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Cover illustration: Frans Hals, Regentessen Oude lvIannenhuis, 1664, Frans Halsmuseum Haarlem

Table of Contents

Preface 9

The State of the Art in Argumentation Theory Frans H. van Eemeren The Study of Argumentation Overview of the Book 23 Bibliography 25



1.2 Some Crucial Concepts 17 1.3

Points ofYiew 27
Peter Houtlosser

2.1 2.2 2.2.1 2.2.2 Cover design: Jaak Crasborn bno, Valkenburg aid Geul Lay-out: Adriaan de longe,Amsterdam

22.3 22.4 2.25 2.2.6 2.27 2.2.8 22.9

94 1
5356523 x


Sic Sa t, Arnsterdani, 2001



Introduction 27 Different Approaches to Points of View 28 Classical and Formal Dialectic 28 Pragma-Dialectics 30 Socio-Psychological Research of Persuasion 33 Cognitive Research on Reasoning 34 Argumentative Discourse Analysis 35 Structuralist Informal Logic 36 Procedural Informal Logic 38 Advocacy and Debate 39 Communicative Action Theory 40 Starting Points for Further Research 42 Bibliography 48

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3 Unexpressed Premises 51

5 Argumentation Structures 101

Susanne Gerritsen
3.1 Introduction 51 3.2 Two Traditional Approaches 52 3.3 The Deductive-Inductive Distinction 55 3.3. 1 Pluralism 55 3.3.2 Modern Deductivism 57 3.3.3 Neither Pluralist, nor Deductivist 59 3-4 The Nature of the Unexpressed Premise 61 3+1 Confusion over Definitions 61 3-4.2 The Unexpressed Premise as a Gap-Filler 65 3-4.3 3.5 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.6

A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans

51 Introduction 101 52 Historical Overview 102 5.2.1 Classical Rhetoric 103 52.2 523 53 531 532 54 55

Used or Needed Premise 67 The Role of Context 68 The Meaning of'Context' 69 The Position of the Analyst 71 Argument Schemes 72 37 Conclusion 74 Bibliography 76

Enlightenment Rhetoric 105 The EarlyTextbooks 107 Current Approaches 111 The Textbook Distinctions III TheoreticalApproaches 119 Methods of Analysis in Doubtful Cases 124 Conclusion 126 Bibliography 132

Fallacies 135 Frans H. van Eemeren Introduction 135


4 Argument Schemes 81

Bart Garssen
4.1 4.2 4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.3 4.3.1 4.3.2 4.3.3 4.3-4 4-4 45

6.2 Brief History of the Study of Fallacies 136 6.2.1 The Aristotelian Approach to Fallacies 136 6.2.2 Idols and Sophisms 141 6.23 6.2-4 6.25 63 6.3. 1 6.3. 2 633 63-4 635 636

Introduction 81 Argument Schemes and Finding Arguments 82 The Classical Topical Tradition 82 Whately's Rhetoric 83 Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's New Rhetoric 84 Argument Schemes and the Evaluation of Argumentation 86 American Textbooks on Academic Debate 86 Hastings' Classification of Types of Warrants 87 Schellens' Reasonable Argument Forms 89 The Pragma-Dialectical Typology of Argument Schemes 91 Argument Schemes and the Description of Argumentative Discourse 93 Conclusion 94 Bibliography 98

The Ad Fallacies 142 Syllogistic and Inductive Fallacies 144 The Treatment of Fallacies in Logic Textbooks 145 Modern Theoretical Approaches to the Fallacies 149 Hamblin's Criticisms of the Standard Treatment 149 Post-Hamblin Treatments of the Fallacies 153 The Woods-Walton Approach 154 The Formal-Dialectical Approach 156 The Pragma-DialecticalApproach 157 Walton's Pragmatic Approach 159 Bibliography 161

7 Argument Interpretation and Reconstruction 165 M. Agnes van Rees

7.1 Introduction 165 7. 2 Argument Interpretation 166 . . 7. 2 . 1 General Characteristics of Discourse OrgamzatIOn 7.2. 2 Features of Argumentative Discourse 170 7. 2.3 Cognitive Processes 175 7.3 Argument Reconstruction 177 7.3.1 Logic 178 7.3.2 Informal Logic 179 7.3.3 Rhetoric 183 7.3-4 Pragma-Dialectics 185 7.4 Conclusion 190 Bibliography 193


8 Argumentation in the Field of Law 201 Eveline T. Feteris

8.1 Introduction 201 8.2 Different Approaches to Legal Argumentation 203 8.2.1 The Logical Approach 203 8.2.2 The Rhetorical Approach 204 8.23 The Dialogical Approach 208 209 83 Topics in the Research of Legal Argumentation Philosophical Component 209 The 8.3. 1 8.3. 2 The Theoretical Component 210 8.).3 The Analytical Component 211 834 The Empirical Component 212 835 The Practical Component 213 8.4 Conclusion 214 Bibliography 216

Index of Names 227 Index of Terms 230 The Contributors 237

All argumentation theorists' contributions to the study of argumentation, from whatever perspective they originate and whatever approach they advocate, are aimed at furthering the development of argumentation theory. Some of these contributions involve purportedly original and creative amplifications of the discipline. They are all of vital importance to the advancement of the study of argumentation. Other contributions such as translations of scholarly insight and research findings from argumentation theory into lay language, course books for students and surveys that offer would-be researchers a systematic overview of central parts or aspects of the field, are also indispensable to the vitality of the discipline but serve the discipline in a different way: Crucial Concepts in Argumentation Theoryaspires to belong to this last category. The research group of the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam intends to contribute to the theoretical advancement of the study of argumentation by developing a pragma-dialectical approach to argumentative discourse. Among the results of their efforts published in English are Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions and Argumentation, Communication and Fallacies (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1984 and 1992, respectively), Analysing Complex Argumentation (Snoeck Henkemans 1992), Studies in Pragma-Dialectics (edited by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst in 1994) and Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst, together with Sally Jackson and Scott Jacobs, 1994). An introductory course book based on pragma-dialectical insight is Argumentation by van Eemeren, Grootendorst and Snoeck Henkemans (2001). And a general overview of the various theoretical approaches to the study of argumentation from the past to the present is provided in Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory, an international co-production by Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, and Snoeck Henkemans with contributions by J. Anthony Blair, Ralph Johnson, Christian Plantin, Douglas N. Walton, Charles A. Willard, John Woods, and David Zarefsky (1996). The book was later followed by its legal equivalent, Fundamentals of LegalArgumentation (Feteris 1999). Crucial Concepts in Argumentation Theory relates most closely to publica-


tions intended to be helpful to students of argumentation such as Argumentation and Fundamentals. The book consists of a series of overviews of the state of the art in prominent research areas in the study of argumentation. The authors, Frans H. van Eemeren, Peter Houtlosser, Susanne Gerritsen, Bart Garssen, A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans, M. Agnes van Rees and Eveline T. Feteris, aim to provide readers with accurate surveys of the main views and approaches favored in argumentation studies. Most of the contributions have already been published in an earlier version of the journal Argumentation. They have all been revised considerably for this book. The authors would like to thank all of their colleagues in the community of argumentation scholars constituted by the International Society for the Study of Argumentation OSSA) for their help in the shaping of their ideas and texts. With regard to the current project, they are particularly grateful to J. Anthony Blair, Trudy Govier, Hans Hansen, Scott Jacobs, Erik C.W. Krabbe, Michael Leff, Leah Polcar, Douglas N. Walton and John Woods, and to Paul Nagtegaal for his invaluable technical help in preparing the manuscript for publication. May Crucial Concepts in Argumentation Theory be a helpful aid and resource for students of argumentation. Frans H. van Eemeren Amsterdam, January 19, 2001

The State of the Art in Argumentation Theory

Frans H. van Eemeren

1.1 The Studyof Argumentation A survey of crucial concepts in argumentation theory cannot proceed without a short introduction regarding the state of argumentation scholarship. What is the subject matter of the study of argumentation? Argumentation can be defined as a verbal, social and rational activity aimed at convincing a
reasonable critic ofthe acceptability ofa standpoint by advancing a constellation ofpropositions justifying or refuting the proposition expressed in the standpoint

(Van Eemeren et aI.1996). This definition does justice to the "process-product ambiguity" of the word "argumentation" because it not only refers to the activity of advancing reasons but also to the shorter or longer text that results from it. One of the essential characteristics of argumentation is that it always pertains to a specific point of view with regard to a certain issue. The speaker or writer who advances argumentation defends this "standpoint" to a listener or reader who doubts the acceptability of the standpoint or has a different standpoint. The subsequent argumentation is aimed at convincing the listener or reader of the acceptability of the standpoint. When someone advances argumentation, that person makes an appeal to reasonableness and silently assumes that the listener or reader will act as a reasonable critic when evaluating the argumentation. Otherwise it would not make sense to advance a certain line of argumentation. It is the task of argumentation theorists to determine which soundness criteria should be satisfied for the argumentation to be called r~asonable. Many argumentation theorists inspired by logic, study argumentation for normative purposes. There are also argumentation theorists however who pursue merely a descriptive goal. Linguistically oriented scholars in textual and discourse analysis are often only interested in describing how, with varying degrees of success, language users make use of argumentation to convince others. Although in current research practice both extremes are represented, most argumentation theorists take a middle position. Their starting point is that the study of argumentation has a normative as well as a descriptive dimenSIOn.




The study of argumentation has thus far not resulted in a universally accepted theory. The current state of the art is characterized by the co-existence of a variety of approaches, differing considerably in conceptualization, scope and degree of theoretical refinement, albeit that all the modern approaches are strongly influenced by classical and post-classical rhetoric and dialectic. Together with approaches of a more limited scope or a less developed research program, the most important approaches are discussed in considerable detail in Fundamentals ofArgumentation Theory (Van Eemeren et aI.1996).As an introduction to the great variety in the field, I shall present a brief overview of these theoretical contributions.

Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's contribution to argumentation theory consists, first of all, of an extensive list of elements that can serve as a point of departure or as an argument scheme when constructing the argumentation that should convince or persuade the audience. With the help of a "quasi-logical" argument scheme, which resembles a logically valid argument form in some way, one can, for instance, sometimes achieve the effect that the public considers the standpoint defended in a reasonable way. Another way of justifying a standpoint is the use of an argument scheme, such as analogy, "that structures reality;' so that the audience will conclude that the defended standpoint is in a similar way acceptable as a different kind of standpoint that they already accept.

Toulmin's Model ofAnalysis Informal Logic

Toulmin's The Uses ofArgument, which appeared in 1958, is known mainly for the model of argumentation presented in this book. This model represents the "procedural form" of argumentation or the various steps that can be distinguished in the defense of a standpoint or claim. According to Toulmin, the soundness of argumentation is primarily determined by the degree to which the warrant, which connects the data adduced in the argumentation with the claim that is defended, is made acceptable by a backing. The procedural form of argumentation is in Toulmin's view"field independent." This means that the steps that are taken - and which are represented in the model- are always the same, irrespective of the subject the argumentation refers to. The type of backing required, however, is dependent on the field to which the question at issue belongs. An ethical justification, for instance, requires a different kind of backing than a legal justification. Toulmin thus concludes that the evaluation criteria for determining the soundness of argumentation are "field dependent." Because some researchers were dissatisfied with the way argumentation was being treated in introductory logic textbooks, an approach to argumentation known as. informal logic was propagated in Canada and the United States in the early seventies. Since 1978, the journal Informal Logic, edited by Blair and Johnson, has been the voice of the informal logic movement. Informal logic is not a new kind oflogic, but an approach to the normative study of argumentation in ordinary language which remains closer to the practice of argumentation than formallogic (Blair and Johnson 1987). Informal logicians would like to develop norms and procedures for interpreting, assessing and construing argumentation. Their starting point is the notion that argumentation should be sound in a logical sense. Apart from the fact that it is clear that something else is meant by this than that the arguments used must be valid in a formal-logical sense, it is not yet clear,however, exactly what. It is clear, however, that informal logicians are primarily interested in the relations between premises and conclusions in arguments and it is also clear that their interest is not restricted to reasoning aimed at convincing. Johnson and Blair (197711993) have indicated what they have in mind when they refer to an informal logical alternative for the formal criterion of deductive validity. In their view, the premises of an argument have to meet three criteria: (1) relevance (2) sufficiency and (3) acceptability. These criteria are introduced in Logical Self-Defense; they are adopted, sometimes under different names, by other informal logicians (e.g., Govier 1987). When considering "relevance," the question is whether there is an adequate substantial relation between the premises and the conclusion of an argument. While in the case of "sufficiency", the question is whether the premises provide enough evidence for the conclusion; in the case of "acceptability'; whether the premises themselves are true, probable, or in some other way trustworthy.

Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca's New Rhetoric

Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca in La nouvelle rhetorique (1958, English translation 1969) provide an inventory of frequently-used "argumentation techniques." They regard argumentation as sound if it adduces (greater) assent with the standpoint that is defended among the audience the argumentation is aimed at. Thus, in the new rhetoric, the soundness of argumentation is measured against its effect on the target group. This target group may consist of a "particular audience;' but it can also be the "universal audience": the people who, for the speaker or writer, are the embodiment of reasonableness.





Ducrot and Anscombre, in the early seventies, developed in a number of - almost exclusively French - publications a linguistic approach to language use and argumentation. Because Anscombre and Ducrot (19 83) believe that all verbal utterances that lead the listener or reader to a certain conclusion - often implicitly _ always involve argumentative relations, they refer to their theoretical position as radical argumentativism. Ducrot and Anscombre's descriptive approach is characterized by a great 1 h)) (b ))" "(( t'll" b e" interest in words such as only, no ess t an, ut, even, s I , ecaus and "so", which can serve as argumentative "operators" or "connectors" and give the utterances a certain argumentative force and argumentative direction. In a certain context, the sentence "The ring costs only one hundred euros" can point to a conclusion such as "Buy that ring", Meanwhile, the sentence "The ring costs no less than one hundred euros" points instead to a conclusion such as"Do not buy that ring". . Another observation made by Ducrot andAnscombre is that a word such as "but" only determines the direction of the conclusion that is suggested by the sentence, not the content of this conclusion. This content is also dependent on the context and the situation in which the sentence is uttered. Whatever conclusion may be drawn in a specific context, the presence of the word "but" in all cases causes this conclusion to be the opposite of, and also stronger than, the conclusion that has to be drawn from the part of the sentence preceding "but". According to Ducrot and Anscombre, the opposite standpoints suggested by"but" in a sentence such as "Paul is rich, but he is married", select two different "argumentative principles" which are on a par with the topoi of classical rhetoric (Van Eemeren et al. 1996). N0lke (199 2), in this example, assumes that these are "The more someone has the property of being rich, the more attractive it is for a woman to get to know him better" and "The more someone is tied to another woman, the less attractive it is for a woman to get to know him better': In this case, the latter topos is a stronger argument than the first, which is as it were put aside - overruled - by the latter. Thus, the last topos determines the eventual argumentative direction of the sentence, which leads to an implicit conclusion such as "It is no use trying to get to know Paul better".

te~pt to formula~e :'problem-sound" rules that are instrumental in resolving a dIfference of opmlOn. These rules must also be "conventionally valid" in the sense that they are inter-subjectively acceptable (Barth and Krabbe 1982: 2122). When designing a procedure for language users who would like to resolve a dispute by means of a critical dialogue, the "new dialecticians" make use of the ideas put forth by Crawshay-Williams and Naess as well as the ideas of Lorenzen, Lorenz and other members of the Erlangen School. The first initiatives towards a new dialectic have already been presented by Barth and Krabbe. In From Axiom to Dialogue they described a "formal-dialectical" procedure to determine whether a standpoint can be maintained in the light of certain starting points or "concessions." The term formal dialectics was introduced earlier by Hamblin (1970). The indication "formal" refers to the strictl~ regimented character of the dialogue games. In dialogue logic an argum~~t IS prese~ted as a dialogue game between a "proponent" and an "opponent of a theSIS. Together these two parties try to establish whether the thesis can be defended successfully against critical attacks. In the defense, the propo~ent can make use of the propositions the opponent is prepared to commIt to. The proponent attempts to bring the opponent into a contradictory position by skillfully exploiting these concessions. If the proponent succeeds, the thesis has been successfully defended given the concessions (ex concessis).

Modern Dialectical Approaches

To modern dialecticians, argumentation is part of a procedure to resolve a difference of opinion by means of a regulated discussion. Dialecticians at-

Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984) developed a theory of argumentation called pragma-dialectics, which immediately connects with formal dialectics, but is also different. The agreement is expressed in the term dialectics; the replacement of formal by pragma (for "~rag~atic") refers to the differences. The pragmatic elements in pragma-dialectlcs concerning speech acts and discourse analysis are primarily inspired by insights of "ordinary language philosophers"; the dialectical elements are inspired by the insights from the work of "critical rationalists" such as Karl Popper. .I~ the ~ragma-dialectical ideal model of a critical'discussion, four stages are dIstmgUlshed. In the confrontation stage, a participant in the discussion puts forward a standpoint while a second participant either expresses doubt concerning the acceptability of the standpoint or he or she contradicts it. In the opening stage, which is in practice often largely implicit, the participants who ac~ept the roles of "protagonist" and "antagonist" of the standpoint determme what the discussion's point of departure is. Here the question becomes what are the common starting points and which rules are being observed? The prot~gonist begins to advance an argument in the argumentation stage to defend hIS or her standpoint and adds, if necessary, new arguments to answer





further critical reactions. If the advanced arguments lead to the acceptance of the standpoint by the antagonist in the concluding stage, the difference of opinion has been resolved; this is also the case if the protagonist withdraws the standpoint because of the antagonist's critical reactions. Besides an ideal model of the speech acts performed in the various stages of a critical discussion by a protagonist and an antagonist who make an attempt to resolve their difference of opinion in a reasonable way, the pragma-dialectical discussion procedure also includes a series of basic rules which together constitute a code of conduct for reasonable discussants (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992). Each violation of a rule amounts to an incorrect discussion move that is an impediment to the resolution of a difference of opinion. This can happen in each stage of the discussion. The incorrectness involved generally resembles one or more of the well-known fallacies or a similar offence against reasonableness.

the process of resolving a difference of opinion. They think that an argumentative text or discussion can be reconstructed with more subtlety, and can be more fully accounted for, if the strategic maneuvering that takes place in each dialectical stage of the selection from among the "topical potential" (the possible discussion moves) available in the discussion stage concerned, the adaptation to the wishes of the audience and the use of presentational devices is investigated.


Some Crucial Concepts The problems involved in the production, analysis and evaluation of argumentation are approached much differently by the various theoretical contributions to the study of argumentation. The problems argumentation theorists are jointly concerned with can be elucidated by explaining some concepts crucial to the theory of argumentation: "point of view", "unexpressed premise'; "argument scheme': "argumentation structure': and "fallacy". This book will make it clear that each of these concepts represents an indispensable element in the study of argumentation. In addition, two other prominent problem areas crucial to the study of argumentation will be discussed: "methods of argument interpretation and reconstruction" and "argumentation in the field of law':

Modern Rhetorical Approaches

In recent years, a powerful re-evaluation of rhetoric has taken place. The irrational and even anti-rational image of rhetoric that has evolved during the past centuries has now been revised. Meanwhile, the sharp division between rhetoric and dialectic made in the past appears in need of blurring. Several argumentation theorists have become aware that rhetoric as the study of persuasive techniques is not per se incompatible with maintaining a critical ideal of reasonableness. It is remarkable that the rehabilitation of rhetoric in the study of argumentation began at about the same time in various countries. A considerable time after the pioneering work of Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, several argumentation scholars in the United States began to defend the rational qualities of rhetoric. Wenzel (1980), for one, prefers to fully credit rhetoric, but then emphatically in relation to logic, particularly dialectics. In France, Reboul (1990) prefers to view rhetoric as second only to dialectics in importance. He regards rhetoric and dialectic as different disciplines that display some overlap. Rhetoric applies dialectic to public discussions while dialectic is also a part of rhetoric because dialectic provides rhetoric with intellectual tools. In Germany, Kopperschmidt (1989) takes it a step further. He argues, viewing things from a historical perspective, that rhetoric is the central concern of argumentation theorists. In the Netherlands, Van Eemeren and Houtlosser (1999) have pursued the integration of rhetoric's insight into their "pragmadialectical" method for analyzing argumentative discourse. In their view, there is a rhetorical goal corresponding with each of the dialectical stages of

Points ofView

It is important to recognize that verbal expressions are not "by nature" standpoints, arguments, or other units of language use which are interesting to argumentation theorists, but only when they occur in a context where they serve a specific function in the communication process. This means that these utterances must be specifically instrumental in achieving a certain goal. An oral or written expression is, for instance, a pointof view, if it expresses a certain positive or negative position with respect to a proposition, thus making it clear exactly what the speaker or writer stands for. In ordinary discourse, explicitness is the exception rather than the rule. Sometimes the communicative function of an utterance becomes clear after the event, when this function is identified by a participant ("So, that is your standpoint then, eh?'; "You have heard my major arguments"), but more often than not, no explicit identification is offered, while, moreover, the propositional content of the utterance remains ambiguous. Fortunately, there are some verbal indicators which specifically refer to





standpoints and argumentation, such as "therefore'; "hence", "so", "thus", "ergo'; and "since'; "for" and "because': Some of them, like "for:' are used retrogressively to refer to a preceding standpoint; while others like "so", are used progressively, and precede the standpoint, and some such as "because:' can be used either way ("I cannot do it because I am ill" and "Because I am ill I cannot do it"). The fewer the number of verbal pointers, the more necessary it is to make use of verbal and non-verbal contextual clues. Usually, some background knowledge of the context and the type of speech event involved, and even some knowledge about the world, is necessary to detect these clues and put them to good use. Confusingly, formulations of standpoints and reasons may be presented in speech acts that are, at first sight, non-assertive, as in "Let's take an umbrella, or do you want to get wet?" Taken literally, what the speaker does here is confront the listener with a proposal, followed by a question. The (rhetorical) question, however, must be interpreted as a reason to accept the implicit standpoint that the two should take an umbrella. To correctly determine the speaker's commitments, one must analyze this discourse as containing an implicit (and indirect) standpoint defended by an implicit (and indirect) reason: "We should take an umbrella,for we do not want to get wet". In the analysis of such implicitness (and indirectness), and in the justification of this analysis, an important role is usually played by general standards for reasoned discourse and by the context (in its broadest sense) of the specific discourse under analysis.

logical analysis, an attempt is made to reconstruct the argument as one that has a valid argument form; in the pragmatic analysis, the unexpressed premise is then more precisely defined on the basis of contextual information and background knowledge. The logical analysis is thus instrumental to the achievement of a satisfactory pragmatic analysis. In the absence of any contextual information or background knowledge, the pragmatic identification of unexpressed premises will be hard to accomplish. A logical analysis must then suffice. Otherwise, there is a danger that the added premise oversteps the mark, attributing more to the speaker than he or she is actually committed to. With unexpressed standpoints we are on safer ground. Starting from the explicit premises, a logical analysis of the underlying argument usually leads to an unequivocal determination of the conclusion representing the unexpressed standpoint that is being advocated.

