Argumentation 36 (2):203-228 (2022)

Most people in countries with the highest climate impact per capita are well aware of the climate crisis and do not deny the science. They worry about climate and have climate engaged attitudes. Still, their greenhouse-gas emissions are often high. How can we understand acting contrary to our knowledge? A simple answer is that we do not want to give up on benefits or compromise our quality of life. However, it is painful to live with discrepancies between knowledge and action. To be able to avoid taking the consequences of our knowledge, we deal with the gap by motivating to ourselves that the action is still acceptable. In this article, we use topical analysis to examine such processes of motivation by looking at the internal deliberation of 399 climate engaged people’s accounts of their reasoning when acting against their own knowledge. We found that these topical processes can be described in at least four different ways which we call rationalization, legitimization, justification and imploration. By focusing on topoi we can make visible how individual forms of reasoning interact with culturally developed values, habits and assumptions in creating enthymemes. We believe that these insights can contribute to understanding the conditions for climate transition communication.
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-021-09562-2
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References found in this work BETA

Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
I and Thou.Martin Buber - 1958 - New York: Scribner.
The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation.Chaïm Perelman & Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca - 1969 - Notre Dame, IN, USA: Notre Dame University Press.

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