By explaining the argument from ignorance in terms of the presumption of innocence, many textbooks in argumentation theory suggest that some arguments from ignorance might share essential features with some types of presumptive reasoning. The stronger version of this view, suggesting that arguments from ignorance and presumptive reasoning are almost indistinguishable, is occasionally proposed by Douglas Walton. This paper explores the nature and limits of the stronger proposal and argues that initial presumptions and arguments from ignorance are not closely connected. There are three main reasons. First, the argument from ignorance, unlike typical presumptive reasoning, is a negative kind of inference. Second, the typical initial presumption is sensitive to a broader set of defeaters and thus assumes a higher (negative) standard of acceptability. Third, in dialectical terms, initial presumption and argument from ignorance bring different attacking rights and obligations. I conclude that Waltonian intuition is unsupported or, at best, is limited only to practical presumptions and practical arguments from ignorance.
As part of a research project on confrontational maneuvering in the spokespersons’ argumentative replies at the regular press conferences of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2015 and 2018, this article analyzes, within the framework of Pragma-Dialectics, how the spokespersons declare a standpoint at issue unallowed or indisputable in order to avoid having to resolve a difference of opinion as it is, according to the questioning journalist, presented by their immediate opponents. Starting from the various rationales the spokespersons presuppose to be understood and regarded acceptable by the questioning journalist and the international general public, three subtypes of declaring a standpoint unallowed or indisputable are differentiated: the “Necessity Rationale” subtype, the “Desirability Rationale” subtype, and the “Feasibility Rationale” subtype. The confrontational maneuvering by declaring a standpoint unallowed or indisputable carried out by the spokespersons is directed both at the immediate opponent and at the international general public. However, it is the international general public that the spokespersons primarily intend to convince. For this purpose, they make in all three subtypes of the unallowed or indisputable declaration an effort to adapt their response to their primary audience’s demand by making strategic choices from the available topical potential and the available presentational devices.
This manuscript investigates the role of argumentative competence in interpersonal dyadic exchanges. Specifically, this study examined the two sub-dimensions of competence, argumentative effectiveness and appropriateness, and their connections with argumentative traits, situational features, and argument satisfaction. In addition, self-perceived versus observed argumentative competence were compared. Participants in the study (N = 282, 141 dyads) completed measures before and after a face-to-face argumentative discussion with another person about one of two possible topics (student athlete pay and texting while driving). Results revealed that argumentation traits had little effect on argumentative competence, but competence was predicted by one’s knowledge about the topic. Argument satisfaction depended only on arguers’ own competence, not their partners’. Finally, a perceptual bias existed regarding argument effectiveness (but not appropriateness) in that participants rated themselves higher than did observers.
Mencius, a prominent Confucian philosopher in the Warring States period (c. 453 BC–221 BC) of ancient China, is well-known for his argumentative skills, including his refutational skills used to maintain his own standpoints. This paper attempts to reveal how Mencius refuted his opponents argumentatively and strategically on the issue of human nature. To this end, the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation is adopted to first reconstruct Mencius’s argumentative discourse on human nature according to the four stages in critical discussion—the confrontation, opening, argumentation and concluding stages. Under the ancient Chinese historical and cultural context, Mencius’s argumentative discourse about human nature was developed in three critical discussions, between Mencius the protagonist, and his explicit interlocutors and implicit adversaries who held different views on human nature—the antagonists. The discussions were undertaken around three single mixed differences of opinion concerning three propositions, with resolution of the first difference of opinion serving as a starting point of the second, and the resolution of the second as a starting point of the third. Then based on the reconstruction, the paper elaborates the refutational strategies that Mencius employed in various stages, such as dissociation, reductio ad absurdum based on refutational analogy, and conciliation. It further points out that the employment of these strategies is strategic maneuvering undertaken by Mencius in an attempt to realize both dialectical and rhetorical aims.