Argument Schemes

Unexpressed Premises

Unexpressed elements that are only implicitly present in the discourse are in practice often the pivotal points of an argument. This is particularly true for unexpressed premises and unexpressed standpoints. In ordinary arguments, usually one of the premises is left unexpressed. In some cases, the identification of the elements implicit in enthymematic argumentation is quite simple. It is obvious, for example, that in "Amos is pig-headed because he is a teacher" the premise that is left unexpressed is "Teachers are pig-headed': In "I am sure that Amos is pig-headed, since all teachers are pig-headed", it is just as clear that the unexpressed premise is: "Amos is a teacher". There are also cases in which the identification of unexpressed premises may cause more problems - usually, because there are several possibilities. In order to determine what the commitments of an arguer are, the analyst must not only carry out a logical analysis, based on a formal validity criterion, but also a pragmatic analysis, based on standards for reasoned discourse. In the

It sh2!lld!12tpe !,*~!!J2!JQ~nt~d th~t an..YQ!le who puts forward an argument is automatically attempting to logically derive the conclusion from ili--;;p~;~et, in some way or another, a transfer of acceptance from the ;xplid!: premise to the standpoint must be aimed for. On this point, thus far, formal logic does not have much to offer. Modern logicians, even when they are cgE:,~~rn~~~~pin&~!ternative systems such as non-monotonic logic and defaultlogic, seem almost unanimous in their concern with formal validi!y~ertIiansuDStailtive"reraUonSb-etWeenpremises and conclusions. ~-:. ceEc!rating on thSJ!.J:.Ilbklm of imRlication and truth, they tend to ignore tb; p~o~~I!1~_ of pl~usible inference and the transmission of acceptanc~ The speaker or writer who puts forward an argument aims to effect a transfer of acceptance from the premises to the standpoint that makes the listener or reader accept the standpoint. Hence, the speaker attempts to design the argument in such a fashion that it will convince the listener. Take the following argument: "Daniel will certainly be concerned about the costs, because he is an American:' When looking for an argument to defend the standpoint that Daniel will be concerned about the costs, the arguer may, for example, have entertained an unfriendly thought like "It is typical of Americans that they are materialistic." From this thought, the arguer's standpoint may have been backed up by the argument, the unexpressed premise being "Americans are inclined to care a lot about money." By arguing in this manner, the speaker or writer is relying on a more or less ready-made argument scheme. Argument schemes are conventionalized ways of displaying a relation between that which is stated in the explicit premise and that which is stated in





the standpoint. The internal organisation of each single argument can be characterized by the argument scheme being employed. Because an argument scheme characterizes the type of justification or refutation provided for the standpoint in a single argument by the explicit premise for the standpoint, an analysis of the argument schemes used in a discourse produces information regarding the principles, standards, criteria, or assumptions involved in a particular attempt at justification or refutation. In most cases, some interpretative effort is required to identify the argument scheme that is being em ployed, i.e., to discover the topos on which the argumentation rests. In this endeavor, again, pragmatic knowledge must be brought to bear. !\!~ ment schemes are ~l!&1hes;ml~s:.P!?.s!udi<:<!Y!~~!1iY<iYJ:!y~\l2E.~nta!io~__ l-iheon~;te- a com lementar alternative to the formal . 0 t~ndtheir v~~y !2~~Jhe point of de~arture in these studies is generally that in argumentative discourse, dependmg on the argument scheme used, various types of argumentation can be distinguished and that each type of argumentation requires that specific critical questions are answered.

The structure of argumentation is sometimes clearly indicated by the use of connecting expressions such as "apart from X, Y", "Y, moreover X", and "for, because Y, X" respectively. Or the structure may be clear from the content of the arguments. Often, however, a problem in the analysis of complex argumentation arises because the literal presentation makes insufficiently clear how the argumentation is structured. To solve this problem, again, all kinds of contextual and other pragmatic factors need to be taken into account.


Argumentation Structures

A central problem in the analysis of argumentative discourse is determining the structure of the argumentation. The argumentation structure of a text, speech or discussion is determined by the way the reasons advanced hang gether and jointly support the defended standpoint. An adequate evaluatIOn of the argumentative discourse cannot take place as long as it is unclear what the structure of the argumentation is. What kind of structural relations can


be distinguished? Argumentation for or against a standpoint can be simply "single argumentation", which consists of one reason for or against the standpoint. But the argumentation can also have a more complex argumentation structure, depending on the way the defense of the standpoint has been organized in view of (anticipated) doubts or criticism. In a more complexly structured argumentation several reasons are put forward for or against the same standpoint. These reasons can be alternative defenses of the standpoint which are unrelated ("It is impossible that you saw my mother last week in Sheringham in Marks and Spencer's, because my mother died two years ago and She ringham does not have a Marks and Spencer's"), but they can also be interdependent, so that there is a "parallel chain" of reasons which mutually strengthen or complement each other ("We have to dine out because there is nothing left athome and all the shops are closed"), or a "serial chain" of reasons ("I cannot help you with painting next week, because next week I have no time because I have to study for an exam").

Another concept argumentation theorists are especially interested in is that of the fallacies. \Ti!!ually~,,-erJ:'.l!9rfQi!tive ths:ory of argumentation incll!des<!. treatment of the fallacies. In some sense the quality of a normative theory of argumentation canevenbeTudged from the degree to which it makes it possible to provide an adequate analysis of the fallacies. Conversely, it stands to reason that offering an analysis of notorious fallacies can be conducive to the examination of the norms of sound argumentation. According'to the standard definition, a fallacy is an argument that seems valid but is not (Hamblin 1970: 12). Well-known objections to this definition point out that a great number of the generally recognized fallacies are not arguments (e.g., "many questions") and others (in modern interpretations) are not invalid arguments (e.g., petitio principii) or the fallaciousness is not due to the invalidity of the argument (e.g., argumentum ad verecundiam, argumentum ad populum, argumentum ad hominem). Therefore, these types of fallacies are not covered by the definition. One explanation why fallacy theorists stuck with this definition, even though many fallacies remain outside its scope, is that until recently most approaches to fallacies have been restrictively logico-centric. However, if the old definition is dropped, as most modern argumentation theorists have done, and fallacies are ~.!1ceive.Q.2..f~~discu~si~ moves which in some way damage

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ated vie. QL~ a pragmatIC approach that makes allowances for the communicative and interactional context in which fallacies occur is required. Without taking pragmatic knowledge into account, many fallacies cannot be satisfactorily analyzed. In the study of fallacies, a set of norms must be developed for distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable moves in argumentative discourse. The criteria used in deciding whether such a norm has been violated, should also be investigated. For determining if these criteria are satisfied in specific cases,



procedural tools, involving the use of various kinds of contextual information, need to be designed. As a preliminary to this last enterprise, it must be established whether the situation in which a would -be fallacy occurs is indeed within the scope of the norms. All contributions to the fulfillment of these tasks are pertinent to the development of argumentation theory.

Argument Interpretation and Reconstruction

Although not so much a concept as a research area, the problems involved in argument interpretation and reconstruction require our attention when we are dealing with the state ofthe art of studying the production, analysis, and evaluation of argumentation. These problems are approached quite differently in each of the various theoretical contributions to the study of argumentation. The interests of argument interpretation center around the general characteristics of the organisation of discourse and the features of argumentative discourse that ordinary language users employ to orient themselves with when interpreting arguments, and around the reasoning processes that are applied in argument interpretation. When it comes to argument reconstruction, different methods are employed using various approaches such as formal logic, informal logic, rhetoric and pragma-dialectics. Argument interpretation is the basis of argument reconstruction. Argumentative discourse can only be systematically reconstructed from a normative perspective, developed for the purposes of argument evaluation, after it has been interpreted properly. This is why argumentation theorists need to not only be engaged in developing methods for reconstructing argumentative discourse in a highly-motivated manner, but also in disclosing the way in which ordinary language users proceed in making sense of argumentative discourse. They have to detect the various verbal and nonverbal tools the arguers put to good use in this endeavor in order to be in a better position to develop reconstruction methods that consciously transcend ordinary interpretative practice.

applied in legal contexts and the relevant findings in the study of argumentation in the field of law. As is evident in their writings, the founding fathers of modern argumentation theory, Stephen Toulmin and Chaim Perelman, were fully aware of this. The study of legal argumentation presents a great variety of approaches and topics of interest. The different approaches usually lead to different research topics and different conceptions of the relation between the soundness criteria as applied in legal procedures and the soundness criteria as developed in argumentation theory. In what manner do the two kinds of soundness criteria relate to each other? What kinds of explanations can demonstrate the differences? What are the reasonableness conceptions underlying the various approaches to legal argumentation? Such questions are studied in this specific area of the study of argumentation and their answers can be illuminating to the field as a whole.

1.3 Overview of the Book

Argumentation in the Field ofLaw

Legal practice is the argumentative practice par excellence. In modern society, the institution of the court offers a place where various kinds of disputes that cannot be resolved without recourse to specific procedures and the judgment of disinterested outsiders can be resolved. Argumentation theorists are therefore well-advised to pay special attention to the argumentative proceedings

Crucial Concepts in Argumentation Theory aims to provide interested readers with an overview of the current study of some fundamental problems in argumentation theory. For this purpose, the next five chapters discuss in greater detail the five concepts and the two prominent problem areas we have just briefly described. Various theoretical perspectives are presented by authors who have paid special attention to these concepts in their earlier work. In chapter 2, Peter Houtlosser discusses the concept of point ofview. He differentiates between the approaches to points of view favored in the pragmadialectical argumentation theory, the socio-psychological research of persuasion, cognitive research, argumentative discourse analysis, structuralist informal logic, procedural informal logic, advocacy and debate, and communicative action theory. He also indicates what the starting points could be for further research. The chapter closes, just as all the other chapters, with an extensive bibliography on the specific subject. In chapter 3, Susanne Gerritsen devotes her attention to unexpressed premises. She first explains two traditional approaches, and then turns to the deductive-inductive distinction and also discusses pluralism, modern deductivism, and the "neither pluralist nor deductivist stance". She then turns to the nature of the unexpressed premise, focusin on the confusion of definitions, the unexpressed premise s a a -filler and utilized and necessa -remises. When discussing the role of the context, she pays particular attention to the meaning of "context" and the position of the analyst. The relation between unexpressed premises and argument schemes is also discussed.





Chapter 4, written by Bart Garssen, is devoted to argument schemes. After introducing the concept, Garssen first concentrates on the use of argument schemes in finding arguments. He discusses the classical topical tradition, Whately's rhetoric, and Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's new rhetoric. He then turns to the relation between argument schemes and the evaluation of argumentation. He pays particular attention to American textbooks on academic debate, Hastings' classification of types of warrants, Schellens' reasonable argument forms, and the pragma-dialectical typology of argument schemes. Before his concluding remarks, Garssen deals with the use of argument schemes for describing the characteristics of argumentative discourse. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans, author of chapter 5, describes the different conceptions of the various kinds of argumentation structures and the way in which they are studied. In her historical overview, she deals with classical rhetoric, enlightenment rhetoric, as well as the early textbooks. In her discussion of modern approaches, Snoeck Henkem~ns explains the textbook distinctions between linked and convergent premises and between coordinative and multiple argumentation. The theoretical approaches she considers worth discussing in more detail are Freeman's Toulminian approach, her own pragrna-dialectical approach, and Walton's pragmatic approach. She also pays specific attention to the methods of analysis in doubtful cases. In chapter 6, I begin by recounting the history of the study of fallacies. I move from the Aristotelian approach to fallacies, to idols and sophisms, to the ad fallacies, syllogistic and inductive fallacies, and the treatment of fallacies in logic textbooks. Then I turn to modern theoretical approaches to fallacies such as Hamblin's criticism of the "standard treatment", post -Hamblin treatments of the fallacies, the Woods-Walton approach, the formal dialectical approach, the pragma-dialectical approach, and Walton's pragmatic approach. Agnes van Rees, in chapter 7, concentrates on argument interpretation and argument reconstruction. In her discussion of argument interpretation, she highlights some general characteristics of discourse organisation features prevalent in argumentative discourse, patterning and linguistic devices. The interpretation section closes with some observations concerning the study of cognitive processes. In the argument reconstruction section, Van Rees discusses logic, informal logic - paying special attention to unexpressed premises and argumentation structure - rhetoric and pragma-dialectics. Chapter 8, by Eveline Feteris, is devoted to argumentation in the field oflaw. Feteris distinguishes different approaches to legal argumentation such as the logical approach, the rhetorical approach and the dialogical approach. When discussing the topics in legal argumentation research, she starts from the pragmadialectical division of the research program into the philosophical component, the theoretical component, the analytical component, the em-

pirical component, and the practical component. Feteris' contribution to ends with a broad but selective bibliography.

Bibliography Anscombre, J.-c., and o. Ducrot (1983). L'argumentation dans la langue. Brussels: Mardaga. Barth, E.M. and E.C.W. Krabbe (1982). From Axiom to Dialogue. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Blair,J.A, and R.H. Johnson (1987). "Argumentation as Dialectical:' Argumentation, 1, 1, 41-56. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1984). Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions. Berlin/Dordrecht: Walter de Gruyter/Foris. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1992). Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Eemeren, EH. van, and P. Houtlosser (1999). "Strategic Manoeuvring in Argumentative Discourse:' Discourse Studies, 1, 4, 479-497 Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, A.E Snoeck Henkemans, J.A. Blair, R.H. Johnson, E.C.W. Krabbe, C. Plantin, D.N. Walton, C.A. Willard, J. Woods, and D. Zarefsky (1996). Fundamentals ofArgumentation Theory. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Govier, T. (1987). Problems in Argument Analysis and Evaluation. Dordrecht: Foris. Hamblin, c.L. (1970). Fallacies. London: Methuen. Photographic reprint Newport News, VA: Vale Press. Johnson, R.H., and J.A. Blair (1977/1993). Logical Self-Defense. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 3rd ed., 1993. Kopperschmidt, J. (1989). Methodik der Argumentationsanalyse. Stuttgart: Fromann -Holzboog. N0lke, H. (1992). "Semantic constraints on argumentation: From polyphonic microstructure to argumentative macro-structure:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Argumentation Illuminated. Amsterdam: SICSATlISSA, 189-200. Perelman, c., and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958/1969). La nouvelle rhetorique: traite de l'argumentation. Bruxelles: l'Universite de Bruxelles. English translation The New Rhetoric. A Treatise on Argumentation. Notre Dame etc.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969. Reboul,o. (1990). "Rhetorique et dialectique chez Aristote." Argumentation, 4,1,35-52.





Toulmin, S.E. (1958). The Uses ofArgument. Cambridge: Cambridge Univerd J dS N II sity Press. Wenzel,J.W.(1980 )."PerspectivesonArgument."In:Rho es, .,an . ewe, (Eds., 1980 ). Proceedings of the 1979 Summer Conference on Argument. Falls Church: SCA, 112-133.

Points ofView
Peter Houtlosser

2.1 Introduction

In the study of argumentation, argumentation is generally considered to consist of a set of statements put forward to support or rebut, or justify or refute, some other statement. This other statement can provisionally be referred to as the point of view. In evaluating its quality, the strength of an argumentation can only be established if it is clear what point of view the argumentation is supposed to support or rebut. When it is impossible to establish which point of view is at issue, it also becomes impossible to determine whether the argumentation is relevant, let alone whether it provides adequate support for that particular point of view. As everyone knows, it is not always easy to find out what point of view is at issue in a particular case. One of the central issues in the study of argumentation is how an analyst can adequately identify the points of view in an argumentative text or conversation. For this problem to be resolved, it must first be clear which conception of a point of view should be adopted. How exactly is the object of argumentation to be understood? The answer to this question depends largely on the theoretical perspective from which argumentation is approached. Different perspectives are motivated by different concerns and interests. These concerns and interests have consequences for the way in which the object of argumentation is conceived. Social psychologists, for instance, are interested in the degree to which persuasive messages affect people's attitudes; informal logicians in the conditions under which conclusions can be inferred from premises in natural arguments; discourse analysts are interested in the way in which people propound their opinions in talk exchanges; while dialecticians are interested in the degree to which theses or standpoints are up to critical scrutiny in argumentative discussion. This chapter provides an overview of the ways in which the object of argumentation is characterized by various approaches to argumentation and the methods used to identify that object. The overview will commence with the characterization of the notion of "standpoint" as it is used in the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation (the "Amsterdam School"). Preceding this characterization, 2.2.1 briefly discusses the dialectical notion of"thesis" as it is used in classical and formal dialectic. This notion can be regarded as the


forerunner of the pragma-dialectical notion of a "standpoint". In o~der t.o establish in what respects the pragma-dialectical notion of a standpomt dIffers from "equivalent" notions used in contemporary argu~entation :esear~h, "standpoints" will subsequently be compared to the notlOns used m soc~o psychological research on persuasion (2.2.3); cognitive rese.arch on reasomng (2.2.4); argumentative discourse analysis (2.2.5); structurahst (2.2.6) and procedural (2.2.7); informal logic; advocacy and debate (2.2.8); and the communicative action approach to argumentation (2.2.9) In conclusion, some i~ter relations between the various notions are indicated; the procedures for Identifying them are discussed, as well as some perspectives on further research (2.3)

