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Katharina Stevens
University of Lethbridge
  1.  89
    The Virtuous Arguer: One Person, Four Roles.Katharina Stevens - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):375-383.
    When evaluating the arguer instead of the argument, we soon find ourselves confronted with a puzzling situation: what seems to be a virtue in one argumentative situation could very well be called a vice in another. This paper will present the idea that there are in fact two sets of virtues an arguer has to master—and with them four sometimes very different roles.
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  2.  39
    Angelic Devil’s Advocates and the Forms of Adversariality.Katharina Stevens & Daniel H. Cohen - 2020 - Topoi 40 (5):899-912.
    Is argumentation essentially adversarial? The concept of a devil's advocate—a cooperative arguer who assumes the role of an opponent for the sake of the argument—serves as a lens to bring into clearer focus the ways that adversarial arguers can be virtuous and adversariality itself can contribute to argumentation's goals. It also shows the different ways arguments can be adversarial and the different ways that argumentation can be said to be "essentially" adversarial.
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  3.  36
    The attraction of the ideal has no traction on the real: on adversariality and roles in argument.Katharina Stevens & Daniel Cohen - 2018 - Argumentation and Advocacy:forthcoming.
    If circumstances were always simple and all arguers were always exclusively concerned with cognitive improvement, arguments would probably always be cooperative. However, we have other goals and there are other arguers, so in practice the default seems to be adversarial argumentation. We naturally inhabit the heuristically helpful but cooperation-inhibiting roles of proponents and opponents. We can, however, opt for more cooperative roles. The resources of virtue argumentation theory are used to explain when proactive cooperation is permissible, advisable, and even mandatory (...)
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  4.  41
    The Roles We Make Others Take: Thoughts on the Ethics of Arguing.Katharina Stevens - 2019 - Topoi 38 (4):693-709.
    Feminist argumentation theorists have criticized the Dominant Adversarial Model in argumentation, according to which arguers should take proponent and opponent roles and argue against one another. The model is deficient because it creates disadvantages for feminine gendered persons in a way that causes significant epistemic and practical harms. In this paper, I argue that the problem that these critics have pointed out can be generalized: whenever an arguer is given a role in the argument the associated tasks and norms of (...)
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  5.  67
    Reasoning by Precedent—Between Rules and Analogies.Katharina Stevens - 2018 - Legal Theory 24 (3):216-254.
    This paper investigates the process of reasoning through which a judge determines whether a precedent-case gives her a binding reason to follow in her present-case. I review the objections that have been raised against the two main accounts of reasoning by precedent: the rule-account and the analogy-account. I argue that both accounts can be made viable by amending them to meet the objections. Nonetheless, I believe that there is an argument for preferring accounts that integrate analogical reasoning: any account of (...)
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  6.  40
    Fooling the Victim: Of Straw Men and Those Who Fall for Them.Katharina Stevens - 2021 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 54 (2):109-127.
    ABSTRACT This paper contributes to the debate about the strawman fallacy. It is the received view that strawmen are employed to fool not the arguer whose argument they distort, but instead a third party, an audience. I argue that strawmen that fool their victims exist and are an important variation of the strawman fallacy because of their special perniciousness. I show that those who are subject to hermeneutical lacunae or who have since forgotten parts of justifications they have provided earlier (...)
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  7.  51
    Case-to-Case Arguments.Katharina Stevens - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (3):431-455.
    Arguers sometimes cite a decision made in an earlier situation as a reason for making the equivalent decision in a later situation. I argue that there are two kinds of “case-to-case arguments”. First, there are arguments by precedent, which cite the mere existence of the past decision as a reason to decide in the same way again now, independent of the past decision’s merits. Second, there are case-to-case arguments from parralel reasoning which presuppose that the past decision was justified and (...)
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  8.  42
    Silence at the Meta-Level: A Story about Argumentative Cruelty.Katharina Stevens - 2022 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 55 (1):76-82.
