The paper considers contemporary models of presumption in terms of their ability to contribute to a working theory of presumption for argumentation. Beginning with the Whatelian model, we consider its contemporary developments and alternatives, as proposed by Sidgwick, Kauffeld, Cronkhite, Rescher, Walton, Freeman, Ullmann-Margalit, and Hansen. Based on these accounts, we present a picture of presumptions characterized by their nature, function, foundation and force. On our account, presumption is a modal status that is attached to a claim and has the (...) effect of shifting, in a dialogue, a burden of proof set at a local level. Presumptions can be analysed and evaluated inferentially as components of rule-based structures. Presumptions are defeasible, and the force of a presumption is a function of its normative foundation. This picture seeks to provide a framework to guide the development of specific theories of presumption. (shrink)
This paper examines the adequacy of commitment change, as a measure of the successful resolution of a difference of opinion. I argue that differences of opinion are only effectively resolved if commitments undertaken in argumentation survive beyond its conclusion and go on to govern an arguer’s actions in everyday life, e.g., by serving as premises in her practical reasoning. Yet this occurs, I maintain, only when an arguer’s beliefs are changed, not merely her commitments.
Typically, common knowledge is taken as grounds for the acceptability of a claim, while appeals to popularity are seen as fallacious attempts to support a claim. This paper poses the question of whether there is any categorical difference between appeals to common knowledge and appeals to popular opinion as argumentative moves. In answering this question, I argue that appeals to common knowledge do not, on their own, provide adequate grounds for a claim’s acceptability.
This paper examines the views of Fogelin, Woods, Johnstone, etc., concerning deep disa-greements, force-five standoffs, philosophical controversies, etc. My approach is to reconstruct their views and critiques of them as meta-arguments, and to elaborate the meta-argumentative aspects of radical disa-greements. It turns out that deep disagreements are resolvable to a greater degree than usually thought, but only by using special principles and practices, such as meta-argumentation, ad hominem argumentation, Ramsey’s principle, etc.
This paper considers the question of whether Mill's account of the nature and justificatory foundations of deductive logic is psychologistic. Logical psychologism asserts the dependency of logic on psychology. Frequently, this dependency arises as a result of a metaphysical thesis asserting the psychological nature of the subject matter of logic. A study of Mill's System of Logic and his Examination reveals that Mill held an equivocal view of the subject matter of logic, sometimes treating it as a set of psychological (...) processes and at other times as the objects of those processes. The consequences of each of these views upon the justificatory foundations of logic are explored. The paper concludes that, despite his providing logic with a prescriptive function, and despite his avoidance of conceptualism, Mill's theory fails to provide deductive logic with a justificatory foundation that is independent of psychology. (shrink)
While courts depend on expert opinions in reaching sound judgments, the role of the expert witness in legal proceedings is associated with a litany of problems. Perhaps most prevalent is the question of under what circumstances should testimony be admitted as expert opinion. We review the changing policies adopted by American courts in an attempt to ensure the reliability and usefulness of the scientific and technical information admitted as evidence. We argue that these admissibility criteria are best seen in a (...) dialectical context as a set of critical questions of the kind commonly used in models of argumentation. (shrink)
By examining particular cases of belief perseverance following the undermining of their original evidentiary grounds, this paper considers two theories of rational belief revision: foundation and coherence. Gilbert Harman has argued for coherence over foundationalism on the grounds that the foundations theory absurdly deems most of our beliefs to be not rationally held. A consequence of the unacceptability of foundationalism is that belief perseverance is rational. This paper defends the intuitive judgement that belief perseverance is irrational by offering a competing (...) explanation of what goes on in cases like the debriefing paradigm which does not rely upon foundationalist principles but instead shows that such cases are properly viewed as instances of positive undermining of the sort described by the coherence theory. (shrink)
This article examines the development of Russell's treatment of propositions, in relation to the topic of psychologism. In the first section, we outline the concept of psychologism, and show how it can arise in relation to theories of the nature of propositions. Following this, we note the anti-psychologistic elements of Russell's thought dating back to his idealist roots. From there, we sketch the development of Russell's theory of the proposition through a number of its key transitions. We show that Russell, (...) in responding to a variety of different problems relating to the proposition, chose to resolve these problems in ways that continually made concessions to psychologism. (shrink)
In this paper we show how dialogue-based theories of argumentation can contribute to the construction of effective systems of dispute resolution. Specifically we consider the role of persuasion in online dispute resolution by showing how persuasion dialogues can be functionally embedded in negotiation dialogues, and how negotiation dialogues can shift to persuasion dialogues. We conclude with some remarks on how persuasion dialogues might be modelled is such a way as to allow them to be implemented in a mechanical or computerized (...) system of dialogue or dialogue management. (shrink)
Knowledge plays an important role in argumentation. Yet, recent work shows that standard conceptions of knowledge in epistemology may not be entirely suitable for argumentation. This paper explores the role of knowledge in argumentation, and proposes a notion of knowledge that promises to be more suitable for argumentation by taking account of: its dynamic nature, the defeasibility of our commitments, and the non-monotonicity of many of the inferences we use in everyday reasoning and argumentation.
The paper addresses the manner in which the theory of Coalescent Argumentation [CA] has been received by the Argumentation Theory community. I begin (section 2) by providing a theoretical overview of the Coalescent model of argumentation as developed by Michael A. Gilbert (1997). I next engage the several objections that have been raised against CA (section 3). I contend that objectors to the Coalescent model are not properly sensitive to the theoretical consequences of the genuinely situated nature of argument. I (...) conclude (section 4) by suggesting that the resolution to the dispute between Gilbert and his objectors hinges on the outcome of several foundational theoretical questions identified over the course of the paper. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article argues that Quine's holistic and naturalized semantics provides an inadequate account of the foundations of logical expressions and misrepresents the internal structure of theories. By considering a Quinean model of theoretical revision, I identify the status and foundation holism provides to the propositions of logic. I contend that a central tenet of Quinean holism—the Revisability Doctrine—cannot be held consistently, and that the inconsistencies surrounding it mark a series of pervasive errors within naturalized holism. In response, I propose that (...) semantic theories must reflect the different linguistic functions of different types of expressions and the specific relationships that individual concepts within a theory or language have to one another. (shrink)
Toulmin’s DWC model recognizes a plurality of argument cultures through the thesis of field dependency: that the normative features of arguments vary from one field to the next. Yet, little consensus exists concerning the nature and foundations of argument fields. This paper explores the question of whether Toulminian fields have any useful role to play in the epistemic evaluation of arguments.