2.2 DifferentApproaches to Points ofView 2.2.1 Classical and Formal Dialectic In the Topica (ed. 1966), Aristotle devotes particular attention to the dialectical notion of thesis. A thesis, as he sees it, is "the conception contrary to geneb ral opinion but propounded by someone famous as a philosopher:' (104 119120). The fact that a thesis should be contrary to what people thmk about a certain subject is emphasized when Aristotle adds: "Or a thes~s may c~~cer~ matters on which we hold a reasoned view contrary to receIved opmlOns (104 124-126 ). This definition seems to assume that non-philosoph~rs ~an b also present a thesis, but the notion that a thesis is only worth consldenng when presented by a reputed philosopher is emphasized in Aristotle's additional comment that "to pay any attention when an ordinary person sets forth views which are contrary to received opinions is foolish" (104b 122-124) The examples of theses that Aristotle supplies- "Contradiction is impossible", "All things are in a state of motion" (104b 121-123) - make it clear that t~e conte~t of a thesis should be a philosophical issue. Aristotle calls such an ISsue a dIalectical problem. A dialectical problem is "something a~o~t which either men have no opinion either way, or most people hold an opmlOn contra.ry to that of the wise, or the wise contrary to that of most people, or somethm~, about b which members of each of these classes disagree among themselves (104 103- 5). Phrased in modern terms, dialectical problems are disputable philo10 sophical issues. As these definitions suggest, there is a close relation between theses and dialectical problems. For all practical purposes, they may even be co~side~ed to coincide: "a thesis is always a problem" (104b 129) and "almost all dlalectlCal problems are now called theses" (104b 135-137). Nevertheless, there is a rele-

vant distinction: "not every problem is a thesis, since some problems are such that.,:e hold no opinion about them either way." This implies that a thesis, in addltlOn to pertaining to something controversial, also involves a choice or opinion, which may be absent in the problem as such. D~alectical p:oblems are constitutive of "an investigation leading either to chOlce and aVOldance or to truth and knowledge, either by itself or as an aid to the solution of some other such problem" (104b lOl-103). In other words, for moral or epistemological reasons, they are examined critically. But, as Aristo~le notes, only some problems and theses deserve dialectical examination: "It IS not ne~essary to e~amine every problem and every thesis but only one about whlCh doubt mIght be felt by the kind of person who requires to be argued with" (105a 103-105). In order to be a candidate for critical examination then,. a thesis or problem must, at least potentially, be disputable to someon~ who IS worth arguing with. Once a thesis or problem enters the examination process, it is argued for, and argued against, with the help of "dialectical propositions". Aristotle defines a dialectical proposition as a "question which accords with the opinion held by everyone or by the majority or by the wise-either all of the wise or the majority or the most famous of them - and which is not paradoxical" (104a 811). Rephrased in our current terminology, dialectical propositions are undisputed by those who matter intellectually; as such, they are the premises with which a thesis can be defended. To summarize, it can be said iliat by Aristotle's definition, a thesis is a reputed philosopher's opinion concerning a disputable philosophical issue which contr~~cts the o~inion of others who are worth arguing with, is put forward for c~ltlcal exammation, and must be defended by means of undisputed premIses.
~n formal dialectic, a present-day descendant of classical dialectic, propound-

mg a thesis is not restricted to philosophers and a thesis is not restricted to philosophical issues, as they were in Aristotelean dialectic.' Nicholas Rescher is a p.hilosopher who remains close to Aristotle; his focus is on systems of dialectlc that provide a rational method for scientific inquiry. In Dialectics (~97~)' Re.scher developed a model of formal disputation. A formal disputatlOn IS a dIscussion involving three parties: a "proponent': an "opponent" and a "determi~er': ~he proponent formulates a thesis and builds a prima facie case ~or ilil~ thesIs by adducing "grounds"; the opponent attacks the propone~t s thesIs and grounds by objecting and making counter-arguments to whiCh the proponent has to respond; the determiner presides as referee and judge ove~ ilie ~onduct of ilie dispute (1977: 3-4). Apart from iliis type of asymmetncal dispute, Rescher also distinguishes a "symmetrical contradic-



tory debate", in which the opponent has to defend a thesis of his own, which is contradictory to the thesis of the proponent. According to Rescher's analysis, propounding a thesis consists of making a categorical assertion. Making such an assertion involves taking on a commitment to defend both the assertion and all logical consequences that follow from it. In addition, the proponent takes on a similar kind of commitment for every subsequent move he makes since all of them have to be categorical assertions. Inspired by the semantic approach to argumentation developed by Arne Naess (1966) and the studies on dialogue logic done by the "Erlangen School" (Kamiah and Lorenzen 1967, Lorenzen and Lorenz 1978), Barth and Krabbe, in From axiom to dialogue (1982), proposed sets of systems of rules for critical dialogues aimed at resolving conflicts or disputes between a proponent and an opponent concerning one or more externalized or "avowed" opinions. An avowed opinion, in their conception, is a statement Tput forward by the proponent and attacked by the opponent. Tis the initial thesis of the discussion. The next statements in the discussion are all "concessions" - they constitute the basis from which Tmay be defended and attacked. In a simple or "pure" conflict, only the proponent has to defend a thesis; he has nothing to attack (except the attacks made by the opponent); the opponent has no thesis to defend and just has to attack the proponent's thesis. In a mixed conflict, the opponent has something to defend as well - a thesis that opposes the proponent's thesis or a concession which is challenged by the proponent. In both cases, the proponent has also engaged in attacking statements of the opponent (see Van Eemeren eta1.1996: 265). For Barth and Krabbe, discussing a particular thesis makes sense only if the proponent is prepared to commit himself positively, i.e., to assume an obligation to defend the thesis against the opponent's criticisms, and if the opponent is prepared to take on a negative commitment, i.e., to make use of his unconditional right to criticize the proponent's thesis systematically. The same types of commitments are to be taken on with regard to the concessions, the other statements made in the discussion - the opponent will be positively committed, the proponent negatively (1982: 57-58).

stages. The model of a critical discussion serY!LlUULheuristic tool in tb.i:.,~ -I?rocess of aIlalytic recoustruction and as an evaluative tool in the process of sri tical assessment. In the pragma-dialectical theory the object of argumentation is referred to as the standpoint. The pragma-dialectical conception of a standpoint agrees with the meta theoretical principles of externalization, functionalization, socialization, and dialectification. In agreeement with the principle of externalization, a standpoint is not viewed as a psychological attitude or mental state, but as a verbally expressed position carrying specific commitments and responsibilities. In agreement with the principle of functionalization, not only the proposition that expresses a standpoint is subject to analysis, but also the communicative speech act of advancing a standpoint. In agreement with the principle of socialization, a standpoint is not just regarded as the individual expression of someone's subjective opinion, but as a public statement put forward for acceptance by a listener or reader who is assumed not to share the speaker or writer's point of view. In agreement with the principle of dialectification, acceptance of a standpoint is only considered to be justified when the standpoint turns out to be resistant to the criticisms of an antagonist put forward in a regimented procedure of pro and con discussion. In Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions, Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst characterize a standpoint as an externalized position of a speaker or writer in respect to a formulated opinion (1984: 5). This position can be explicitly expressed with the help of a standard paraphrase:
My point of view in respectto [the opinion lOis that 0 is/is not the case (1984: 114).

Conversely, a speaker or writer who - in this manner, or in a similar one _ states a position indicates that he regards the subject of that position as an opinion (1984: 96). A standpoint can be positive or negative. If it is positive, the speaker or writer externalizes a positive position in respect to a formulated opinion ("I think that women are better drivers than men"); if it is negative, he externalizes a negative position ("I do not think that women are better drivers than men"). The opinion to which the positive or negative position pertains can be either positive or negative as well ("[I (do not) think that] women are better drivers then men"; "[I (do not) think that] women are not better drivers than men"). In advancing a position in respect to an opinion, the speaker or writer assumes a duty to defend that position when requested to do so. Depending on whether the position is positive or negative, he has committed himself to justifying or refuting that opinion for the listener or reader. 2 The speech activity of advancing a standpoint can be characterized by defin-

2.2.2 Pragma-Dialectics In the pragma-dialectical argumentation theory, argumentative discourse is studied with a view of critical evaluation. Starting from the assumption that argumentation is part of a critical discussion aimed at resolving a difference of opinion, a model has been developed of the stages of the resolution process and the various types of speech acts that are instrumental in each of these






ing it as a speech act and by formulating its felicity conditions. In this endeavor, two questions are relevant: (1) What type of speech act (assertive, commissive, directive, expressive, or declarative) is performed in advancing a standpoint? (2) Under which conditions is this speech act performed happily? I ~~ording tQ.VaDJ~5:!!!~~eI1aIl~ <:;rootendorst_{19~1"<l<!\,ill!cing a standI pointis.!il!l1ilJ!l0l,!!l! !() performing an assertive - only speech acts belonging to the cla~~ 2fl~S(!!:!!y~~-~!y"a,~o!nmlimmUQtbs;JMhJ.U:.cQrrectn~"of t!t"~E:.~p~~.i!~2natmut~!!l,QLtlLe..R~~h.il~tr,~!iQI_fQeA Of course, in practice not every standpoint is directly advanced as an assertive. Moreover, advancing a standpoint is more than performing just any assertive. Unlike most other assertives (e.g., announcements), standpoints are typically advanced in a context in which the listener or reader is supposed to have doubts regarding the acceptability of the assertive. As with other speech acts, the felicity conditions of advancing a standpoint can be divided into two groups: (1) identity conditions indicating what makes an utterance a performance of a particular speech act; (2) correctness conditions indicating what an entirely correct performance of that speech act amounts to (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1984: 42). Jointly, the identity conditions and the correctness conditions constitute a definition of the speech act, in this case, the speech act of advancing a standpoint. For advancing a positive standpoint, these felicity conditions read as follows (Houtlosser 1995: 75-83):3 Identity Conditions Propositional Content Condition 1 The propositional content of the standpoint consists of an expressed opinion O. 2 0 consists of one or more utterances. Essential Condition Advancing a standpoint counts as taking responsibility for a positive position in respect to 0, i.e., as assuming an obligation to defend a positive position in respect to 0, if requested to do so. Correctness Conditions Preparatory Condition 1 Speaker S believes that listener L does not (already, at face value, completely) acceptO. 2 S believes that he can justify 0 for L with the help of arguments. Sincerity Condition 1 S believes that 0 is the case. 4 2 S has the intention to justify 0 for L with the help of arguments if requested to do so.

In the pragma-dialectical perspective on argumentative discourse, an utterance can also function as a standpoint without having been presented as such. An informative assertive, for instance, may start to function as a standpoint if the listener questions the information provided in the assertive. In such a case, the speaker has retrospectively committed an offense against the interactional principle that prescribes that speakers must not perform speech acts that are not acceptable to the listener (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1991). If the speaker has indeed performed a speech act that appears not acceptable to the listener, then he should attempt to make it acceptable in the second instance - or he must retract it. This means that any assertive that is not explicit1y or implicitly accepted by the listener - and that is not retracted by the speaker - incurs an obligation for the speaker to justity his assertive for the listener. If he complies with this obligation, he in effect supports the opinion that his assertive is acceptable and appears to take a positive standpoint in respect of this opinion. Non-assertive speech acts may also occasion a speaker to defend a standpoint. If the speaker, for example, requests a listener to do something ("Hold the door for me, will you?") and the listener makes it clear that he is not inclined to comply with that request ("Why?"), the speaker must either justity his request ("I've got these boxes to carry") or retract it ("OK, leave it") - otherwise he obstructs the normal process of interaction. If the speaker justifies his request, he actually supports the opinion that his request is acceptable. Just as in the case of an assertive, he then implies that he takes a positive standpoint in respect of the opinion at issue. 5

2.2.3 Socio-Psychological Research of Persuasion At the center of the socio-psychological research of persuasion is the notion of "attitude': According to Daniel O'Keefe in his critical survey, Persuasion (1990), with the term attitude, social psychologists refer to a person's inner, positive or negative evaluation of an object- another person, an institution, an event, a product, a policy, and so on - based on specific beliefs about the supposed properties of that object. Attitudes are not innate; they are a "residue of experience" (1990: 18). They are also enduring and involve a disposition to act in a certain way. Someone may, for instance, have adopted a negative attitude towards the European Union as a result of years of negative reporting; his attitude will not change just because he has received a few positive reports, and the tendency is for him to continue to express himself negatively rather than positively about the Union (see also Krech and Crutchfield 1969: 679) When this conception of an attitude is compared with the pragma-dialectical




definition of a standpoint, some clear differences emerge. First, an attitude is an inner state of mind and a standpoint is an externalized position. The externalized position may - and, in empirical reality, more often than not will- of course be based on some inner state. If someone advances a standpoint in a discussion, say the standpoint that the European Union is an undesirable institution, it is more likely that he already has a more negative attitude towards the Union than a positive one. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that this is indeed the case. A second difference is that only standpoints carry an obligation to argue. Attitudes do not, despite the fact that standpoints are often inspired by attitudes and sometimes even based on attitudes. Advancing a standpoint creates certain commitments, having an attitude does not. A third , / ~i~erence b~tween attitudes and standpointsi~JhilJ;l!t:!itlldi;;S inYRly~ ;t2:i~ ; LsltIon to act ill a certain way while standpoints per se do not.A speaker's standI ipoint does not necessarily have to agree with his actions; viewed dialectically, it only needs to be consistent with other externalized positions propounded by the same speaker in the same discussion. In all other cases, a tu E,uoEudi!lla.cy is committed when a discrepan<::y is p()iJ.JJ~.<{illit~e~~e~ s~;:e~~e';"standpoi!?:t ,~~h.i~ be?~lv:i()r,"{Uourth and last differen~b~tween attii~d~s and standpoints is th~t attitudes are enduring and standpoints are not per se. Viewed dialectically, their existence lasts only until the end of the critical discussion in which they are scrutinized. Then they have either been accepted, in which case they are no longer subjected to doubt and no longer have the status of a standpoint, or they are retracted, in which case they cease to exist.

Cognitive Research on Reasoning In the area of cognitive research on reasoning, the notion of "belief" plays an important role. According to Gilbert Harman, whose books Thought (1973) and Change in view (1986) are prominent in this field, "beliefs" are mentalattitudes. Unlike the attitudes that are central to the socio-psychological research on persuasion, beliefs are mental attitudes that do not pertain to an object, but to a relation between an object and a certain feature, or to a (supposed) state of affairs. "Paul is in the garden'; for instance, expresses the belief that the feature "being in the garden" comes with the object "Paul"; and "It is raining" expresses the belief that the present state of the world is such that it is raining. 6 According to Harman, someone who has a certain belief is committed to fully accept what he believes.7 This person does not find it necessary to investigate whether what he believes is really true. He also assumes that he has (or had) good reasons to accept what he believes as true. All the same, he does not have to be capableof justifying that belief (1986: 13-14, 4 6 -53). To what extent do beliefs differ from standpoints? First, a belief is an inner

mental state and a standpoint is a position that is externalized in a statement. Second, the commitments involved in adopting a belief and the commitments involved in advancing a standpoint differ in two respects. In the first respect, someone who adopts a certain belief assumes certain commitments towards himself, while someone who advances a standpoint, in the first place, assumes commitments towards others.s Only in the latter case do the commitments really create obligations that the speaker must live up to in the ensuing interaction. If, for instance, someone believes that a Labor government will make for a new dawn, he is only committed to that belief towards himself. Even ifhe were he to vote for the Tories in the next election, there is not really much that can be critically stated about his decision (save that he should see an analyst). But if he seriously advanced the standpoint that Labor would actually lead to a new dawn, then he can no longer get away with asserting in the same discussion that one should vote for the Tories. By advancing the newdawn standpoint he has assumed an obligation to defend that standpoint. This implies that he is no longer free to say things that contradict that standpoint. Another difference between beliefs and standpoints is that someone who has adopted a belief should have had good reasons for its adoption. Apart from the initial requirement at the time of adoption, there is no requirement , to produce reasons for having a belief. A speaker who has advanced a standpoint, however, may at all times be required to produce arguments in its favor. Among other differences between beliefs and standpoints is the fact that beliefs belong in a context of inquiry ar:.d stan~points iJ.!.a context of iystifici!,tlOIl.:AZontext of inquiry means that reasoning takes place based on certain premises; inferences are made in which one belief emanates, as it were, from other beliefs. Beliefs are adopted on the basis of other beliefs. If a belief is rejected because it turns out to be false, this usually leads to abandoning other beliefs as well, namely the beliefs from which it emanated. A context of justification implies that a previously disputed standpoint is defended, although the arguments may in practice, of course, also be advanced before the standpoint is put forward. Dialectically speaking, however, the standpoint precedes the arguments - otherwise there is nothing to defend.


Argumentative Discourse Analysis In argumentative discourse analysis, "opinion" is one of the most prominent notions. Deborah Schiffrin (1985,1987,1990) presents a characterization of opinions which is based on her analyses of everyday discourse. She describes opinions as inherently disputable statements in which an individual, subjec-



tive. and evaluative position is presented in respect to a possible, existing, or desirable state of affairs. 9 A distinctive feature of opinions appears to be that they are not "externally verifiable': According to Schiffrin, the term opinion refers to a mental state which is only accessible to the speaker himself (1987: 236; 1990: 244). Someone who expresses an opinion is primarily committed to the sincerity of his words, not to the truth of what he says. Even when the speaker refuses to justify his opinion, he cannot be denied the right to maintain that opinion. According to Schiffrin, expressed opinions carry no burden of proof. This feature, to a certain extent, makes opinions immune from criticism (1985: 40; 1990: 248). At first glance, opinions and standpoints seem to have a great deal in common. Both opinions and standpoints are a type of statement, both of these statements express some sort of position which, as a rule, will not go undisputed, and both opinions and standpoints can be individual and subjective. But there are also some crucial differences. According to Schiffrin, opinions do not carry a burden of proof; standpoints do; a standpoint must be defended against criticisms. If a standpoint turns out to be untenable in a discussion, it would be unreasonable to main~ain it - although it may, of course, be put forward in a new discussion, so that It may be defended again. According to Schiffrin, an opinion can also be maintained if the critic, at the conclusion of a discussion, is still not convinced of.its ~cceptability. In her view, opinions are subjected to different rationality cn~e~la than standpoints. Yet, in everyday life, not everyone will agree that opmlOns do not need to be defended. Although Schriffrin's characterization of an opinion is avowedly founded on analyses of everyday discourse, it is in this respect slightly esoteric. Another important difference between opinions and standpoints is that someone who expresses an opinion primarily commits himself to being sincere, not to being right, as is the case with someone who advances a standpoint. When a standpoint is advanced, the sincerity of the speaker is implied ~though not necessarily achieved). Again, Schiffrin's conception of an opin1O~ s~ems to depart from the ordinary language user's understanding of an opmlOn.As a general rule, someone who utters an opinion in everyday life not only wants to assert that he is being sincere, but also that he is right.lO

Study of Argument (1992) and Ralph Johnson and Anthony Blair in Logical Self- Defense (1994). Both Govier and Johnson and Blair regard a conclusion as

a proposition that is derived from one or more other propositions or premises: "The conclusion emerges from the premises" (Govier 1992: 27). They also regard a conclusion as a statement that is in dispute, and in support of which, reasons have been put forward: "Any sentence expressing an opinion [that someone has asserted and is defending] expresses what is called a conclusion of the argument" (Johnson and Blair 1994: 10, 29-30); "The conclusion is the claim or statement that is in dispute and that we are trying to support with reasons" (Govier 1992: 5)." As a consequence, their characterization of a conclusion does not apply to the final points of logical patterns that are structurally parallel to, but functionally different from, arguments. For example, instances of explanatory reasoning such as "Someone else was appointed to the case, because the person to whom it originally had been assigned was on holiday" parallel the logical structure of arguments such as "He will surely come back, because he left the pictures of his mother here"; the proposition "Someone else was appointed to the case" in the explanation, however, cannot count as a conclusion in the informal logic sense, since it is not in dispute and no attempt is made to support it. In this respect, Govier's and Johnson and Blair's use of the term conclusion differs slightly from the way in which the word "conclusion" is used in everyday discourse. Colloquially, a conclusion may very well be the result of a piece of explanatory reasoning. Because he does not make a distinction between argumentative and explanatory reasoning, for Thomas a conclusion can also be the result of explanatory reasoning,u He defines a conclusion as "any statement that an author presents as justified or explained by some reason in a discourse" (19 86 : 34). In comparing conclusions to standpoints, it is preferable to start from Thomas' definition of a conclusion, because, by using that definition, the differences between standpoints and conclusions become clearer than when one employs Govier's and Johnson and Blair's definitions. . The first difference, then, is that a conclusion mi!YQt'!_~:;!ate~nt!!1i!i-1S made (m;~~);c~~Pt~bl~-bi-~th~~~t~t~~~l}i~,Ql!t .~lso a..st~temen1_~U ,A ~~-;(mQief~en;ib)e1by other statements. With a ~tandpoint, the I"only Issue is acceptability. Formulas suc~~s~~lj>E~!! ~?~~uCldate Il1ystand-


Structuralist Informal Logic The notion of "conclusion" in the structuralist approach to argumentation is commonly used by prominent informal logicians such as Stephen Thomas in Practical Reasoning in Natural Language (1986), Trudy Govier in A Practical

point"may be colloquial, ~I,!!~()~~~~~*~"r"<?'~l,~~~f~~~!~~~g~~t~ ;' munize'a'st;l!tdllciii!dhim~~TIiliJll,]Y acting as if their standpomrm.~ ~ \ ~l~~ld~tfo;':'~~~~~~~ggestthat the stan4I2Qint has alr~bee~a:~1 /' cepted by their anta~on~t,!yll~It:~~it .(l<:c:e.p~i!bili4:~~!S~~.~.a.~()l'lii , , The;;;:onddiffe~e;;e between conclusions and standpoints is that conclusions end a piece of reasoning whereas standpoints get the discussion - and ~ the argumentation - started. In empirical reality, a standpoint may also be




concluded from arguments previously propounded and a conclusion may precede the reasons that support it, but logically, conclusions emerge from premises already stated, whereas dialectically, standpoints precede their defense. These differences have, by the way, nothing to do with the nature or the formal properties of the statements by means of which they are advanced; depending on the perspective one takes, the same statement may be analyzed as a conclusion or as a standpoint.

point.'4 In order for an assertion to be a standpoint, additional conditions must be fulfilled (see 2.2.1).

