonization of rhetorical and dialectical perspectives on argumentation. Out of this conceptual convergence comes theoretical resources for understanding strategic maneuvering, by accounting for ways that discussants exploit gaps between their externalized and actual discussion attitude. As such higher-order strategic maneuvering played a major role in the 2003 Iraq prewar discourse failure, perspicacious understanding of this particular argumentative maneuver carries practical, as well as theoretical import
Keywords Rhetoric  Dialectic  Strategic maneuvering  Iraq war  Douglas Ehninger  Argumentation  Pragma-dialectics
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-009-9178-3
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References found in this work BETA

The Uses of Argument.Stephen E. Toulmin - 1958 - Cambridge University Press.
The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation.Chaïm Perelman - 1969 - Notre Dame, [Ind.]University of Notre Dame Press.
Coalescent Argumentation.Michael A. Gilbert - 1995 - Argumentation 9 (5):837-852.

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Yellow Rain:Radiolaband the Acoustics of Strategic Maneuvering.Justin Eckstein - 2014 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 3 (1):35-56.

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