In this paper, we report on the orientations of Turkish college students to interpersonal arguing and compare them with American students’ predispositions for arguing. In measuring the argument orientations, a group of instruments was utilized: argument motivations, argument frames, and taking conflict personally. Turkish data come from 300 college students who were asked to complete self-report surveys. Analyses contrast the mean scores of the Turkish and American respondents, offer gender-based comparisons in the Turkish data, and show whether religiosity has an effect on Turkish students’ arguing orientations. In order to give an explanatory account of the argument motivations of Turkish college students, the relevant socio-cultural and political facts about Turkey were also considered. Our investigation has revealed that Turkish students have more advanced and positive understandings of interpersonal arguing compared to American ones. We have also found clear sex-typing between Turkish male and female students, and have discovered some limited evidence for religiosity’s relevance to interpersonal arguing.
In today’s ‘networked’ public sphere, arguers are faced with countless controversies roaming out there. Knowing what is at stake at any point in time, and keeping under control the contribution one’s arguments make to the different interrelated issues requires careful craft (e.g. Mohammed and Zarefsky, in Feteris, Garssen and Snoeck Henkemans (eds) Keeping in touch with Pragma-Dialectics. In honor of Frans H. van Eemeren. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2011). In this paper, I explore the difficulty of determining what is at stake at any moment of the argumentative situation and explore the challenge that that creates for examining the strategic shape of arguments. I argue that a meaningful examination of networked argumentative encounters requires that the boundaries of an encounter remain ‘fluid. In dealing with the fluid boundaries, I suggest to identify “argumentative associates” and “standing standpoints”.
Argument by analogy has long been regarded as the characteristic way of arguing in ancient Chinese culture. Classic Chinese philosophers not only prefer to use analogy to argue for their own views, but also take efforts to theorize it in a systematic way. This paper aims to provide a careful study on the relevant ideas in ancient China in order to reconstruct the ancient Chinese theory of argument by analogy, and then to reveal some of its distinctive features through a comparison with the Western counterpart account as developed by Aristotle. It is indicated that in ancient China analogical argument was conceived primarily as a way of arguing based on classification, with a unique mechanism of taking and giving according to kind. On that basis, it is argued that although such a characterization captures the logical structure of analogical argument in a similar way to Aristotle, the ancient Chinese theory stresses the foundational role of a particular notion of kind, thus makes the construction and application of analogical arguments become highly flexible and context-sensitive. Moreover, it is also contended that in ancient China the rationale of analogical arguments is explained from a general perspective of kind, relying upon the universal knowledge pertaining to the forming of kinds. Then it is further revealed that, unlike Aristotle who emphasizes the causal links between attributes in the physical world, ancient Chinese thinkers justify analogical argument by appealing to some normative metaphysical and epistemological principles.
Mencius, the second sage of Confucianism after Confucius, is well known for his subtle argumentative skills. Mencius did not develop his own argumentation theory, but argumentation practices, including his political argumentation, have enormously inspired later scholars in China to develop argumentation theories. In this paper, we try to reconstruct Mencius's political argumentation from perspectives of both strategic maneuvering developed by van Eemeren et al. in argumentation theory and truth-functional logic in formal logic. The aim is to manifest the Dao, a rational balance among logical, dialectical and rhetorical dimensions in Mencius's political argumentation. The results indicate that Mencius's political argumentation is not only logically justified but also shown to have maneuvered strategically between reasonableness and effectiveness, and that human beings have a common ground of formal and substantial logos, which makes it possible for people from different cultural groups to communicate rationally.
Despite an increased recognition that plagiarism in published research can take many forms, current typologies of plagiarism are far from complete. One under-recognized variety of plagiarism—designated here as compression plagiarism—consists of the distillation of a lengthy scholarly text into a short one, followed by the publication of the short one under a new name with inadequate credit to the original author. In typical cases, compression plagiarism is invisible to unsuspecting readers and immune to anti-plagiarism software. The persistence of uncorrected instances of plagiarism in all its forms—including compression plagiarism—in the body of published research literature has deleterious consequences for the reliability of scholarly communication. Not the least of these problems is that original authors are denied credit for their discoveries. When unsuspecting researchers read articles that are the products of plagiarism, they unwittingly engage the arguments of hidden original authors through the proxy of plagiarists. Furthermore, when these researchers later publish responses to the plagiarizing articles, not knowing they are engaging products of plagiarism, they create additional inefficiencies and redundancies in the body of published research. This article analyzes a suspected instance of compression plagiarism that appeared within the pages of this journal and considers the particular ways in which plagiarism of this variety weakens the quality of scholarly argumentation, with special attention paid to the field of philosophy.