2.2.8 Advocacy and Debate A debate in the North American style centers around "propositions." As Austin Freeley describes it in his prominent book, Argumentation ~nd De~ate (1993), in a debate two parties attempt, with the help of argument~tI~n, to ~us tify or refute to a judge a statement about whi.ch a di~erence of opl~lOn .eXists. The affirmative side defends the statement ill confhct; the negative SIde attacks it. The statement that is defended and attacked is called the debate proposition, or proposition (1993: 38). The affirmative side has the burd~~ of proof of the proposition. This means that they need to justify the propOSIt10~ convincingly to the judge. The negative side has no burden of proof; theH only task is to attack the proposition (1993: 43). .. American debate distinguishes between three types of propOSItion: propositions of fact, propositions of value and proposit~~ns o~ policy (199.3: 4748 ).'5 The burden of prooffor these types of propositlOns IS, to. a certaI~ e~ tent, fixed. To each proposition a certain defense scheme apphes that .I~dI cates which stock issues should be addressed in defending the propos~t~on. Stock issues are questions that are related to a particular type of proposIt~on. The answers to these questions constitute direct justifications or refut~tlO.ns of the proposition (1993: 60 ).'6 In a debate, the affirmative side should JUStify all positive answers in order to make the debate proposition ac~eptable to the judge. In doing so, this party must provide su~porting co~tentlOns for all t.he positive answers to the questions formulated m the StOCkISSU~S. Th: negatIve side needs to refute only one positive answer. If they succeed m domg so, the proposition becomes unacceptable to the judge in accordance with the rules of debate (1993: 61). .. There are a number of similarities between debate propositlOns and standpoints. Both are externalized statements and both ~res~ppose a difference of opinion. Both debate propositions and standp~ll1ts ll1volve a burden of proof, and the proponent can acquit himself of hIS burden of proof by forwarding arguments. There are also differences. The first difference is contextual. Debate ~ro positions are, by definition, part of a form~, regime.nted debate. ~ta~dpomts, on the other hand, appear both in formahzed, regImented and m mformal, non-regimented discussions. The second difference is that in a debate that proceeds in accordance with the rules, ~ach party.has o~~ and only one tas~ with respect to the proposition; dependmg on theIr positlOn, one party mus

2.27 Procedural Informal Logic In the procedural informal logic approach of argumentation expounded by Stephen Toulrnin (195811988) in The Uses ofArgument, the notion of a "claim" is central. Toulmin starts from the assumption that a speaker who makes an assertion, by definition, puts forward a claim: "A man who puts forward an assertion makes a claim - a claim on our attention and to our belief. [... ] The claim [... ] in an assertion is like a claim to a right or a title" (1988: 11). The "merits" of such a claim depend, according to Toulmin, on the arguments that can be produced in its support.13 If a speaker advances a claim in an assertion, the listener has the unconditional right to challenge the speaker to justify this ',' claim. In Toulmin's model of argumentation, this challenge is met by advancing data. The data may invoke the question of why they are relevant to the claim. Then, a warrant must be advanced, which may in turn need to be supported by a backing. Also, conditions of rebuttal may be added to the claim, which may occasion the speaker to insert a qualifier (1988: 97-105). According to Toulmin, an adequate argumentative procedure does not start by advancing a claim, but by posing a question in which a problem is pre~ sented. Only then is the claim advanced. The claim is presented as the optimally appropriate answer to the problem question - as the solution of the ';problem. Procedurally, claims are thus connected to problem questions and their solution (1988: 17-22). \ How do claims relate to standpoints? Just like in the advancement of a standpoint, by advancing a claim, the speaker purports that what he is asserting is acceptable. In this respect, there is no difference between claims and standpoints. Nor is there a difference between claims and standpoints as regards the obligation to provide support when either is challenged. According to Toulmin's model, claims should be supported to meet the question as to the grounds on which the claim is based. Standpoints should be supported or retracted to meet the doubts of a listener. A significant difference between claims and standpoints is that, according to Toulrnin, a claim is implied by every assertion, whereas not every assertion automatically implies a stand-



defend the proposition, the other must attack it. In an ordinary discussion, the participants have more options. Someone who attacks a standpoint may also advance and defend the opposite standpoint, and the defender of the initial standpoint may start attacking this opposite standpoint. These differences have consequences for the burden of proof. In a debate, the negative side has no burden of proof for the opposite proposition. In a discussion, the party attacking a standpoint has no burden of proof for the opposite standpoint, but if this party advances an opposite standpoint, it assumes a burden of proof.

2.29 Communicative Action Theory Various argumentation theorists have taken their inspiration from Jiirgen Habermas' theory of communicative action. One of the most prominent among.the~ is Josef K~ppersch~~c:~ to Kopperschmidt, argumentation IS presented ill order ~o justify a thes;y. In Kopperschmidt's approach, the notion of "thesis" is us'Callnrarften:;nt sense than the one developed in classical and formal dialectics.'! To clarify what "thesis" in Kopperschmidt's sense means, it is imperative to explain his Habermasian theoretical framework. This framework is presented in its fullest form in Methodik der Argumentationsanalyse (1989; see, for an English introduction, Kopperschmidt1987). Just like Habermas, Kopperschmidt is of the opinion that the validity basis (Geltungsgrund) of normal communication is constituted by three validity claims underlying every communicative act: comprehensibility, sincerity, and truth or rightness. In the normal course of action, speakers and listeners mutually assume that their utterances are intersubjectively valid in these three respects; the validity claims underlying their utterances remain implicit. The validity claims may, however, always be made problematic and thus become explicit. This happens if one of the interlocutors makes it clear that an utterance is not - or might not be - intersubjectively valid in every respect (1989: 16, 40-43). According to Kopperschmidt, only truth claims and rightness claims need argumentative support if they are made problematic. Truth claims are imp lied by assertive speech acts. These claims refer to (supposed) states of affair; the speaker guarantees that the information provided in his assertive is reliable. Rightness claims are implied by directive speech acts. These claims refer to actions whereby the speaker guarantees that performing the action mentioned in his directive is legitimized by a mutual willingness to act (19 89: 16, 333-334).

If a truth claim or a rightness claim has been made into an issue in the discourse, it has been, as Kopperschmidt calls it, virtualized (1989: 97). Virtualizing a truth claim or a rightness claim implies that its legitimacy is made dependent upon argumentative support; the claim is made the subject of a discussion in which it now functions as a thesis. As soon as the legitimacy of the validity claim is established with the help of arguments, it no longer has the function of a thesis (1989: 98). A speaker can make an issue of a validity claim by explicitly stating that what he asserts is true or by advancing argumen ts. A listener can virtualize the validity claim underlying a speaker's utterance by explicitly disputing that validity claim, by asking whether it is justified, or by requesting that the speaker advance arguments in its support (1989: 19, 23). In Kopperschmidt's view, performing an assertive or directive speech act implies a guarantee that the underlying validity claim can be made legitimate. If a speaker performs such a speech act, he undertakes an obligation to defend the thesis that may result from that speech act, if asked to do so, with the help of arguments. If a thesis originates from an assertive speech act, the arguments should show what has been asserted to be true; if the thesis originates from a directive speech act, the arguments should show that it is all right to perform the action mentioned in the directive (1989: 18,36). How do theses relate to standpoints? The terms thesis and standpoint appear to refer to the same thing, albeit from different theoretical perspectives. Both theses and standpoints are part of a discussion situation and both create an obligation to defend, which can be redeemed by advancing arguments. One difference, in Kopperschmidt's view, is that a thesis is not a statement but a virtualized validity claim. ~~e~~~_i!l"_e Ilotput forward as sucl:Ufa speaker appears to be explicitly advancing a thesis ("I hereby advanq; the thesis that w~men are better drivers than men are" )~i!! I<gpp.erscnmidt's analysis this assertion does not count as a thesis. Intha~il~aly~is, the thesis would be the virtualization of the validity claim that it is true that women are better driv{!fs ihan;;;~n.In contrast, in a pragma-dialectic3I perspective, a standpoint is addirectly. This is, of course, not to say that a standpoint must necessarily always be put forward as such. Because the acceptability of every speech act can be made an issue of discussion, speech acts other than advancing a standpoint may also require defense. The speech act involved is then to be reconstructed as a standpoint.






2.3 Starting Points for Further Research

A clear distinction appears to exist between, on the one hand, the notions "conclusion", "claim", "debate proposition" and "thesis", which, from different perspectives, refer to the same or a similar concept as the pragma-dialectical notion of a standpoint. On the other hand, the notions "attitude", "belief" and "opinion", refer to a different concept. "Attitude': "belief" and "opinion" refer to internal states or expressions of such internal states, which places them in a different category than standpoints. This does not mean,however, that the internal states to which they refer do not playa role in advancing a standpoint. Their "positive" role is roughly that when a standpoint is advanced, the speaker makes it known to others that he takes a position towards a proposition that he considers to be under dispute, i.e., an opinion. This opinion is expressed in the standpoint. Expressing the opinion implies that the speaker has a certain belief (positive in the case of a positive standpoint, negative in the case of a negative standpoint). Advancing a standpoint commits the speaker to having that belief. The opinion and belief aspects are included in the speech act definition of advancing a standpoint; the opinion aspect in the propositional content condition, the belief aspect in the sincerity condition. A standpoint advanced in the discourse will sometimes also be based on an attitude that corresponds with the position the speaker claims to uphold. But since this is, pragmatically speaking, not required, attitudes are not a constitutive part of thepragma-dialectical definition of a standpoint. In the concluding part of this chapter, two questions remain to be answered: what clues do the approaches discussed earlier offer in the identification of the entity they are interested in, and to what extent are these clues relevant for identifying standpoints in the pragma-dialectical sense? Apart from cognitive research on reasoning, all the approaches discussed above are concerned with problems of identification. In persuasion research, several techniques are used to identify a person's attitudes. Most prominent among them is the "direct measurement technique;' in which respondents are asked to what extent they evaluate a certain object positively or negatively, or are requested to evaluate a number of properties of the object to which a supposed attitude pertains (O'Keefe 1990: 19-21). Among the less direct techniques are the "quasi-direct measurement technique" and the "indirect measurement technique", in which verbal and nonverbal reactions to evaluative statements are measured that indicate a certain attitude (O'Keefe 1990: 20-26, Krech and Crutchfield 1964: 681-683). None of these techniques can be applied for identifying standpoints in argumentative discourse. In Schiffrin's view, a structural clue for identifying opinions is that opinions are often expressed at the beginning or at the end of conflict discourse. This

clue might also apply to standpoints advanced in discussions that come close to the ideal of critical discussion; standpoints are advanced in the confrontation stage of such a discussion and maintained or retracted in the concluding stage. Other clues for identifying opinions can, according to Schiffrin, be found in external markers such as "it is my opinion that" and internal markers such as attitude indicating verbs ("think", "believe") and modal expressions ("should", "could"). The indicative function of these verbs and expressions derives from the fact that they can signal the uncertainty involved in expressing an opinion (1990: 244). Although a standpoint does not presuppose uncertainty but a difference of opinion, the markers of opinions may also be useful for identifying standpoints. A difference of opinion may, after all, im. ' ply some kind of uncertainty. According to the structuralist informal logicians, conclUSIOns can be Identified both with the help of clues in the presentation and clues in the context. To the first category belong expressions by which a speaker explicitly indicates that he has the intention of presenting a conclusion, such as "I conclude that': "so", "therefore", "must", "cannot" and "it is impossible that". Clues in the context can be derived from the type of discourse, for instance if the text is a letter to the editor (Thomas 1986: 23, Govier 1992: 6,4 0 , Johnson and Blair 1994: 13-15,29-30). In principle, these clues can also be useful for identifying standpoints, but reliance on indicating expressions presupposes a systematic pragma-linguistic analysis of these expressions and a reliance on clues ~n tlIe discourse context presupposes systematic analysis of discourse in particular contexts. Another clue is provided by the fact that every argument must have a conclusion. Thus, if an argument has been identified as such, tlIere should definitely be a conclusion as well. In order to be able to identify arguments, informal logicians have listed characteristics oflogical structures that t~ey c~n sider to be arguments; the listed characteristics can also be useful for Identifying argumentation in the functional sense (e.g., Johnson and Blair 1994: 1516).

Toulmin's model appears to provide a clue for identifying claims: a statement is a claim ifit is supported by data (anda warrant) (195 8/ 88 : 97-105) The presence of data and/or a warrant may thus indicate the presence of a c~aim. However, a statement may also have the status of a claim before data (wIth or without a warrant) have been put forward, so this clue is not always relevant. Another clue appears to be provided by Toulmin's view that every assertion implies a claim (1958/1988: 11). Unfortunately, Toulmin does not m~e i.t cl~ar what is meant by an assertion. If assertions are to be regarded as mdlCative statements with particular functional characteristics that distinguish them from other indicative statements, then the data and the warrant cannot be regarded as assertions. IS If, however, data and warrants were also regarded as as-





sertions, this would run counter to the functional distinctions in Toulmin's model. All in all, it can be concluded that Toulmin does not really provide clues for identifying claims, let alone clues that are also relevant for identifying standpoints. Debate propositions are explicitly formulated at the beginning of the debate. Identifying them is therefore never a problem. All the same, Freeley mentions a clue for the identification of inciting propositions: they will often contain the word "should" (1993: 59). Without further analysis, however, this observation is not of much interest. In Kopperschmidt's view, a speaker can promote a validity claim to a thesis by making the claim explicit. He can do this by using so-called meta-linguistic expressions such as "I assert that" and "it is true that". The listener can promote a validity claim to a thesis by using expressions such as "it is not true that" and "I disagree': and by asking "validity questions" such as "why?" (19 89: 65). Another clue is the presence of argumentation: in Kopperschmidt's analysis argumentation is put forward to legitimize a virtualized validity claim, and thereby to justify a thesis (1989: 70-73). Although in the latter case, the problem is again shifted to the identification of argumentation, it should be clear that the clues provided by Kopperschmidt are, in principle, also relevant for the identification of standpoints. As argued in Houtlosser (1995), the pragma-dialectical definition of advancing a standpoint as a speech act provides fruitful criteria for identifying standpoints. In particular, the first preparatory condition offers a powerful criterion: a speaker who advances a standpoint is committed to believing that the listener does not accept the expressed opinion to which the standpoint pertains at face value. If this belief is justified, a standpoint must, in principle, be defended. This is so because everyday interaction is governed by the interactional principle that prescribes that speakers should not perform any speech acts that are not acceptable to the listener. If a speech act turns out to be unacceptable to the addressee, something has to happen; the speech act should be made acceptable or retracted. As a consequence, someone who asserts something which he believes not to be acceptable to the addressee should justify or retract his assertion; if he wants to maintain it, he has the obligation to defend it. Thus, the assertion, in principle, has the status of a standpoint. In order to be able to make adequate use of this criterion, it must be made clear how it can be determined whether the first preparatory condition of advancing a standpoint is fulfilled. Three types of potential clues are available to determine whether this is the case (1995: 93-98). First, there are indications in the presentation of an assertive by the speaker. Additions to the assertive proper - the propositional content of the assertive - by means of expressions

such as "I believe that" and "I think that" may signal that the first preparatory condition is fulfilled. Strictly speaking, by adding expressions such as these, the speaker does something that is superfluous. The fact that he believes that what he asserts is true is already implied by his assertive; it is formulated in its sincerity condition. If the speaker can at the same time be assumed to obey the Gricean maxim that prohibits superfluity, it can be justified to infer an implicature from the addition, i.e., the implicature that the speaker thinks that the listener will not accept the assertive proper at face value. Second, the listener's reaction to the speaker's assertive may be a clue. If the listener casts doubt on the speaker's assertive and the speaker has understood that this is the case, then again the first preparatory condition for advancing a standpoint is fulfilled. In order to be able to identify expressions of doubt by the listener, insight into the differences between the two main categories of listeners' reactions pertaining to an assertive's acceptability and listeners' reactions pertaining to an assertive's comprehensibility can be of help. Onlyreactions that belong to the former category indicate that doubt is cast on a speaker's assertive. Third, clues can be found in follow-ups by the speaker. Here too, two main categories can be distinguished: follow-ups pertaining to the acceptability of the preceding assertive and follow- ups pertaining to the comprehensibility of the preceding assertive. The first category consists of statements that are designed to further inform the listener, such as specifications, definitions, and explanations. The second consists of statements that are intended to convince the listener, such as motivations, justifications and reasons. Only the latter type of statement indicates that the listener is assumed not to have accepted the preceding assertive at face value, and may thus point to a standpoint!9 In Houtlosser (1995), a broad range of clues for the fulfillment of the first preparatory condition of advancing a standpoint are discussed, as they appear in the speaker's presentation, his follow-up or in the listener's reaction. Further research has to make it clear which clues can be derived from the other felicity conditions. In such research, for instance, one could investigate the ways that speakers assume an obligation to defend a standpoint and express their readiness to fulfill that obligation, and in what ways listeners attribute such an obligation to the speaker.





Notes 1 The term formal dialectic was introduced by Hamblin (1970). 2 There are significant similarities between the pragma-dialectical definition of a s~andpoint and the notion of standpoint in everyday life, but there are also dIfferences. In everyday life, a standpoint need not necessarily be pre~ent.ed to others. It is, for instance, common practice for people to maIntaIn that they hold a particular standpoint on a certain matter without ever having presented this point of view to others, or even without having e~p~essed it. It is also not the case that in everyday life standpoints necess~rilY.Impl~ a burden of proof. People may think that they are entitled to maIntaIn theI~ standpoint even when they are not capable of supporting it adequately; WItness familiar contentions such as "This is my point of view and I have every intention to stick to it." 3 Along the same lines, the felicity conditions for a negative standpoint can be stated. References to a speaker and listener apply, mutatis mutandis, also to a writer and a reader. 4 F~llowing V~n Eemeren and Grootendorst's (1984: 21,42) critique of SearIe s formulatIOn of the sincerity condition of promises, it should be added t~at someone who has advanced a standpoint does not really have to be~Ieve that:he op~nion to which the standpoint pertains is the case; the point IS that he IS publIcly committed to believing that it is the case. s For the problems involved in reconstructing standpoints that are not presented as such, see Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jackson, and Jacobs (1993: ChS). 6 For a survey of the various positions on the ontological status of the content of beliefs, see Schiffer (1987: xvi-xvii). 7 Harman does not explain how a commitment to oneself can best be understood. For a totally opposite view of the relation between belief and acceptance, see Cohen (1989). 8 The commitments towards others also involve a commitment to the belief that the opinion to which the standpoint pertains is true. As indicated in 2.2.1, the speaker does not necessarily need to have this belief, but he is nevertheless responsible for having it - he cannot deny the belief without contradi~ting himself (as happens, for instance, in "In my view they should leave It at that, but I don't think that they should"). 9 An opinion always expresses a belief, but - in Schiffrin's definition _ the reverse is not the case: not every belief is inherently disputable. lO For a conception of opinions that is closer to common sense see Weddle (1988); an elaboration of such a conception in terms of speech acts is given by Atelsek (1981).


Interestingly, Whately (182611975) reserves the term conclusion to refer to a proposition which is proven in an argument; before it is proven, it is still considered a question. 12 Although Fisher (1988) closely follows Thomas, he sticks to this distinction. 13 In Toulmin, Rieke, and Janik (1979), claims are defined as "assertions put forward publicly for general acceptance - with the implication that there are underlying 'reasons' that could show them to be 'well-founded' and therefore entitled to be generally accepted" (1979: 29) 14 In their polyphonic approach, Anscombre and Ducrot (1989) assume that every assertion expresses different (implicit) viewpoints, for one of which, as a rule, the speaker claims responsibility (see also Van Eemeren et al.1996: 318-322 ). A viewpoint in this sense is not a standpoint as conceived in argumentation theory. 15 In the pragma-dialectical argumentation theory, a similar distinction is made between types of opinion to which a standpoint may pertain (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992: 159). Crawshay-Williams distinguishes between types of statements on the basis of relevant testing criteria: logical, conventional and empirical (1957: 8-13; see also Van Eemeren et al.1996: 74-82). 16 The difference of opinion about the debate proposition presupposes a difference of opinion about at least one of the answers to the questions formulated in the stock issues. This means that the negative side should offer a negative response to those questions at least once; otherwise, there is no difference of opinion. 17 In some rhetorical approaches - especially those that are in part inspired by dialectics - the term thesis is also applied to refer to a proposition put forward for the adherence of a public (see, for instance, Perehnan and 01brechts-Tyteca 1969). 18 The definition of claim in Touhnin et al. 1979 does not meet this objection. In that definition, the characteristics of claims also apply to the statements by means of which data and warrants are advanced. . 19 Explanations may, of course, be instrumental in the process of gettIng a standpoint accepted. If, for instance, a listener does not exactly underst~nd what a standpoint is about (or what its implications are), he maya fortIOri be reluctant to accept it. An explanation may then serve the purpose of elucidating the standpoint. Once it has been elucidated, it must still be in need of defense. Otherwise it is, dialectically speaking, not a standpoint. By themselves, explanations do therefore not point to a standpoint.




