The Assessment of Argumentation from Expert Opinion

Argumentation 25 (3):329-339 (2011)
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In this contribution, I will develop a comprehensive tool for the reconstruction and evaluation of argumentation from expert opinion. This is done by analyzing and then combining two dialectical accounts of this type of argumentation. Walton’s account of the ‘appeal to expert opinion’ provides a number of useful, but fairly unsystematic suggestions for critical questions pertaining to argumentation from expert opinion. The pragma-dialectical account of ‘argumentation from authority’ offers a clear and systematic, but fairly general framework for the reconstruction and evaluation of this type of argumentation. The tool is developed by incorporating Walton’s critical questions into a pragma-dialectical framework.



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Jean H.M. Wagemans
University of Amsterdam