Arguing with Arguments

Informal Logic 43 (4):465-526 (2023)
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Abstract

‘Argument’ has multiple meanings and referents in contemporary argumentation theory. Theorists are well aware of this but often fail to acknowledge it in their theories. In what follows, I distinguish several senses of ‘argument’ and argue that some highly visible theories are largely correct about some senses of the term but not others. In doing so, I hope to show that apparent theoretical rivals are better seen as collaborators or partners, rather than rivals, in the multi-disciplinary effort to understand ‘argument,’ arguments, and argumentation in all their varieties. I argue as well for a pluralistic approach to argument evaluation and argumentative norms, since arguments and argumentation can be legitimately evaluated along several dimensions, but urge that epistemic norms enjoy conceptual priority.

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