A Feeling Disputation

Dialogue 36 (4):787- (1997)
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This, the latest volume in The Douglas Walton Encyclopedia of Argumentation—well, it's starting to look like that, anyway—is primarily concerned with four purported fallacies that involve an appeal to emotion: ad populum, ad misericordiam, ad baculum, and ad hominem. In very rough outline, the layout of the book is this. After some preliminary remarks about the four fallacies in the first chapter, and some remarks about the theoretical framework he will be working with in the second, Walton devotes a chapter apiece to each of the four in the order indicated above. A seventh chapter focuses on “borderline cases,” in which more than one of the so-called fallacies is involved, and an eighth summarizes and refines the findings of earlier chapters. As is obvious, The Place of Emotion is well organized; and, as would be a safe inference for anyone acquainted with any of Walton's work, it is written in a readily accessible and unpretentious style: a plain style, in the best sense of the term. Walton has something to say, and it's virtually impossible to miss it—and that independently of the fact that this book, like a number of his others, is somewhat repetitive. The Place of Emotion is one of those rare books that a specialist in a field would find of interest, but that could also be taught in an undergraduate course.



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Michael J. Wreen
Marquette University

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The Place of Emotion in Argument.Douglas WALTON - 1992 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 29 (1):84-86.

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