Argumentation 11 (1):95-112 (1997)

John David Shotter
University of New Hampshire, Durham
Feeling that they must aim for certainty in their claims, each side presents its version of reality, monologically, simply for acceptance or rejection by the other. In this form of argumentation, one individualistically formulated, systematic, finished version is pitted against another. By its very nature, such a form of rational argumentation prevents the construction of a shared version of things; it is not dialogical. In attempting to recover what has been rendered ’rationally-invisible‘ by our modern modes of reasoning, I first explore the "structures of passion and feeling" embodied in the ways in which people in a community interrelate themselves. Attention to such structures illuminates the nature of argument in a novel, dialogical, light: those who share in such structures do not share in a system of foundational principles or a logical framework, but in a "living tradition" or "living ideology" . Bakhtin‘s concept of the utterance is then explored as the basic unit for understand dialogical communication and argument within such living traditions
Keywords System  framework  monological  dialogical  structures of feeling
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DOI 10.1023/A:1017938829244
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