Bibliography Anscombre, J.-c., and o. Ducrot (1989). ''Argumentativity and Informativity:' In: Meyer, M. (Ed.), From Metaphysics to Rhetoric. Dordrecht: Kluwer,
7 1 - 87.

Harman, G. (1973). Thought. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Harman, G. (1986). Change in View. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Houtlosser, P. (1995). Standpunten in een kritische discusie. Een pragma-di-

alectisch perspectiefop de identificatie en reconstructie van standpunten

[Standpoints in a Critical Discussion. A Pragma-Dialectical Perspective on the Identification and Reconstruction of Standpoints 1. With a summary in English. Amsterdam: IFOTT. Johnson,R.H., and J.A. Blair (1994). Logical Self-Defense. United States Edition. New York: McGraw Hill Ryerson. KamIah, W., and P. Lorenzen (1967). Logische Propiideutik; Vorschule des vernunftigen Redens. Mannheim: Hochschultaschenbticher-Verlag. Kopperschmidt, J. (1987). "The function of Argumentation: A PragmaticApproach."In: Eemeren, EH. van, R Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard, (Eds.),Argumentation: Across the Lines ofDiscipline: Proceedings of the Conference on Argumentation 1986. Dordrecht/Providence: Foris Publications, 3A, 179 188. Kopperschmidt, J. (1989). Methodik der Argumentationsanalyse. StuttgartBad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog. Krech, D., and R.S. Crutchfield (1969). Elements ofPsychology. New York: Knopf. Lorenzen, P., and K. Lorenz (1978). Dialogische Logik. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. Naess,A. (1966). Communication and Argument: Elements ofApplied Semantics [Translation of En del elementaere logiske emner. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 19471. London: Allen and Unwin. O'Keefe, D. (1990). Persuasion: Theory and Research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Perelman, c., and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca (1969). The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation (Translation of La nouvelle rhetorique. Traite de l' argumentation, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1958). Notre Dame/London: University of Notre Dame Press. Rescher, N (1977). Dialectics. A Controversy-Oriented Approach to the Theory ofKnowledge. Albany: SUNY. Schiffer, S. (1987). Remnants ofMeaning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Schiffrin, D. (1985). Everyday Argument: The Organization ofDiversity in Talk. In: T. van Dijk (Ed.), Handbook ofDiscourse Analysis 3. London: Academic Press, 35-46. Schiffrin, D. (1987). Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schiffrin, D. (1990). "The Management of a Co-operative Self during Argument: The Role of Opinions and Stories." In: Grimshaw, A.D. (Ed.), Conflict Talk. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 241-259.

Aristotle (1966). Posterior Analytics. Topica. Translated by H. Tredennick and E.S. Forster. London: William Heinemann. Atelsek, J. (1981). ''An Anatomy of Opinions:' Language in Society, 10, 2, 217225 Barth, E.M., and E. C. W. Krabbe (1982). From Axiom to Dialogue: A Philosophical Study ofLogics and Argumentation. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter. Cohen, L.J. (1989). "Belief and Acceptance." Mind, 48, 391,)67-389. Crawshay-Williams, R. (1957). Methods and Criteria ofReasoning. An Inquiry into the Structure ofControversy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Eemeren, EH. yan, and R. Grootendorst (1984). Speech Acts in Argumentative

Discussions. A Theoretical Model for the Analysis ofDiscussions directed towards Solving Conflicts ofOpinion. Dordrecht/Cinnaminson: Foris, PDA 1.
Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1991). "The Study of Argumentation from a Speech Act Perspective." In: Verschueren, J. (Ed.), Pragmatics at

Issue: Selected Papers ofthe International Pragmatics Conference, Antwerp, August 17-22,1987, I. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 151-170. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1992). Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Eemeren, EH. van, R Grootendorst, S. Jackson, and S. Jacobs (1993). Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse. London/Tuscaloosa: The University of
Alabama Press. Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, A.E Snoeck Henkemans, J.A. Blair, RH. Johnson, E.C.W. Krabbe, C. Plantin, D.N. Walton, C.A. Willard, J. Woods, and D. Zarefsky (1996). Fundamentals ofArgumentation Theory: A Handbook ofHistorical Backgrounds and Contemporary Developments. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Fisher, A. (1988). The Logic ofReal Arguments. Cambridge: Cambridge U niversity Press. Freeley,A.J. (1993). Argumentation and Debate: Critical Thinkingfor Reasoned Decision Making. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Govier, T. (1992). A Practical Study ofArgument. 3rd revised ed. Belmont, CA Wadsworth. Grice, H.P. (1975). "Logic and Conversation." In: Cole, P., and J.L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts. London: Academic Press, 41-58. Hamblin, c.L. (1970). Fallacies. London: Metlmen.



Tho~as, S.N. (1986). Practical Reasoning in Natural Language. Englewood

ClIffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Tou~in, ~.E. (1958/1988). The Uses ofArgument. Cambridge: Cambridge

Umverslty Press. Touhnin, S.E., R. Rieke, andA. Janik (1979). An Introduction to Reasoning New York: Macmillan. . Weddle, P. (1988): "Dis~inguishing Fact from Qinion:' In: Govier, T. (Ed.), Selected Issues In LogIC and Communication. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 5564 Whately, R. (182611975). Elements ofLogic. London: Longman.

3 Unexpressed Premises
Susanne Gerritsen


Introduction There are several reasons why modern theorists of argumentation, rhetoric, logic, and conversation are interested in unexpressed premises, also referred to as missingpremises or implicit premises. The first reason is the need to have a proper method for the identification of unexpressed premises based on a satisfYing theoretical explanation. The unexpressed premise is seen as an essential part of an argumentation, and in order to be able to analyze and evaluate that argumentation, the unexpressed premise must be satisfactorily identified. This, however, is difficult. Because the analyst is dealing with something that is implicit, he or she must furnish something that originally was absent. The second reason why unexpressed premises are of interest to various theorists is the need to explain unexpressed premises as language phenomena. Language users in everyday contexts express certain things explicitly while leaving other things implicit. They do so without giving it much thought, and usually this does not pose any serious communication problems. Recent empirical research indicates that ordinary language users have little trouble understanding the unexpressed premises in given cases:'
The results of the characterising-grouping test indicate that the relation between the premise and the standpoint is adequately interpreted by the respondents. Most of them were able to offer informative and pragmatically appropriate reconstructions of the unexpressed premise ... (Garssen 1999: 226).

Theoretically, however, it is not easy to explain how the involved thought processes operate, and on what basis the language users arrive at their interpretations. In argumentation theory, unexpressed premises are viewed as one of the more difficult research subjects. In his account of a summer conference on argumentation in 1991, Walton remarks:
A third area of concern was that of identifYing missing (non-explicit) premises and conclusions. Everyone frankly admitted this to be a major, unsolved problem, even though a traditional method of analysis of enthymemes has been taught throughout the history oflogic (1996: xii).




~ave exist.ed since 1987, when Govier published:n ~:~::::ial ::r;~~l::~~:t

This chapter will clarify what the roblem f . of and what theoretical advances h~ve been ;a~n:xpres~ed :;;emlses consists

g premIses. In the discussion about unex ressed' themes were central: the dedu ( . d . p.. ~remlses the following for the treatment of une c lYe-In ~ctIve dIstInctIOn and its implications constitutes the unexpres:drepssed .premhlses'l the nature of the statement that txt' l' remIse, t e ro e of the expressed premises, the relation between c~n e In ana yZIng unsearch on argument schem I th unexpresse premises, and the rethese themes, two tradition~: n \baCkground of the discussion about part. pproac es to unexpressed premises play their

According to Copi, this treatment of unexpressed premises is restricted to deductive arguments. In dealing with other types of argument, such as inductive analogy arguments, unexpressed premises play no role. In this case, the inference is evaluated by using certain evaluative criteria. This stance is in opposition to,for example, Rescher (1964), who thinks that it is warranted to fill in an unexpressed premise in every argument consisting of just one premise and a conclusion. Rescher's view, however, deviates from the general conception of the traditional logical approach to unexpressed premises. There is, in fact, a second traditional approach to enthymemes that must be distinguished, which is very different from the logical approach. This second approach is much less well-known, but parts of it appear in traditional logical approaches and in modern approaches to enthymemes as well. It is based on Aristotle's treatment of the enthymemes in his Rhetoric. There are many points of discussion regarding the exact meaning and the correct interpretation of Aristotle's views of the definition, form, and content of enthymemes, but the interpretation of his views expressed in modern rhetorical approaches seems to amount to the following: 4
An enthymeme is a form of rhetorical argumentation that is directed at a particular audience, in a particular situation, and with a particular goal. In enthymemes, the speaker exploits the fact that knowledge or information can be conveyed to that audience without explicitly putting it into words.

32 Two Traditional Approaches

texhtbthOks insist that there is one traditional . oug emanydes' ( f h' are not always identical in all cnp IOns 0 t IS approach ment with the following: respects, most of them are more or less in agree. h' Ii . umentm w lCha premise (orthe conclusion) is left imihCIt. :ecau:e of that, the argument as stated is logically (deductively) invalid ere ore, t e.unexpressed premise (or conclusion) has to be made ex lic't .d filll~dd m, applymg the validity rules of (deductive) logic, to render the a~gu~::t va 1 .
An enthymeme is an arg


I shall refer to this definition of enth m traditional 10 ical a emes ~nd unexpressed premises as the . g pproach. It has Its roots In classical works f e d BoethlUs, and evolved in the Middl A . h 0 lCero an e ges In t e works of, among many others Peter of S a' , p I~ ~Walton 1996: 222, Gerritsen 1999a: 27, 1999b: 229) 2 A _ totype of the traditIonall . 1 h' . . pro Cohen) 0 fC" oglCa a~proac IS COPI (1953; reprinted in 1986, with . ne 0 Opi Sexamples IS:


The soul through all her being is immortal, for that which is ever in motion is immortal (1986: 223).

In this argument, the following premise has been left implicit:

The soul is ever in motion.)

I shall call this the traditional rhetorical approach. Interestingly, this approach is only directed at rhetorical arguments, and according to Aristotle, rhetorical arguments are something entirely different from apodictic and dialectical arguments. Formal logic does not apply to rhetorical arguments. The study of rhetorical arguments focuses on the interaction between the speaker and the audience and the question of how the speaker can convey a certain message to this audience. Therefore, the rhetorical approach and the logical approach of ul1t:xpll"e~sed p~~~ises are more or1ess eaCh 9ther's opposites, The 6rst mainly focuses on.interactional aspects and not on l()g!c, .while the latter focuses \ mainly on logic and not on interactional aspects. The rhetorical conception of the enthymeme, viewed historically, is the first approach to enthymemes to be distinguished. Although the basic ideas behind it seemed to linger on in the thinking about enthymemes, the traditional logical approach to enthymemes has dominated the study of unexpressed premises for a very long time, roughly from the early Middle Ages into the first half of the twentieth century (Gerritsen 1999b). This was due to the fact that during that period traditional logic dominated in science. As long as it




~as appli~d to artificial arguments, as an exercise in logic let's say, the traditlOnalloglcal approach was sufficient. This was also true in cases where a correct and systematic analysis of everyday argumentation was of no real concern. Copi's aforementioned example serves as an illustration of this. In the fifties and sixties, there was a growing theoretical and practical interest in argumentation. It was at this time that it became apparent that the traditional logical approach was problematic when applied to ordinary arguments. The first problem is that the traditional logical approach applies only to deductive arguments, while it is obvious that in real life most arguments do not meet that requirement. Most ordinary arguments tend to have conclusions that are not alway.s ~ro~able and therefore seem to be non-deductive. In practice, however, .It IS dIfficult to distinguish deductive from non-deductive arguments. It IS also unclear how non-deductive arguments should be interpreted and evaluated without making use of some concept of unexpressed premises. If the traditional logical approach is applied to all types of arguments, then problems remain. One such problem is that too many candidates for the unexpressed premise are generated; often several different statements could render the argument valid. In such cases, logic does not offer the proper selection tools. Ful1.hs:rI!lQ!~ th~tr~ditionallogical ilpproach does not take into account the large variety of implicit elements and their differeritfurlctI~n~~ :~us, this ~pproach is oflittle help for working out which explicit and implicIt InformatIon plays a role in any particular argumentation. _ ' " It is because of these shortcomings of the traditionallogic~l approach that modern argumentation theorists have made an effort to formulate new views of unexpressed premises and develop new approaches. This effort also inspi.red a renewed interest in the rhetorical approach of enthymemes because of ItS more pragmatic perspective. In the earlier years of argumentation theory, unexpressed premises were high on the agenda. In 1980, as part of the research program for "informal logic': Blair and Johnson formulated the following questions with regard to unexpressed premises:
The problem ofassumptions and missingpremises:

3.3 The Deductive-Inductive Distinction The starting point of the recent research on unexpressed premises began with the change of focus from deductive arguments, in which the conclusion definitely follows from the premises, to inductive arguments, in which the conclusion is only probable. ~0_bse~~a!i?~0at !he logic.u. approach has some AhortcomiDZ~ rai~es the question of ~J:1!lt r_<?!~t,?_~~~!_l.()p.icsh.0ul~~a?~c~~.' i $1,~1~~5?~~EI!~!g1Jmc;ntiltionth~0!y. This question is particularly relevant V when dealing with unexpressed premises, since strictly speaking the only systematic concepts and tools available for analysis and identification come from formal logic; unexpressed premises and formal deductive logic are closely linked. Formal deductive logic supplies us with a fixed model of argument. By virtue of this fixed model unexpressed premises are traditionally defined. Many theorists believe that the traditional deductive model of argument cannot be applied when analyzing ordinary, inductive arguments. Instead, we should try to find some useful alternative to the deductive model. If !h-~rel~~_ tionship betweenformallol?;is .'\!1:<lllI1 expr<:!,sed premises is abandoned, however~ilie;;-;;~~p-i' o{~rl~nexpress~d premise becomes vague and problematic. In the existing ni:erat~~e~therehasb~~rl a long and extensive discussion on the topic of whether or not deductive logic can be applied to non-deductive types of argument, and how to deal with them otherwise.5 The position a theorist takes in this discussion largely decides the way he or she approaches unexpressed premises. Three main points of view can be distinguished. I shall call them pluralism, modern deductivism and neither pluralist, nor deductivist.

3.3.1 Pluralism The first point of view regarding the deductive-inductive distinction is that deductive and inductive arguments have to be dealt with differently when it comes to unexpressed premises. In this view one cannot use the deductive model of argument to analyze inductive and other non-deductive types of argument. An important advocate of this view is Govier (1987). The view is also endorsed by Woods (1990) and Walton (1996). In their opinion, a theorist who analyses an inductive argument by means of the deductive model, is a "deductivist": someone who treats all arguments as if they are about certainty while they are not. The opponents of deductivism are in favor of a so-called I pluralist view: 6 The different types of argument, like deductive, inductive, conductive and abductive arguments, each require their own interpretative and evaluative model.? Pluralists believe that a standard deductivistic treat-

What exactly is a missing premise? What different kind of assumptions can be distinguished in argumentation? Which are significant for argument evaluation? How are missing premises to be identified and formulated? Are these just practical and pedagogical questions, or theoretical as well? (1980: 25).

These questions proved difficult to answer - although already at an early stage, Hitchcock (1980, 1981) and Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (19 82,19 83) made a concerted effort - and they still feature in the present research on unexpressed premises.

I ~

! (

11 55





ment of unexpressed premises is fundamentally wrong, because it ignores the vital distinction between the different types of arguments, and wrongly regards non-deductive arguments consisting of one premise and a conclusion as incomplete. 8 As a consequence, arguments that are non-deductive are evaluated by non-fitting and deductive criteria that are considered too strong.According to Walton, a standard deductivistic analysis often implies "reading in" premises that are not part of the argument, in order to meet the deductivistic requirement. This comes down to the fallacy of the straw man (1996: 241). To avoid this fallacy, an option would be to render each argument deductively valid only in a minimal way, by merely adding the logical minimum (a statement of the form "if (premise), then (conclusion),,). In this type of method, however, the discerning power of the concept oflogical validity is reduced to nothing. Woods (1990: 107) makes this point; he observes that in a . trivial way, all argumellt~ C:<ln~ 1J:1~~~sk~."~t:i4aLid;aiidby.l2i~~_ distinction between IQgic:allyvalid and inYi!Ugj'fluIilents dissolves - or so . pluralists argue. ........ ........."._. ,,' '. - ....." .........-..-... '-.... _....'-,--According to the pluralistic view, an unexpressed premise, as it is traditionally understood, must only be supplied in the (rare) case of a real-life deductive argument. The step from premise to conclusion in inductive and other kinds of arguments has to be evaluated in some alternative way; in any case, never by supplying an unexpressed premise that renders the argument deductively valid, since this would amount to deductivism. In recent years, the main efforts of those who oppose deductivism have been directed at three elements. First, they have tried to convince proponents of a deductivistic approach that their method is wrong (Hitchcock 1985, Govier 1987). Second, they have made efforts to describe and define the characteristics of deductive versus inductive arguments and other kinds of arguments to be able to apply these distinctions to real-life arguments (Govier 1992). In practice, however, the distinctions are difficult to make. Third, pluralists concern themselves with the question of how the inference from the premises to the conclusion is evaluated in non-deductive types of argument (Hitchcock 1980, 1981, 1985). As yet, the efforts to develop a pluralistic treatment of unexpressed premises do not seem to have had any concrete result; there is still no agreed-upon overview of types of arguments and proper evaluation criteria. Also, it must be said that it is necessary to evaluate the inference in every argument, regard. i 'ess of its type. !~is also a~plies to a pluralist account. But within such an ac,I/Fount, the tradltlOnal notlOn of unexpressed premise is only of limited use, and so far !lQ?'S~~te~~ve~W~~jK~re4.As a consequence, it is an open qu~s~i~,,::heth.:~~ shou~~. f.?.r_I!1l!I<lt~~ s!!l.J~m~.!ltili.a~~E~~s.~:'s-;hat'the

in~!'~~~i~!(l_~<!,i(s.?! W~~!~~t~,:;,!~:~~~~~~~~t.~~~;~~~~.s..~I?~~~~ot~/ 9
er basis an evaluation of the inference can be made.
,_ 0'

~."',_" ,~,

.,,,.,., _ _


'""_m ....__',...._ .."''"' __.......,_,,_,.,._



Modern Deductivism A second point of view in the deductive-inductive discussion consists of the notion that regularly applying deductive rules of validity to fill in an unexpressed premise does not necessarily imply a deductivist stance, at least not in the strict sense of the word. Therefore, there is no objection against a standard deductivistic analysis of unexpressed premises. Ennis (1982: 70) recognized the distinction between deduction and induction, but is nevertheless in favor of a deductivistic method, because this forces the analyst to examine each step in the argumentation carefully, and guarantees that no steps are missed. Hitchcock (1980) also favors this "heuristic" deductivism, as Govier (19 87: 89) has called it. Other defenses of deductivism were expressed by pragma-dialecticians such as Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (199 2 ) and Gerritsen (1995) and by Groarke (1992). I shall refer to these last-mentioned authors as modern deductivists. When it comes to unexpressed premises, the inductive-deductive distinction is not a crucial problem for modern deductivists. As Groarke (199 2 ) argues, the distinction between deductive and inductive arguments mainly concerns a difference in the degree of certainty of the inference from premises to conclusion. It is possible to incorporate this degree of certainty in the analysis without abandoning the deductive framework. This can be achieved by adding specific semantic indicators of the strength of the inference ("It is likely that ... ", "I feel it is certainly so that ... ") to either the premise or the conclusion if such indicators are absent from the original. Which indicator is suitable in a given case has to be decided by looking at the context. p~V ~nts()~~~~~~~~i."i~t!,c<lp~roClchargue~l1(lt as l~ng ~s the degre~ of certam1}'j is taken mto account III thIS way, there ,IS no objection to, applymg a 4educ-


tlvistiCahalysis~ig[y~ri~ly !,QAlfi:lJ,:gumt:n ts, "'Those;ho'follow a deductivistic approach to unexpressed premises have focused their attention in recent years mainly on two elements. First, they have been trying to explain why a deductivistic approach is warranted. This . o!!:~~~~.0~!}h,<:Y t:!1.E(igeiI1. (l general dis~ussioJ1 of tile p}~ce ,::n~ ful1~tio~ of forma!J().gk.within,mQd~[!!,<1orgllIllent<!t!QIlJl1eQIT.Iht:~rIJ1<lln_r21.l?! IS h at !~(;<;tl_v.a.li<:U!Yl.Yi~W'ed eIllPiric:<!lly, is also a requir~lI!eJ1t of ~rclin<lrY:(ir i gumentation: 10 It is always a necessary result of argument analysIs at a logical leveC(Ie:;'a formal logical reconstruction of the unexpressed premises). Therefore, the deductivist method is not just used for heuristic reasons.




