Argumentation 21 (3):317-334 (2007)

Jan Albert Van Laar
University of Groningen
A critic may attack an arguer personally by pointing out that the arguer’s position is pragmatically inconsistent: the arguer does not practice what he preaches. A number of authors hold that such attacks can be part of a good argumentative discussion. However, there is a difficulty in accepting this kind of contribution as potentially legitimate, for the reason that there is nothing wrong for a protagonist to have an inconsistent position, in the sense of committing himself to mutually inconsistent propositions. If so, any such charge seems to be irrelevant. The questions to be answered in this essay are: what, if any, is the dialectical rationale for this type of criticism, and in what situations, if any, is this kind of charge dialectically legitimate? It will be shown that these attacks can be dialectically legitimate, in special circumstances, and that they can be seen as strategic␣manoeuvres where a party attempts to reconcile his dialectical and his rhetorical objectives
Keywords arguer  higher order conditions for resolution  metadialogue  pragmatic inconsistency  protagonist  protagonist credibility  soundness conditions  source credibility  strategic manoeuvring
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-007-9049-8
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References found in this work BETA

Ad Hominem Arguments.Douglas Walton - 1998 - University Alabama Press.
Rationale for a Pragma-Dialectical Perspective.Rob Grootendorst, Frans Eemeren & Frans H. van Eemeren - 2015 - In Scott Jacobs, Sally Jackson, Frans Eemeren & Frans H. van Eemeren (eds.), Reasonableness and Effectiveness in Argumentative Discourse. Springer Verlag. pp. 271-291.

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