Virtuous arguers are expected to manifest virtues such as intellectual humility and open-mindedness, but from such traits the quality of arguments does not immediately follow. However, it also seems implausible that a virtuous arguer can systematically put forward bad arguments. How could virtue argumentation theory combine both insights? The solution, I argue, lies in an analogy with virtue epistemology: considering both responsibilist and reliabilist virtues gives us a fuller picture of the virtuous arguer.
Is a virtue approach in argumentation possible without committing the ad hominem fallacy? My answer is affirmative, provided that the object study of our theory is well delimited. My proposal is that a theory of argumentative virtue should not focus on argument appraisal, as has been assumed, but on those traits that make an individual achieve excellence in argumentative practices. An agent-based approach in argumentation should be developed, not in order to find better grounds for argument appraisal, but to gain (...) insight into argumentative habits and excellence. This way we can benefit from what a virtue argumentation theory really has to offer. (shrink)
A virtue approach to argumentation would focus on the arguers’ character rather than the arguments. Therefore, it must be explained how good arguments relate to virtuous arguers. This article focus on this issue and attempts to provide an answer to the question: Could a bad arguer produce a good argument? It is argued that, besides the usual logical, dialectical, and rhetorical standards, a virtuously produced good argument must meet two additional requirements: the arguer must be in a speciﬁc state of (...) mind, and the argument must be broadly conceived of as an argumentative interaction and thus excel from every perspective. (shrink)
Harry Frankfurt characterised bullshit as assertions that are made without a concern for truth. Assertions, however, are not the only type of speech act that can be bullshit. Here, I propose the concept of argumentative bullshit and show how a speech acts account of bullshit assertions can be generalised to bullshit arguments. Argumentative bullshit, on this account, would be the production of an argument without a concern for the supporting relation between reasons and claim.
Virtue argumentation theory focuses on the arguers’ character, whereas pragma-dialectics focuses on argumentation as a procedure. In this paper I attempt to explain that both theories are not opposite approaches to argumentation. I argue that, with the help of some non-fundamental changes in pragma-dialectics and some restrictions in virtue argumentation theory, it is possible to regard these theories as complementary approaches to the argumentative practice.
The international community has not been able to agree on a definition of “terrorism,” which has been a controversial term for decades. In order to understand the controversy, here the meaning of “terrorism” is analysed by means of the inferentialist framework developed by Robert Brandom. It will be shown that there is wide agreement about (at least some of) the consequences of application of the term, whereas the conditions of application are precisely what is at issue. Three consequences of application (...) will be distinguished: epistemic, evaluative, and programmatic. Evaluative and programmatic consequences of application of the term “terrorism” are widespread and very serious, even in the absence of a precise definition, and that explains why the conditions of application are a controversial matter. In the end, the controversy is best understood as a clash of interests regarding when the consequences of the term should apply. (shrink)
Hilary Kornblith has criticised reasons-based approaches to epistemic justification on the basis of psychological research that shows that reflection is unreliable. Human beings, it seems, are not very good at identifying our own cognitive processes and the causes of our beliefs. In this article I defend a conception of reasons that takes those empirical findings into account and can avoid Kornblith’s objections. Reasons, according to this account, are not to be identified with the causes of our beliefs and are useful (...) first and foremost in argumentation instead of reflection. (shrink)
Los argumentos y las explicaciones son dos tipos de discurso que no siempre han sido distinguidos cabalmente. En la actualidad, tanto en la pedagogía de la ciencia como en los estudios de la argumentación, se ha insistido en la necesidad de diferenciarlos para captar adecuadamente la naturaleza de las explicaciones y los argumentos. Es en la teoría de la argumentación donde más explícitamente se han propuesto criterios de demarcación entre ambos. Sin embargo, aquí argumentaré que los criterios que habitualmente se (...) usan en la teoría de la argumentación para distinguir entre un argumento y una explicación (lo que llamo la “distinción estándar”) adolecen de varios problemas. Por un lado, en varios casos relevantes los criterios no proporcionan ninguna orientación o arrojan resultados cuestionables. Por otro lado, los criterios de distinción se han limitado al ámbito de la argumentación teórica y han ignorado las particularidades del ámbito práctico. (shrink)
When disagreements arise about the quality of arguments, arguers frequently rely on coherence. Argumentative coherence is mainly manifested in accusations of incoherence and in the production of analogies. With the help of the elements of warrant and of rebuttals in Toulmin’s model, it is possible to give a first analysis of this notion.