/-J .. '~


Most modern deductivists acknowledge that it is unclear which kinds of

co~cepts of validity real language users actually apply. They also admit that
logiCal systems other than the traditional propositional and syllogistic logic may be more suited for analyzing particular arguments: Although some commitment to a clear criterion of validity is here required, this does not necessarily imply a dogmatic commitment to deductivism. At this juncture we do not want to take a specific and definitive stance on the question of exactly what kind oflogical criterion is to be preferred (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992: 113). In practice, though, most modern deductivists still restrict the use of formal

Once the distinction between valid and invalid arguments collapses in the ideal model, the ideal model ceases to justify our interest in it, except negatively (1990:

In opposition to Woods' criticism, it could be said that, although most natural arguments meet the validity requirement when a deductivistic method is applied, not all do. Although pluralists think otherwise, a deductivistic analysis can highlight the fact that a particular argument is logically invalid (Gerritsen tivistic <Ina.:lysis, Vo.w.ever,i&that ll<isto eI10ugh eVldeI1:ce!() 1995).~. _d. __ .ed.U ... C . t.iV_.i~~i~._m .. _._. e ._ . h._O.d.i.S. tho.e.r.e.. r ..e...n_.o ..be t tr.iv. ia . l.. ._A ..... contextual CO .. I1.c!i!i~n.fO .r__:a. <i.~ . <i . . l!:.c .. : \
t._ ..

th~r.5.! 0 ..

support a reconstruction of an ari$ument as non-vali~"a decision which is .

logi~ to the tr~ditionallogical systems. This part of their approach may be

motIvated mamly by heuristic reasons: Just for the sake of simplicity, we shall restrict ourselves ... to making use of the well-known and ready-made Instruments of propositional logic and first-order \ I predicate logic (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992: 113). Modern.deductivists feel it is up to logicians to design logical systems that are more sUitable for analyzing everyday argumentation. In modern logic, new, more advanced and complex logical systems are being developed, and attempts are being made to incorporate these results into argumentation theo-

made at th~prasill<!!i!;:lll1t;}'s1.~f ~naJy~!s. ~f~_is~_~i~~11~ .i~ lackin~ ~~i~ of!en is), modeI1iS!~gt!yis!s prefer a reconstruction of the ~r!2u_~.~J.l!_as l()_~i~allr_1 vaM,beca~_s.<:J:h~ __~!'!!iiJQlliili~-_pr~gmatically based :_s.~pposition that

peopl~-g2iwJlll}'a'!~mp.tto.J:ea~Jmjl1alogkf!!!y "e!lli'Y<lY'__ ,)

Modern deductivists differ in one major respect from traditional deductivists: they consider a logical analysis of an argument as entirely i~suffic~eI!!,. This analysis has to be complemented and completed by a pragmatical analysis. This is the second reason why a (modern) deductivistic analysis is not trivial. ~ragmatic analysis involves ananal~oLth~J.i.1cr.al..ll1terances i!Ul:!~._ ...

t<:g~~ an~Q[!lle.f.Q~.!he'R,<:Mt:!.~!:1.c!_t!!_~ ~~~~~I1.~~2.tE:S.?i!l!.<l!iQn


The modern deductivistic approaches have been criticized for their use of l~gic. J?hnso.n (1999), for e~a~ple, feels it is unclear to what extent pragmadIaleCtIcs relIes on the tradltIonal truth-requirement of deductive logic. In other words, are they deductivists or not? They [Van Eemeren and Grootendorst, SG J appear to reject Rescher's idea that an inductive inference is a failed deductive one, and they are sensitive to Govier's critique of deductivism. Yet in their treatment of unexpressed premises, they commIt themselves to propositional logic and first-order predicate logic as the vehIcles for fleshing missing premises. [ ... J To the degree that they are willing to embrace the traditional concept of validity as having some role to play in their evaluative apparatus, to that same degree, it appears, that they have no choice but to embrace some fO~ITI of t!::~-requirement (12~9: 4 13). Woods claims that the pragma-dialectical ideal model for discussions loses its value because of its deductivistic nature:

;:~~t~;~[~;~i~:~~~~~J~~:S~!Pp~~~ld~:;~~/ct~l~-~~;~~~~~~ 1 ,

dencethateiiablethe analyst to make interpretative decisions that cannot be made at the logical level. Since the pragmatic analysis is such an important part of modern deductivistic approaches, they give a great deal of attention to the questions of what such an analysis should consist of and in what theoretical framework it should be grounded. 12

3.3.3 Neither Pluralist, nor Deductivist A third position that can be distinguished in the deductive-inductive discussion, is that the deductive-inductive distinction and the like are not really an issue at all. The general characteristic shared by these approaches that I put in this category is that formal logic is more or less absent. What is traditionally called a premise, for example, is called a reason instead; there is no talk oflogical validity, logical forms, or deductive and inductive arguments, and the term unexpressed premise is usually absent as well. Since the theorists who are in favor of these approaches do not apply the deductive model of argumentation at all, they cannot be called deductivists. And since they do not apply the typology of different types of arguments either, they are not pluralists.




Among the treatments of unexpressed premises in which formal logic plays no explicit role are the approaches based on the Toulmin model (1958). In these approaches the unexpressed premise is called the warrant, which is not explicitly linked to any logical concept. The second concept in the Toulmin model, which involves an element that is normally left implicit is the backing, or a statement that supports the warrant.'3 However, one of the main criticisms against the Toulmin model is that it is in fact not very different from the traditional deductive model. Another problem is that the concepts of warrant and backing lack conceptual and functional clarity, so not many theorists work with them anymore. '4 A second group of approaches within this category is associated with "critical thinking" or "critical reasoning': 15 These approaches analyze and evaluate ordinary argumentation, including the identification of implicit elements, without the use of any logical concepts. A recent practical example of such an approach is Thomson (1996). A third group are approaches to enthymemes and unexpressed premises by discourse analysts and conversation analysts. In these approaches logic plays no role, nor does the deductive-inductive distinction. A well-known contribution to this approach is Jackson and Jacobs (1980: 262). They define the eJl;; ~~r~~me as a?~rgumellt in 'YhichJhesl.l~t~ qlles.tiOUL <l!!~<?!>i:'<:!~()_Il:5.2t.lh.~ E~siIili:,!,l!.,. This definition highlights the interactional aspect of unexpressed premises. Insight into the structure, sequences and functional relations in everyday conversation is important because it enriches the theoretical basis of the analysis of unexpressed premises at the pragmatic level. However, this insight can only be utilized if what is meant by "the support matches the questions and objections of the recipient" is first more precisely defined. Conversational approaches to enthymemes are not primarily directed at questions like how one analyzes an enthymematic argument, but at how one properly describes enthymemes from a conversational viewpoint. A final group of theorists are the rhetoricians, who more or less put formal logic aside when it comes to the study of enthymemes and unexpressed premises. Their rhetorical focus on enthymemes is much different from the logical one. Rhetoricians concern themselves with the relation between a text, its context, and its effect on the audience. When it comes to enthymemes, they concern themselves with describing these relations in view of the fact that certain relevant information is left implicit. Rhetorical studies on enthymemes examine how information is implicitly conveyed to an audience, and in which forms and through which channels this information is expressed. An interesting proposal by Piazza (1995) argues that the traditional account of an enthymeme as a deductive, one-premise argument is incomplete, because it ignores the rhetorical situation in which enthymemes are found. She

argues that the analysis should not be restricted to the premises and the relation between the premises and the conclusion, but that it should also take into account the role of the interlocutor, the way in which the message is expressed, and what she calls "the complexity of the reasoning". Her proposal implies that the logical and the rhetorical approach should be combined. Approaches to unexpressed premises in which formal logic is absent, generally focus on elements that seem to have been taken for granted by the speaker in a given case, and how this is communicated to the audience. The perspective is pragmatic, although not always to the same extent and with the same effect. Not much attention is paid to the definitions of implicit elements and to the distinctions that have to be made, or to developing systematic procedures for identifying them.

3.4 The Nature of the Unexpressed Premise

Another question that has dominated the research on unexpressed premises in recent years concerns the exact nature of the proposition that is labeled the unexpressed premise. When dealing with real-life examples, it soon becomes clear that in practice many implicit elements seem to play some kind of role in the argumentation, while it is not easy to pick out the one that can be considered the unexpressed premise. Traditional linguistic theories offer some alternative implicit elements in ordinary language to the unexpressed premise. Of these, the presupposition is the most prominent. It is not entirely clear what the differences and similarities between presuppositions and unexpressed premises are. Govier (1987: 92) made an important contribution to this aspect of the research by showing which different kinds of implicit elements can be distinguished and how difficult it is to describe these differences and select the unexpressed premise. Some aspects of the discussion of thi~ ~roble~ are ~~ated below, particularly the confusion in textbooks over defimtlOns of Im~hClt elements, the idea that the unexpressed premise is a gap-filler, and the difference between used and needed premises.

3.4. 1 Confusion over Definitions

In the existing literature, there is much confusion over the defi~itions a~d t~e terms that are used to refer to implicit elements. One of the malll questlo~s IS what the difference is between presuppositions and unexpressed premises. Traditionally, a "presupposition" is viewed as an implicit assumption under-






!~~~au ... s~..un. ~xpr.esse.d. l?r.e. mi~~~.r<:p .. ,,:rt ..o. f . . th. e b..il iC il!~!!2f!!.h!hIT have to Qe ~ntlfied, while presuppositions can be left aside.
S ..

lying a proposition, the truth of which is a condition for the truth of that proposition. "There exists a queen of Budavia" is a presupposition for the proposition "The queen of Budavia is old." In most textbooks, presuppositions and unexpressed premises are treated as two separate kinds of implicit elements. ~.2Jl~~se t<:xt~.?..<>.!<s, the main difference is that presuppositions only playa role in the background ofan-arg~;:n~nt; theyare t;~fur granreTIandaf~ often triY!ilI:'6Thus, there isusuaIiyno-g~~;U~~~dto identify tllerrrexplicitly. In contrast, the unexpressed premise is a basic element of the argument itsel It has a particular function that presuppositions do not have; ~n une~pressed premise "fills the gap" or "forms a bridge" between the explicIt premise and the conclusion (Ennis 1982: 62, Govier 19 87: 9 6, respectively).

fhls)io~~;-er: {ssiinpllfylngi:li.ings:'A"comp1i~tion arises when the distinction between unexpressed premises and presuppositions as described above are not agreed upon by all the argumentation theorists. When one compares various textbooks, one discovers many differences between the terms used to refer to implicit elements and the meanings attached to them. Terms such as assumption, supposition, missingpremise, implicature, inference, and implication mayor may not refer to the same thing as presuppositions and unexpressed premises as they are traditionally understood. Different theorists apply their own considerations for choosing one term over another. Sometimes they attach different definitions to traditional concepts, sometimes they introduce new terms to refer to traditional concepts, and sometimes they introduce new terms for concepts that traditionally were not distinguished at all.

Thomson tries to explain why assumption is a clearer term than presupposition. Not, however, by referring to what is traditionally understood by presuppositions, but by talking about the kinds ~f statement.s generally c~led hypothetical statements. 17 These statements are m .fact.functlon~yvery dlffere~t from the traditional presuppositions. The mam difference IS that hypothetical statements by nature always function as premises of the argument. Therefore, they are very much in the foreground, not in the background,. of t~e argumentation. And, in contrast to presuppositions, they have to be Identified. Another important difference is that hypothetical statements are usually expressed explicitly, since it would be hard to m~e ~ hn:o.thetical ar~ument of the kind that Thomson refers to, while leavmg ImplICIt from whICh hypothesis the argument commences. Presuppositions are by definition always implicit. In her textbook, Thomson does not use the term unexpressed premise or close equivalents like missing premise and implicit reason. In her explanation of ~e meaning of "assumption", she further distinguishes a subclass t~at may comcide with what are traditionally viewed as unexpressed premises. A second subclass seems to be the traditional presuppositions. Thomson's other subclasses are not so obviously related to a traditional category of implicit elements. This is how she introduces the different types of assumptions: In the sense of "assumption" set out above, arguments have many assumptions. For each argument we encounter, there will be a whole host of shared background information - for example, the meanings of the words in which the argument is expressed, and general knowledge which give support to the reasons which are presented. Sometimes these assumptions will be so uncontentious.that we will not be interested in making them explicit. Sometimes, however, we will suspect that an argument rests upon a dubious assumption, and it will be important for us to express exactly what that assumption is in order to assess the argument. . We shall say more later about assumptions concerning the meamng of words, assumptions about analogous or comparable situations, and assumptions concerning the appropriateness of a given explanation. But for this chapter, we shall focus on ... (1996: 24).

An example that shows the possible confusion that may arise over terms related to unexpressed premise is Thomson's textbook Critical Reasoning (1996). Thomson uses the overall term assumption to refer to any implicit element that may playa role in an argument. She prefers this term to presupposition: Sometimes in the process of evaluating arguments, the term 'presupposition' is

us~d instead of'assumption'. We prefer the term 'assumption', because of the posSibility of confusion between 'presupposing' and 'supposing'. Usually when arguments tell us to "suppose that x is true': they are neither stating nor assuming that x is true; they are merely exploring what would follow from the truth of x, and often they are doing this precisely in order to show that x must be false. So we must not take the presence of the word 'suppose' in an argument to indicate that an assumption is being made. Indeed, since we are using the term 'assumption' to denote something which is not stated, there are no special words in arguments to indicate the presence of this kind of assumption (1996: 23).

In this explanation, Thomson distinguishes assumptions .concerning the meaning of words as a subtype. In traditional theory, these kinds of assu~p tions are regarded as presuppositions. Thomson seems to put assu~ptlOns about analogous or comparable situations and assumptions concermn~ the appropriateness of a given explanation in the same subclass as assumptIOns



about the meaning of words. Perhaps she regards them as presuppositions as well. Traditionally, however, these kinds of assumptions are not classified. Against this part of Thomson's classification one might argue that it is impossible to label these kinds of assumptions a priori as presuppositions, for an assumption about an analogous situation may very well be the unexpressed premise in a given case. In fact, in analogy arguments it is exactly an assumption of this nature that is distinguished as the unexpressed premise.'s The same can be said about her "assumptions concerning the appropriateness of an explanation" - it seems difficult to classify them a priori. Implicit elements cannot be labeled by only looking at their content, as Thomson does here. Thomson describes two further subclasses of assumption. Interestingly, the underlying criterion is now a functional one:
... we shall focus on the following two important ways in which assumptions function in an argument: first, in giving support to the basic reasons presented in the argument; second, as a missing step within the argument - perhaps as an additional reason which must be added to the stated reasons in order for the conclusion to be established, or perhaps as an intermediate conclusion which is supported by the reasons, and in turn supports the main conclusion (1996: 24).

probably well-known to everyone who practices argument analysis, but agai~ it seems that no generally agreed-upon term for it is available. (In pragma-dlalectical terms: a single argumentation in a subordinate chain of single argumentations has been left implicit.) Below, an overview of Thomson's terms and distinctions with regard to implicit elements, as compared to tradition is presented:
Thomson's assumptions Traditional terms

Subclass 1 - meaning of words - analogous or comparable situations - appropriateness of given explanation Subclass 2 - in support of basic reasons - as a missing step: - additional reason - intermediate conclusion

presupposition unclear unclear

back-up? unexpressed premise implicit part of subordinate argumentation

It is not immediately transparent how these two kinds of assumptions relate to the traditional concepts. I believe that Thomson's first kind of assumption does not have an equivalent in traditional theory. It resembles a concept distinguished by Ennis (1982) and Burke (1985), the so-called back-up, which is also a statement that lends support to the explicit premise!9 Ennis' and Burke's descriptions and examples of back-up, however, are not unambiguous. Furthermore, the problem with this idea of back-up is that an analyst can always think of further reasons that support the reasons that are stated, but there is hardly ever enough evidence to prove that adding these reasons to the argument is interpretatively correct, nor is there any theoretical basis for making decisions like these. 20 The second kind of assumptions that Thomson distinguishes, the intermediate conclusions, may overlap with, or be the same as, the traditional unexpressed premise, because she says that they form a "missing step': which may mean the same as "filling a gap" or "forming a bridge". This missing step, Thomson states, may be an assumption that must be added to the explicit reasons in order for the conclusion to follow, or an intermediate conclusion which is supported by reasons and, in turn, supports the main conclusion. The first specification does fit in with the traditional understanding of unexpressed premises as assumptions that must be added in order for the conclusion to follow. The second specification refers to an analytical case that is

This discussion illustrates that theorists attach different meanings to different terms for implicit elements. It is important to be aware of the confusion that can result from this.

3.4.2 The Unexpressed Premise as a Gap-Filler

Apart from the confusion over terms, there are other com plicatio.ns regarding the distinction between presuppositions and unexpressed premIses. According to the traditional definition, presuppositions are "in the background". In actual argumentative practice, however, this is not always the case, for in some cases presuppositions turn out to be decisive for the quality of the argume~ tation. In those cases they are, or so it seems, "in the foreground". One tradItional recognized instance of this is the fallacy of many questions. There is no clear tool available for tracking down presuppositions. There is also no argumentation theory where the identification of relevant presuppositions is systematically incorporated into the analysis. This is a particular problem when a presupposition does seem to be relevant in the foreground, because then the difference between it and an unexpressed premise is more difficult to determine.


The crucial question here is what it means when an unexpressed premise is a gap-filler and the presupposition is not, which is supposed to be the distinguishing feature between them. In itself, it seems to be an advantage when it can be said that an unexpressed premise needs to fill a gap, or form a bridge, between the stated premises and the conclusion, since this implies a functional perspective. It is impossible to identify unexpressed premises by their content only; they may be about any subject and they can have all kinds of statuses with regard to their truth or acceptability and the degree to which they are shared or known by the interlocutors. The only way to get a grip on them seems to be to pin down what function they have in an argument. This can only happen, however, when it is determined what "filling a gap" amounts to, in particular when it comes to identifying the unexpressed premise. When it is said that an unexpressed premise should fill a gap, what is often meant is that the unexpressed premise is a kind of if-then-statement such as the one in the following example:
Conclusion: Premise: Unexpressed premise:

logical minimum have to be generalized, and to what extent. Others argue that there is no way around this, because it is an intrinsic part of analyzing arguments. 23 In pragma-dialectics, for example, it is part of the analysis at the pragmatic level to decide what the content of the unexpressed premise may be, and to what extent the logical minimum has to be generalized, or specified, on the basis of the text and the context. 24 If the unexpressed premise is always a generalized version of the logical minimum that fills the gap between the premises and the conclusion, it differs from a presupposition, which is never an if-then-statement (or a variant of it) that links the premises to the conclusion. It is clearly some other kind of statement. Pluralists, however, would not agree with this definition of an unexpressed premise.

3.4.3 Used or Needed Premise Even if everyone agreed that the unexpressed premise is a generalized version of the logical minimum, another problem arises with regard to the nature of the unexpressed premise. Some theorists (Ennis 1982, Govier 1987, and Walton 1996) argue that there are two kinds of unexpressed premises, depending on the goal of the analysis. The two kinds are "used" versus "needed" premises. Used premises are interpretatively correct; they are the (implicit and explicit) premises that the speaker had in mind while expressing the argument. Implicit used premises have to be identified when the goal of the analysis is "interpretation". Needed premises, on the other hand, are not interpretatively correct, but only logically; they are the premises that are needed to make the argument valid.>5 Needed implicit premises are filled in when the goal is "truth seeking" or "evaluation", which means that the analyst checks to what extent the truth of the conclusion is proven by the premises. 26 The distinction can also be taken to imply that used premises and needed premises are by definition different in nature, so that the two analytical goals always result in unexpressed premises with different contents. The distinction between used and needed premises is introduced by Ennis (1982: 64). He argues that it is important to make this distinction to avoid confusion and to develop a systematic method for identifying unexpressed premises whereby analysts should decide beforehand what their particular goal is and at what kinds of unexpressed premises their analysis is directed. At the time when Ennis expressed these views, there was indeed confusion with respect to the analytical goals, especially among informal logicians. Nowadays, most theorists seem to agree that "truth seeking" should not be the goal of argument analysis. All the same, the used-needed distinction remains a

This article is about argumentation. It is written by an argumentation theorist. Ifthis article is written by an argumentation theorist, then this article is about argumentation.