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  9.  16
    Does Rhetoric Have a Place in Wohlrapp’s Theory of Argument?Katharina Stevens - 2017 - Informal Logic 37 (3):183-210.
    When a new theory of argumentation becomes available on the English-speaking market, such as it is happening now through the translation of Harald Wohlrapp’s The Concept of Argument, it is always interesting to work out how the new input will interact with the work that has otherwise been done in the field. This comment aims to determine whether rhetoric has a place in Wohlrapp’s account of argumentation.
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  10.  49
    Setting Precedents Without Making Norms?Katharina Stevens - 2020 - Law and Philosophy 39 (6):577-616.
    Some authors argue that the rule-of-law ideal gives judges a prima facie duty to provide a determinate formulation of the precedent’s general norm in all their precedent-opinions. I question that claim. I agree that judges have a duty to decide their cases based on reasons and that they should formulate these reasons in their opinions. I also agree that formulations of general norms should be the goal of common-law development and that judges have a duty to contribute to the realization (...)
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  11.  27
    Asking before Arguing? Consent in Argumentation.Katharina Stevens & John Casey - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-14.
    Arguments involve, at minimum, attempts at presenting something that an audience will take to be a reason. Reasons, once understood, affect an addressee’s beliefs in ways that are in some significant sense outside of their direct voluntary control. Since such changes may impact the well-being, life projects, or sense of self of the addressee, they risk infringing upon their autonomy. We call this the “autonomy worry” of argumentation. In light of this worry, this paper asks whether one ought to seek (...)
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  12.  9
    Humility as a necessary virtue in common-law decision making.Katharina Stevens - 2023 - Jurisprudence 14 (4):443-461.
    Humility holds a modest but important place among the judicial virtues. But in spite of its growing popularity, it does not yet have a place on the ‘central judicial virtues’ lists. This paper provides an argument that judicial humility, especially institutional judicial humility, should be considered a necessary judicial virtue at least in common-law jurisdictions. This is because it is a necessary ingredient in precedent-based decisions that are fully justified from the point of view of the law and of political (...)
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  13.  16
    Introduction: Adversariality in Argument.Katharina Stevens & John Casey - 2021 - Topoi 40 (5):833-836.
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  14.  42
    On the Puzzling Death of the Sanctity-of-Life Argument.Katharina Stevens - 2020 - Argumentation 34 (1):55-81.
    The passage of time influences the content of the law and therefore also the validity of legal arguments. This is true even for charter-arguments, despite the widely held view that constitutional law is made to last. In this paper, I investigate the reason why the sanctity-of life argument against physician assisted suicide lost its validity between the Supreme Court decision in Rodriguez v. British Columbia in 1993 and Carter v. Canada in 2015. I suggest that a rhetorical approach to argument (...)
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  15.  26
    Trump, Snakes and the Power of Fables.Katharina Stevens - 2018 - Informal Logic 38 (1):53-83.
    At a recent rally, Donald Trump resumed a habit he had developed during his election-rallies and read out the lyrics to a song. It tells the Aesopian fable of The Farmer and the Snake: A half frozen snake is taken in by a kind-hearted person but bites them the moment it is revived. Trump tells the fable to make a point about Islamic immigrants and undocumented immigrants from Southern and Central America: He claims the immigrants will cause problems and much (...)
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  16.  3
    Why Constitutional Meaning is not Necessarily Fixed - A Reply to Solum.Katharina Stevens - 2017 - Problema. Anuario de Filosofía y Teoria Del Derecho 1 (11).
    Abstract:In this paper, I show that certain parts of constitutional texts can plausibly be thought of as having a meaning that changes and evolves on its own. This idea is widely rejected, especially but not only by a group of legal theorists who subscribe to a theory of constitutional interpretation called originalism. In a recent paper, the originalist Lawrence Solum has defended the so-called “fixation thesis”, according to which the meaning of the constitutional text is fixed when it was first (...)
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