Here the if-then statement is the so-called logical minimum. Of course, filling in the logical minimum is entirely in line with the traditional logical approach, and such a method therefore suffers from the same shortcomings. The objection that such a method amounts to deductivism has already been mentioned. Another objection is that supplying the logical minimum is a void act; since the statement is no more than a reiteration of the argument, it does not add anything and it cannot be tested for its truth or acceptability.2l Few theorists feel that the logical minimum is a likely candidate for the unexpressed premise. A second kind of if-then statement that may serve as a candidate for the unexpressed premise is one or another generalized version of the logical minimum that fits into the context at hand. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (199 2: 62-66) and Groarke (1995), for example, argue that we should fill in this type of unexpressed premises. :!,!J.~~gY<lnta~Qf this methRd, s:gmp<!!~.~:LJQ~ previous one, is thatit results in a statementthat is not uncontentious Therefore, it adds something extra to the argument, and it is te~t~bie.Bu~ i~:' opponents argue that this method also just amounts to deductivism because it i renders the argument deductively valid and is universally applied to all argu. ments consisting of one premise and a conclusion." Some also feel that this method has a disadvantage in that the analyst has to decide which terms in the




point of attention. For Walton (1996: 248), needed premises are not a big problem, because we can arrive at needed premises by relying on the rules of deductive logic and concepts like "argumentation schemes': Formulating used premises on the other hand is much harder: Walton feels more casework is needed in order to give a "classification of the different kinds of enthymemes and the different bases they rely on in argumentation" (1996: 25 0 ). The used-needed complication is only an issue for those who embrace the distinction in the first place. Not everybody does, because it implies that "used" premises are not the premises that make the argument logically valid. This conclusion, at least, follows from Walton's treatment of the subject. A rather serious consequence would be that it would be assumed that ordinary people do not reason in a logically valid way. This would lead to a definitive split between logic and argumentation theory on the one hand, and the study of ordinary argument on the other. For those who agree with the distinction, the analysis at a pragmatic level directed at the used premises (interpretation) is something entirely separate from an analysis at a logical level directed at the needed premises (evaluation): they are two different activities one can undertake and one can choose for either one or the other. It is hard to see, however, what we would gain by making such a divide. This understanding of interpretation versusevaluation is also in sharp contrast to other approaches, such as pragma-dialectics, where an interpretation always precedes evaluation, and interpretation is motivated by the need for evaluation.

3.5.1 The Meaning of'Context'


The Role of Context A third important development in the study of unexpressed premises is the increased theoretical and practical interest in the role of the context in the analysis. In the traditional logical approach, as the Copi example earlier in this chapter shows, context hardly played a role. But in studying real-life argumentation one is confronted with the importance of specific and detailed contextual information for arriving at a satisfying analysis. This applies to all aspects of the analysis of an argument, but especially for implicit elements like unexpressed premises. When the context is not taken into consideration in a given case, it seems virtually impossible to identify the unexpressd premises. Many theorists have stressed that contextual information is often decisive in making analytical decisions and that the context should therefore be included in our analyses. Several problems, however, need to be resolved.

. -~dofother information that may somehow playa role in that text. This rather broad definition makes it hard to pin down what the exact relevant context in a specific case is, let alone allow one to decide what the proper unexpressed premise is in the specific context. Even if the analyst recognizes the importance of using contextual information in the analysis, it is not exactly clear how this is best done. In modern argumentation theory, especially in its early years, there was a tendency to look at argument examples isolated from the context in which they originally functioned. The only arguments studied were those consisting of a conclusion and one or two premises. Today, practically everybody acknowledges that no justice can be done using this method to determine what an ordinary argument is about. In other words, it turns argument analysis into a rather meaningless activity. Today's theorists study larger samples of text and try to take context into account, so that he or she can arrive at a more detailed analysis. Good examples consist of attempts that analyze argumentation in specific situations and contexts, such as a judicial setting (Feteris 1999) or an institutional setting (Berkenbosch and Van der Geest 1999) When looking for the proper unexpressed premise, it would be helpful if there was a method or procedure of some kind for determining and articulating the relevant context. The concept 0~!~se4J)!~mi~i.s elltir~!.y .. context-dependent; with.()~!_~.S.2.!!!~2f!2the.S:Q!l~~2!. !!~Ecll.Y.l11aJ<~s .<lIlY sens~. ( pragffiaiically:-ifthere-is imprecision in the analysis with regard to understandmg the context, this can easily lead to differences of opinion about the exact content of a particular unexpressed premise. And even when extensive information is available, there is almost always room for alternative interpretations - albeit only to some extent in everyday life - because otherwise people would be unable to communicate and understand each other. Jacobs (1999) emphasizes the need for looking at argumentative material not in isolation, but from a conversational viewpoint, in order to understand what the argument is really about:
Too often the problem of reconstructing arguments has been a problem of refashioning stated propositions, filling in missing premises, drawing out implied conclusions, but without any sensitivity to the total message that is being conveyed .... Information conveyed in a message is not limited to what can be extracted from sentences by rules of syntax, semantics, and logic .... When people interpret a message, they construct a context of assumptions and inferences to

~::1~;.t~fi~~;';;~ ~Ji~~E~~;~..:u~;[ti"~;!;~~~t=~;;t;




make sense of what was said and of what was not said but could have been said, and that make sense of how and when all of it is said. The words are not the message.... It is the context of interpretive assumptions and inferences that is the message (1999: 398). Following Van Eemeren (1990), Jacobs proposes a "normative pragmatics" as a corrective and a complement to the traditional approach of the analysis.'? The question of how to include contextual information is particularly relevant to those who are in some way affiliated with the traditional logical approach, if only by explicitly moving away from that approach like informal 10gicians and pragma-dialecticians. For tl10se who work from a (traditional or modern) rhetorical framework, how contextual information is included is not really an issue. To them, the concept of enthymemes and implicit inforJ mation has always been about context. Rhetorical approaches to enthymemes do not focus On ~lling in the cor~ect unexpressed premises (in fact, the termor a synonym - IS seldom mentlOned); they concentrate on the relation between entl1ymemes and the broader context, which in rhetoric is often called Lucaites, Condit, and Caudill (1999) give an overview of contemporary rhetorical theory in which they also clarify the role of the enthymemes. In their view, three structural relationships are important for the understanding of a text: the relation between the text and its sources, the text and culture, and the text and its effect. In discussing the second relation, they stress tl1at the (Aristotelian) enthymeme is a core concept, since it relies On doxa, which is, tl1ey maintain, the classical equivalent of "cultur~'~ Doxa is ill:ostlysilent (1999: 71). A recent rhetorical study, Horwitz (1999), is directed at this particular relationship between entl1ymemes and culture. She defines enthymemes as the constellation of assumptions and inferences that listeners make when hearing someone speak. Horwitz argues that people sometimes construe these enthymemes, just on the basis ofthe speaker's appearance (race, gender, etc.), which may lead the audience to arrive at a negative judgment of the speaker. In other words, they form certain enthymemes in tl1eir heads, which may prevent the speaker's message from coming across accurately. A speaker can prevent this from happening, or the speaker can "block the enthymeme" by employing certain rhetorical techniques (1999: 385). Rhetorical approaches rely on a certain understanding of context or culture. Since they are not directed at identifying the precise unexpressed premises, tl1ere is also no great need to specifically indicate which information constitutes the context of an argument. The rhetorical concept of context may be useful in defining and specifying the concept of context necessary

for tl1e correct interpretation of the unexpressed premise, but it does not offer a reliable metl10d for identifying the relevant context when looking for tl1e unexpressed premise.

3.5.2 The Position ofthe Analyst
......__._-----_. (, c0.Cu


, \i

\ A second problem witl1 regard to the notion of conte~ ~as. to do with the po-

\\sifiOiiOffheanalyst~ Compared to the speakers and listeners who are actually

~inVclved in the--;;g~"illentation, it is almost always harder for an analyst to de-

i. culture.

cide on the meaning of the utterances involved. The interlocutors are present when tl1e argument is expressed, and tl1ey are provided with all kinds of clues, botl1 verbal and non-verbal, that help tl1em to interpret tl1e message. They can also interact and ask for clarification. The analyst, however, does not have tl1ese options. Many theorists feel we should be analyzing arguments as tl1ey were intended by tl1eir speakers, and not some interpretation of their arguments. In other words, interpretative correctness is the aim, however hard it may be to achieve. Even those with "evaluation" and "needed premises" as tl1eir goals would usually not go so far as to totally abandon their concern for interpretative correctness. The problem, however, is how to decide what is interpretatively correct. This problem is often thought to involve the speaker's intentions; how can we know what tl1eywere? In pragma-dialectics, the analysis is not directed at the speaker's intentions, but at his or her externalizable "commitments" instead. 2s The concept of commitment comes from speech act theory. Recently, Walton also suggested that in argument analysis we should be concerned with tl1e speaker's commitments (but only when the goal is to identify used premises) (1996: 251). The idea of commitment is sometimes subject to confusion, since semantically tl1e word "commitment" has several meanings and connotations. In speech act theory, it means tl1at by uttering certain propositions (in a specific context) a speaker commit~himself or herself to something, depending on the kind of speeChac~oyed. Someone who expresses a verbal utterance tl1at amounts to a promise, tl1ereby commits oneself to actually doing what one said, since this is the essence of the speech act of making a promise. The speaker will be held to the promise, even ifhe or she never intended to live up to it. Similarly, someone who produces a claim commits oneself to the truth of that claim, for tl1at is the essence of tl1e speech act of making a claim, and this also holds true for a speaker who is well aware of the fact that he or she is lying. The "commitments" tl1at are distinguished analytically are supposed to be in agreement with empirical reality; actual language users are thought to





interpret the speech acts of others by identifYing and remembering the commitments speakers take upon themselves, rather than their intentions. Nowadays, the concept of commitment is generally preferred over that of the speaker's intentions. The advantage is that the concept of commitment is set in a reliable theoretical framework, that of speech act theory. "Commitment" better defines what an analyst should be aiming for when he or she is interpreting an argument than the concept of intention. Another advantage is that the concept of commitment is linked to that of context; commitments, whether in real life or in argument analysis, are attributed on the basis of the text and the context. The link between a speaker's intentions and the context is much less clear. In practice, it is therefore easier to decide what someone is committed to than what he or she intended; in most cases, commitments can be attributed on the basis of what someone has said in a certain way in a certain situation. In this regard, intentions are much more difficult to attribute. It should also be noted, however, that the concept of commitment only offers a partial solution to the problem. The analyst is often still at a disadvantage compared to the speakers and listeners involved, because for them it is almost always easier to decide which commitments ensue from the speech acts performed.

From this, it seems clear that the formulation of the relation Garssen talks about as a specific statement results in the unexpressed premise. Recently, several other authors have also pointed out that argument schemes may offer insights that are relevant to the problem of unexpressed premises. Blair (1992: 209) looks into Aristotelian topoi and the notion of argument scheme, which he believes may offer useful alternatives to the restricted deductive understanding of unexpressed premises. Walton (1996: 245) regards argument schemes as an "important new tool for the analysis of enthymemes ... ": Argumentation schemes ... are the forms of argument (structures or inferences) that enable one to identify and evaluate common types of presumptive argumentation in everyday discourse (1996: 245). MthoufZh the ~17.~I<:h.~_~ ..!~-'E_~!!L.ss:.h~._.~~ .. gU;I._~.l!I.IYEe..I.~~~~~?it ~!~~~tyet . been "translated" into the terms of unexpressed premises. Two things seem ( ~thlsreg~;d~T~b;gi~-~ih~id~;;tifYing th~~q~ument scheme that , is employed helps when one is trying to formulate the unexpressed premise. Deciding whether one is dealing with a causal relation, or an analogy, or some other relation, gives a clue as to the kind of unexpressed premise that would be appropriate. However, this clue is only very general, while the problems of identifYing unexpressed premises are often about details and peculiarities. It may be helpful to know that one is dealing with a causal relation, but then it must still be decided what the particular causal relation is. It is therefore still unclear to what extent argument schemes may actually be a way out of the problem of the unexpressed premises. If argument schemes are a useful tool for identifYing unexpressed premises, the question arises of what the relation is between argument schemes and the traditional logical schemes. What status do argument schemes have? Do they replace the logical schemes or do they complement them? And how? In pragma-dialectics the relation between the premise and the standpoint is not a formal but a pragmatic one. Although it is clear what this means, it is also a fact that in pragma-dialectics unexpressed premises have a formal aspect. How are the formal and the pragmatic aspect connected? And argument schemes in pragma-dialectics are defined as specific sorts of deductively valid arguments, so the reproach of deductivism seems also to apply to an approach of unexpressed premises in which they are identified by means of argument schemes. (I suspect that for this reason Walton restricts argument schemes to needed premises only.)

3.6 Argument Schemes A fourth and last development in the research on unexpressed premises has to do with the increased interest in the notion of argument schemes. In studying argument schemes, the object is not the formal structure of the argument, but its generalized content. In other words, some arguments are about causal relations, while others rely on resemblances, and so on. Argument schemes are discussed separately in chapter 4 of this book, so the discussion here will now concentrate on the relation between the study of argument schemes and that of unexpressed premises. Garssen's (1999) description of argument schemes, based on Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992), refers to this relation: There seems to be general agreement among argumentation theorists that argumentation schemes are principles or rules underlying arguments that legitimize the step from premises to standpoints. They characterize the way in which the acceptability of the premise that is explicit in the argumentation is transferred to the standpoint. The argumentation scheme that has been used by an arguer determines the specific relation that is established between the explicit premise and the standpoint that is being justified. This relation is not a formal one but a pragmatic one (1999: 225).





3.7 Conclusion In this chapter, four recent developments in the research on unexpressed premises have been discussed. First, attention was given to the discussion about the distinction between deduction and induction and its consequences. Second, the issue of the nature of the statement that is the unexpressed premise was dealt with. Third, the role of the context and its importance for the analysis of argumentation was discussed. Last, attention was paid to the relation between argument schemes and unexpressed premises. All in all, three different directions emerge in which the research on unexpressed premises is presently going. The first is the further combining oflogical and pragmatic insights in order to systematically and correctly identify the unexpressed premise. The combination of logical and pragmatic insights seems fruitful, and it is a direction that more and more argumentation theorists nowadays take. Interestingly, these authors come from various backgrounds. 29 The second direction amounts to investigating the rhetorical study and understanding of the enthymemes, as well as other pragmatic views on unexpressed premises. The insights found are then incorporated into argumentation theory, in order to elaborate what a pragmatic analysis consists of. The third direction involves turning to the study of argument schemes, and exploiting its potential for facilitating the identification of unexpressed premises.


See Haack (1978) for an overview of such modern logical systems. Starmans (1999) discusses recent attempts to define a criterion of validity in argumentative models in a formal way. See also Starmans

(1996). 12 Cf. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (199 2) and Jacobs (1999) 13 In Gerritsen (1999a: 36-55) the Toulmin model is discussed in the context of the study of unexpressed premises. 14 See, for a discussion of shortcomings of the Toulmin model, Hample (1977), Van Eemeren et al. (1996, Ch. 5) and Johnson (19 81 ). 15 See for "critical thinking" Fisher and Scriven (1997). 16 Classical contributions to the study of presuppositions are Strawson (195 0 and 1952) and Donnellan (1966,1968). Much less known are attempts to formulate a "pragmatic" notion of presupposition. Cf., for example, Keenan (1973) and Stalnaker (1974, 1975, 1978). 17 The first statement in the following argument is an example of a hypothetical statement: "Suppose for the sake of argument that smoking is not bad for your health. Why then is there overwhelming evidence that smokers get lung cancer?" 18 This is, for example, the case in the pragma-dialectical argument scheme of a comparison (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 199 2, Garssen 1997). 19 The "back-up" is something distinct from Toulmin's backing. The latter supports the warrant, while a back-up does not, that is, judging from the examples Ennis and Burke offer (Gerritsen 1999 a: 78). 20 See Gerritsen (1999a:76) for a discussion of Ennis (1982) and Burke (1985). 21 See Govier (1987: 26) for a discussion of the drawbacks of adding the logical minimum (which she calls the 'associated conditional'). 22 Cf. Govier (1987: 89). 23 Groarke (1992,1995) makes this point for example. 24 Cf. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992: 62-66). 25 Gerritsen (1999a: 73-75) discusses the literature on the used-needed distinction. 26 Govier (1987: 100) refers to the first as the "interpretative view" and to the latter as the "reconstructive view:' 27 Cf. Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jackson and Jacobs (1993) 28 See Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992: 66) and Gerritsen (1995: 108) on commitments and unexpressed premises. 29 Some authors that argue for this specifically are: Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992), Piazza (1995), Walton (1996), and Jacobs (1999)

Notes 1 In Garssen (1997) these findings are presented more extensively. 2 Cf. Cicero's Topica, Boethius' In Topica Cicerones and Peter of Spain's Tractatus seu summulae logicales. 3 With the help of the syllogistic model of argument, this particular unexpressed premise is not so hard to identify. 4 Cf. Solmsen (1929), Kennedy (1963), and Burnyeat (1994 and 1996). 5 Cf., among others, Govier (1987), Woods (1990), Berg (1992), Groarke (1992), and Walton (1996). 6 This point is emphasized by Govier (1987). See also her textbook, Govier (1992). 7 Cf. Hitchcock (1982) on "conduction:>and Peirce (1965) and Bybee (1991) on "abduction". / 8 Cf. Hitchcock (1985). 9 This point is, for example, made by Groarke (1992). 10 Cf. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992).





3.8 Bibliography Berg, J. (1992). "Validity and Rationality." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair and CA. Willard, (Eds.), Argumentation Illuminated. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 104-112. Berkenbosch, R., and 1. van der Geest, (1999). "Practical Guidelines for JustifYing Decisions about Major Projects." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair and CA. Willard, (Eds.), Proceedings ofthe Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 49-52. Blair, J.A. (1992). "Premissary Relevance." Argumentation, 6, 2, 203-218. Blair, J.A., and R.H. Johnson (1980). Informal Logic: The First International Symposium~ Inverness, CA: Edgepress. Burke, M. (1995). "Unstated Premises." Informal Logic, 7, 2/3, 107-u8. Burnyeat,M.F. (1994). "Enthymeme: Aristotle on the Logic of Persuasion." In: Furley, D.E, and A. Nehamas (Eds.), Aristotle's Rhetoric: Philosophical Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 3-55. Burnyeat, M.E (1996). "Enthymeme: Aristotle on the Rationality of Rhetoric:' In: Oksen berg Rorty, A. (Ed.), Essays on Aristotle's Rhetoric. Berkeley: University of California, 88-115. Bybee, M.D. (1991). "Abduction and Rhetorical Theory:' Philosophy and Rhetoric, 24, 4, 281-300. Copi, I.M., and C Cohen (1986). Introduction to Logic. New York: Macmillan [8th ed.; 1st. ed.1953, without Cohenl. Donnellan, K. (1966). "Reference and Definite Descriptions:' The Philosophical Review, 75, 281-304. Donnellan, K. (1968). "Putting Humpty Dumpty Togeilier Again." The Philosophical Review, 77, 203-215. Eemeren, EH. van (1990). "The Study of Argumentation as Normative Pragmatics." Text, 10, 1/2,37-44. Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, A.E Snoeck Henkemans, J.A. Blair, R.H. Johnson, E.C W. Krabbe, C Plantin, D.N. Walton, CA. Willard, J. Woods, and D. Zarefsky (1996). Fundamentals ofArgumentation Theory: A Handbook ofHistorical Backgrounds and Contemporary Developments. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1982). "Unexpressed Premises: Part 1:' Journal of theAmerican ForensicAssociation, 19, 2, 97-106. Eemeren , EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1983). "Unexpressed Premises: Part II:' Journal oftheAmerican ForensicAssociation, 19, 4, 215- 225. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1992). Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies: A Pragma-DialecticaIApproach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, S. Jackson, and S. Jacobs (1993). ReconstructingArgumentative Discourse. London/Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press. Ennis, R.H. (1982). "Identifying ImplicitAssumptions:' Synthese, 51, 61-68. Feteris, E. T. (1999). "What Went Wrong in the Ball-Point Case? An Analysis and Evaluation of the Discussion in the Ball-Point Case from the Perspective of a Rational Discussion:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and CA. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings ofthe Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 188-194. Fisher, A., and M. Scriven (1997). Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment. Point Reyes, CNNorwich, UK: Edgepress/Centre for Research in Critical Thinking. Garssen, B. (1997). Argumentatieschema's in pragma -dialectisch perspectief Een theoretisch en empirisch onderzoek. Amsterdam: IFOTT. Garssen, B. (1999). "The Nature of Symptomatic Argumentation." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and CA. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth In ternational Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 225-227. Gerritsen, S. (1995). "Defense of Deductivism in the Pragma-DialecticApproach to Unexpressed Premises." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and CA. Willard (Eds.), Analysis and Evaluation. Proceedings of the Third ISSA Conference on Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 130-137. Gerritsen, S. (1999a). Hetverband ontgaat me. Begrijpeiijkheidsproblemen met verzwegen argumenten. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Nieuwezijds. Gerritsen, S. (1999b). "The History of ilie Eniliymeme:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and CA. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings ofthe Fourth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 228-230. Govier, T. (1987). Problems in ArgumentAnalysis and Evaluation. Dordrecht: Foris. Govier, T. (1992). A Practical Study ofArgument. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth [2nd. Ed.; 1St. ed.1985l. Groarke, L. (1992). "In Defense of Deductivism: Replying to Govier." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Argumentation Illuminated. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 113-12l. Groarke, L. (1995). "What Pragma-Dialectics can Learn from Deductivism, and what Deductivism can Learn from Pragma-Dialectics:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and CA. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings of the Third ISSA Conference on Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 138-145. Haack, S. (1978). Philosophy ofLogics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Hample, D. (1977). "The Toulmin Model and the Syllogism." Journal ofthe American Forensic Association, 14, 1-18. Hitchcock, D. (1980). "Deductive, and Inductive: Types of Validity, not of Argument." Informal Logic Newsletter, 2, 3, 9-10. Hitchcock, D. (1981). "Deduction, Induction, and Conduction." Informal Logic Newsletter, 3, 2, 7-15. Hitchcock, D. (1985). "EnthymematicArguments!' Informal Logic, 7, 2/3, 8397


Horwitz, L. (1999). "Blocking the Enthymeme: Does it Unblock Identity Problems in Argumentation?" In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings ofthe Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 382-385. Jackson, S., and Jacobs, S. (1980). "Structure of Conversational Argument: Pragmatic Bases for the Enthymeme." Quarterly Journal ofSpeech, 66, 25 1 26 5.

Jacobs, S. (1999). "Argumentation as Normative Pragmatics." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 397-403. Johnson, R.H. (1981). "Toulmin's Bold Experiment!' Informal Logic Newsletter, 3, 3, 4-9. Johnson, R.H. (1999). "The Problem of Truth for Theories of Argument!' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 411-415. Keenan, E.L. (1973). "Presupposition in Natural Logic." The Monist, 57, 3, 344370 .

Stalnaker, R.C. (1974). "Pragmatic Presuppositions:' In: Rogers, A., B. Wall, and J.P. Murphy (Eds.), Proceedings of the Texas Conference on Performatives, Presuppositions, and Implications. Arlington, VI: Center for Applied Linguistics, 135-147. Stalnaker, R.C. (1975). "Presuppositions!' In: Hockney, D., W. Harper, and B. Freed (Eds.), Contemporary Research in Philosophical Logic and Linguistic Semantics: Proceedings ofa Conference held at the University ofWestern Ontario, London, Canada. Dordrecht: Reidel, 31-42. Stalnaker, R.C. (1978). "Assertion!' In: Cole, P. (Ed.), Syntax and Semantics 9: Pragmatics. New York: Academic Press, 315-322. Starmans, R. (1996). Logic, Argument, and Commonsense. Tilburg: Tilburg University Press. Starmans, R. (1999). "Validity of Distributed Inference: Towards a Formal Specification of Validity Criteria in Argumentative Models:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 764-768. Strawson, P.E (1950). "On referring:' Mind, 59, 320-344 Strawson, P.E (1952). Introduction to Logical Theory. London: Methuen. Thomson, A. (1996). Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction. London/New York: Routledge. Toulmin, S.E. (1958). The Uses ofArgument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Walton, D. (1996). Argument Structure: A Pragmatic Theory. Toronto/Buffalo/ London: University of Toronto Press. Woods, J. (1990). "Missing Premises in Pragma-Dialectics:' Logique et Analyse, 129-130, 155-168.

Kennedy, G. (1963). The Art ofPersuasion in Greece. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Lucaites, J.L., M.C. Condit, and S. Caudill (1999). Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: A Reader. New York/London: The Guilford Press. Peirce, C.S. (1965). Collected Papers ofCharles Sanders Peirce (Hartsthorne, c., and Weiss, P., Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. rPiazza, E (1995). "The Enthymeme as Rhetorical Argumentation: An Aris\ Perspective." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and '\ C, .A. WIllard (Eds.), Analy~ts and Evaluation: Proceedings ofthe Third ISSA!, \\ : L_,Conference on ArgumentatIOn. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 146-150. :' ~ Rescher,N. (1964). Introduction to Logic. New York: St.Martin's Press. ~' Solmsen, E (1929). Die Entwicklung der aristotelischen Logik und Rhetorik. ' Berlin: Weidemann.






4 Argument Schemes
Bart Garssen


Introduction Someone who advances argumentation presupposes, in principle, that the advanced premise will be seen as an acceptable proposition and that this premise is linked, in an adequate way, to the standpoint he wishes to defend. The link between the argument and the standpoint is adequate if the acceptability of the premise is "transferred" to the standpoint by means of the "argument scheme" that is being used. The premise and standpoint can be linked in several ways. This explains why argumen tation theory is concerned with distinguishing various argument schemes. Each argument scheme represents a specific principle of support.' In an argument scheme the "internal structure" of a single argumentation is revealed while the argumentation structure represents the "external structure" of the argumentation as a whole (Van Eemeren et al. 1996: 18-19). The term argument scheme or argumentation scheme (in French known as scheme argumentatifJ was probably first used by Perelman, but other authors denote similar notions with different terms. Argument schemes are defined and categorized in various ways. The differences between the categorizations made in the literature on argumentation are connected with the goals each approach is aiming to achieve. In some approaches, argument schemes are seen as tools for the evaluation of argumentation, in other cases, they are tools for finding arguments, and in still other cases, they serve as a starting point for the description of argumentative competence in a certain language. This chapter provides an overview of the most important approaches of argument schemes. 4.2 describes the approaches concerned with the finding of arguments, 4.3 the approaches that focus on the evaluation of argumentation, and 4-4 discusses the descriptive approach to argument schemes.


4.2 Argument Schemes and Finding Arguments 4.2.1 The Classical Topical Tradition The topical systems are part of the classical theories of invention, which are intended to provide guidelines for finding and selecting the proper arguments to be used in a public speech (rhetoric) or in a discussion (dialectic). The various topical systems proposed in the classical period consist of ordered lists of different types of arguments. In that s~the t~~cal s~~ ?r{)vi<l~ thel0E!!9ps (or topic~ w~'<:!5:c!h.~ a!gl!!!le~!~ c~!1~e .f~l!l!~L ~ oX t~ese topics .~ere is a~~!!!,:S!!Q!lbe~,k!Lt~I.e1niswhat~~e

c<iLtQ12 ics consist of rules for the a ssigumwtcl.pJ:s;~q.2lli>j~1l, Becau~. the attacker of the thesis should know which rule applies to the relation be-

'~. n suob .. eC.t. an. d.,predicat.e'.!!:.-,a, t. .iS e.x. ress,e~., i,n L.he.!h',_,e' .. 'i~'Ar .. istotle s.ort,ed."th,~ ~i." dialectical topics according to tYP~9.f2E~.d1c~~.~~.~mtl2!h.p~t.
E~~~t" .~~!,b.e ~~.~~.9E;.~!!!!~.E~~: th~.~~r,t~~ ~!~_~.gs>.2~lt!n~~Lsgjp_;+
.rise~.l.~e members of the speCies ~~.~l!.~~~~E!)'.:J9~ the !~.!::~l~l.~.!: at:1 tacker shOUIa-mention~Q~.!fic~_~1'1~<1.~l:l!~!~.~t!~!l.21~QQ.iToplca IV

and a~:~~:.~()E ~~~.!~~i!L~!iirk.Qn!P.~!b!2.'.'Ih~~QQliis,Q.~~llJ!l9i.~t

.fQr!~.~R2.Il.~JQ~u~ent sche~i!l!!l.2d<:!!!. ~~h.!:~!9 argumenta-

.~!on~1:k!:~jQpjca) SfStems as deYdo.~Arj~Qtls:. ~iJ;!a:Q.illl.d Boe~

are brieflI discussed. ,

'A;i~t~tl;;~7h~~~ system of invention includes the~p:(~

pertaining to one of the three oratorical genres (the political speech, the ceremonial speech, and the judicial speech) and general topics that pertain to all genres. In the specific topics, generally accepted opinions and values are expressed that can be used to link a premise to the thesis that the speaker wishes to defend. These opinions and values are related to the goal that is pursued in the specific genre. The political topics, for instance, point to the lines of action that will lead to happiness ("Good things are the things that amuse our friends and that are hated by our enemies"). Or, to find the premises for a ceremonial speech (laudation), the speaker can choose from the topics that are related to virtuousness. The topics relevant to the judicial speech help the speaker find arguments for proving that the accused has committed the crime by pointing to motives, circumstances, or character traits that will lead to the committing of a crime. Basically, these specific topics consist of general statements that can be directly used as premises in the discourse, which serve as inference licenses linking pre . es to theses. In th~..general to i s (~ abstract rhetorical principles are expressed that can be used as princip es of inference in all genres.3 While the specific ' t~are ready-made statements _tha!..(;<l!LR~J!~g~S.Qtig.KU:uLde:\::t.c~ be~~he premise and tlJ the~i~!u~~g~Eer<Il t()pic~ ~()n,.sitsof general and ~bst~t princil2les. Aristotle distinguishes 28 topics. Some of these topics re\ semble the argument schemes that can be found in modern classifications ("If the cause exists, the effect does; if it does not, there is no effect"). In his dialectical topic (Topica), Aristotle describes strategies that can be used to refute an '2l'0nent's thesis in a discussion. A thesis is refuted when it is~~Cth<!t'the p.!e~-;ongfull crttrib~dtoasubject. The. dialectj-

In his Topica, Cicero discusses rhetorical topics that are abstract argumentative principles; similar to those Aristotle described in his general rhetorical , topics. Cicero distinguishes three types of topics: topics that are intrinsic to I the subject that is mentioned in the thesis (definition), topics that are some- .. how related to the subject (comparison, genus-species, cause-effect, and con- ( tradiction), and topics that are not related (extrinsic) to the subje<:tJ.<l!fi~ \\ --..-. - ment from authorityl: I' . The df;Uectical topica developed by Boethius in his De differentiis topicis can be seen as a synthesis of the dialectical topical system of Aristotle and Cicero's


"--~. -.--~~--~-~-



Topica. ~arting from various types ()~,edicate~. Boethiu.s, forf!1ula. te~ gener- )' )) stract argumentative rincillies i.1s.!Rif... Q!: .diffgl1a!1:laLthi!1J!!1i~he. thQ~ statements. While Boethius' list of differentia is exhaustive, there is an endless' ~u~ber of possible maximes. For instance, starting with the maxime, "That whose end is good, is itself also good" (topic from the end) we can construct the following argumentation: "If it is good to be happy, then justice is also good; for it is the end of justice that he who lives according to justice be

'!Hy~.~pted statements (maximes) that he c:!.t.~go~.~~.2,~!he basis_~th~-


brought to happiness': Boethius' t~pica is t~f..I!lc.>st imP. O,!~ill11Q1!rs:_cliruPj:.1 ~on in the develoR.,ment of med~~~<:..,!!~ste!lli,W1rd 19 62: 311 ). !

4.2.2 Whately's Rhetoric Centuries later, Whately (1846) presented a classification of forms of argumentation as a tool for the finding of arguments. 5 On the basis of what the speaker wants to demonstrate with his argumentation, Whately discerns between two main categories of type of arguments: argumentation forms t~~'1 "mkht h~been employed - I!.~!.!~..?!~~~11!~?~ut- to acc2~m !()F ,the f"!s:1_ 9r. principle maintained. sI.\PMl:iin~!!~. !!!:!.!!!&:<;!1!eslJ(1846: 46), and argu: . ments that cannot be employed in this way. The former ~!~!}:'_i~called !:! and comprises argument fro~~;Ji~eto-efec!,~:ilii1i tQ.!!.ff.!i!lt f~. !hiI!Bl signifif!.z to assign t4.e_<;!~~2fjl' (1846 : 4 6 ). T.t!:~.c;211'i~~~~~~1,2f


~rg_~ments ~~~~~b:~~e~ int~~~~_~~:::~~':.!~,~.::~~~~e!~':~




from an effect to a condition." A special type of sign argumentation is ;;;g~~~ntati~-;&-;nt;;timQP" in which the premise refers to the existence of the testimony and the conclusion to the truth of what is attested. This truth is considered as a condition of the testimony having been given: "the testimony would not have been given, had it not been true" (1846: 58). In the different kinds of argument belonging to the category oLexampl.. one or more known instances belonging to the same class are represented as typical examples of that class, in order to draw a conclusion related to all individual members of that class. I.~ ~~e subtypes are "induction", "argumen!a~~~!?!:I~c;!W comIlarig>JL~qgi~ In inductive argumentation, "w; assume as a major premise, that what is true (in regard to the point in question) of the individual or individuals which we bring forward and appeal to, is true of the whole class to which they belong" ("Astronomy was decried at its first introduction, as adverse to religion, therefore every science is likely to be decried at its first introduction, as adverse to religion") (1846: 86-87). In argumentation based on comparison the reasoning process must go one step further since the result of the initial inductive process is taken as a premise for inferring something about another individual case ("Every science is likely to be decried at its first introduction, as adverse to religion, therefore geology is like to be decried"). Argumentation based on comparison is therefore a compound argument consisting of ~_!_!!2:~~!_i~~"~_f~.E!~ucti~ Normally, the inductive step will be implicit; the arguer reasons directly from the known to the unknown case ("Astronomywas decried at its first introduction, as adverse to religion, therefore the same will happen with geology") (1846: 87). The third subtype in the category of example is analogy, which Whately sees as a comparison of ratios (1846: 90).


tion into two notions ("Astrology is not a real science but a quasi-science"). The speaker's aim is to get his audience to accept the "new" meaning of the term and abandon the old meaning. A dissociation results ill a (re2definitio!J -, or specification of a term: This can add con~~derab!yto ~h~ gen~ralper.lli!,i~_!1 effect of the ar umentat~ .}Nonethele~s, s~c.e dIS, soc,la,~lOn doe, ~. n~t eS~~-_,IIJI IS a specific kind oflink betwe~~IS ~~ld !~t!!,~ !.h~SIS .an~:v.~!!!s s~d the premise, it cannot be consi~~!e~~!: argl!~.~,~!2E~~~J .., The argument schemes that are based on association are subdIVIded m "quasi-logical argumentation", "argumentation based on the structure of reality" and "argumentation establishing the structure of reality" (1969: 193404). Quasi-logical argumentation derives its persuasive force from its likeness to logical reasoning and mathematical proof. This form of argU~~1\ ~~ never yield a cOqIpell~J2!QQfJ2!!t ,<;'<!!,!Q~, ,rhetqr,ji!~!:.<;;~ Perelman and Olbrecbts 'IteJ;il.d~gjl)~~hf,!lyq:;i~~1S!14.~i,:m<!!h.~~ ~-;ical use of relatjons and princu?k.~~fl1 i!;1t5~!1t~~di<::tt<.{~>,id._e.Iltity~ reci~cityl transitivi!;y, eart-whole, comJ?~2.,11Qtmath,~m!!!iifiI2J.2~!!~,~,~L ~"'~


~~.. In argumentation that is based on the structure of reality there IS an appeal to

the ideas of the auditorium about the way in which reality is structured "to establish a solidarity between accepted judgments and others which one wishes to promote" (1969: 261). Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca distinguish "argumentation that is based on a sequential relation" and "argumentation that is based on a coexistential relation". In the former a phenomenon is related to its effects or consequences (1969: 262), while in the latter a person is related to his of her actions, a group to its constituting members - or more generally - an essence to its manifestations (1969: 262). A special subtype of argumentation based on a sequential relation is "pragmatic argumentation", in which an action or event is evaluated on the basis of the merits that are attributed to the consequences. 6 In argumentation based on a coexistential relation the things that are connected are situated on different phenomenological levels, one more structured or abstract than the other (a person's character traits and his or her behavior). Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca regard the relation between the person and his or her acts as the prototypical coexistential relation. The person is the essential factor in this relation and the acts are (non-essential and temporal) manifestations of the person. An accepted opinion about a person's acts is transferred to his of her character - or the other way around. This argument scheme is used when a thesis in which a person's certain future acts are mentioned is defended by referring to certain (past) acts of that same person ("Someone who has ever bore false witness in the past will not hesitate to bear false witness again"). Based on the idea the auditorium has formed of a person, it can make judgments about the acts of that person. That is exactly


Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's New Rhetoric

In La nouvelle rhetorique: traite de l'argumentation, Perelman and OlbrechtsTyteca (1958) provide a description of discursive techniques that might be successful in practice. Their aim is to show how an audience can be motivated to transfer the likelihood of the premises in an argum....ntation to the thesis. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca make a distinction between argument ( s~hemes based on the principle of "association" and argumen~hemes ba~d \ ~ principle of "dissociati"n". Association consists of bringing together elements that were previously regarded as separate, while dissociation consists in separating elements that were previously regarded as part of a single entity. The result of a dissociation is always a differentiation of an existing no-




what happens in "argumentation based on authority," in which the prestige of an (alleged) authority is transferred to its statements or judgments in such a way that the auditorium thinks the statements are true or reliable. In argumentation that establishes the structure ofreality, a certain rule or empiric~ regul~ri~ is established by pointing to a specific case (example) or by refernng to ~Im~lar cases (analogy). Argumentation based on an example can be a generalIzatIOn on the basis of one or more specific instances or it can be 'arguin~ from the particular to the particular: which is called argument from comparzson by others. A special instance of argumentation by example is argum.entation on .the basis ofa mode~ in which the speaker tries to persuade his audIence to act m a certain way by resorting to the prestige of someone who functions as a model. The argument by analogy must be seen as what others call figurative analogy.

43 Argument Schemes and the Evaluation of Argumentation 4.3. 1 American Textbooks on Academic Debate American textbooks on debate normally include an account of the academic debate format, instru:tio~s for the organisation of argumentation appropriate to debate, and gUIdelmes for persuasive presentation. As a rule, the instr~ction for the organisation of the argumentation includes finding the reqUIred proof and evidence for the debate proposition. First the speaker should select the premises for his defense and then he should see whether these premises constitute adequate reasonings that supply enough evidence for the ~ebate Pro~osition. In the chapters about reasoning, expositions of the claSSICal syllOgism and the difference between deduction and induction are presented. In most cases, that exposition is followed by an overview of argumentation types that in some cases are called kinds of argument and in others,forms of argument or modes of reasoning in discussion. This classification functions ~s.a to~l for the evaluation of the speaker's own argumentation ~nd for the antiCIpatIOn of the opponents critique on the argumentation and IS usually accompanied by evaluative questions (ortests)/ In his famous and widely used textbook Argumentation and Debate, which may be .se~n a~ representative of the practical literature on debate, Freeley ~1993) dIstmgUIshes four types of argument: "reasoning by example': "reasonmg by analogy," "causal reasoning" and "sign reasoning': In reasoning by example, ~ g~neral conclusion is inferred from one or more specific cases. In Freeley s VIew, the conclusion always consists of a generalization. To test this type of argument the speaker should, among other things, establish whether

the examples are representative and whether there are a reasonable number of examples. "Reasoning by analogy" "consists of making a comparison between two similar cases and inferring that what is true in one case is true in the other" (1993: 167). Freeley makes a distinction between "literal analogy", in which the cases that are compared are in the same classification; and "figurative analogy", in which the cases that are compared are in different classifications. According to Freeley, figurative analogy has no value as logical proof, but makes the speaker's point rather effectively. To test literal analogies, the speaker should, among other things, see whether there are significant points of similarity critical to the comparison. In causal argumentation something is predicted on the basis of a claimed causal generalization: "One infers that a certain factor (a cause) is a force that produces something else (an effect)" (1993: 169). The reverse is also possible: "If an effect is known to exist, it may be reasoned that it was produced by a cause" (1993: 170). To test causal argumentation the evaluator should, at the very least, see whether the alleged cause is relevant to the effect described and whether this is the sole or distinguishing causal factor. s In Freeley's view, reasoning by sign is based on a correlation between two variables (the substance and its attribute). Here, the arguer claims that the two variables mentioned are so closely related that the presence or absence of one may be taken as an indication of the presence or absence of the other: "The attribute is part or a characteristic of the substance or totality with which we are concerned" (1993: 175). Following Whately, Freeley adds that reasoning by sign is used to show that the proposition is valid (contrary to ca~sal reasoning, which is used to show why the proposition is valid). In evaluatmg reasoning by sign, one should determine, among other things, whether the alle?ed substance-attribute relation holds and whether it is inherent rather than Just incidental. Other textbook classifications differ from Freeley's typology in regard to organisation and the number of argument types. 9 Yet, on closer view, the differences are not substantial and therefore, one can speak of a standard treatment or "canon" of argument schemes.


Hastings' Classification of Types of Warrants In A Reformulation of the Modes of Reasoning in Argumentation, Hastings (19 62 ) observes that most argumentation textbooks do not agree on the definition of the different types of reasoning, on the number of types of reasoning that should be distinguished, and on the method of classification of types




of argument. To create order in this apparent chaos, Hastings proposes a new cla~sification of forms of reasoning. Starting from the Toulmin model, he desCrIbes and classifies the most important types of warrants in terms of the reasoning process, "moving from the data to the conclusion on the authority ?f the.warrant" (19~2: 21). Hastings distinguishes nine processes of reasoning, m whIch he recogmzes three general patterns: "verbal reasoning", "causal reasoning" a~d "free floating forms of reasoning". According to Hastings, in verbal reasonmg, the step from data to claim is in one way or another based on the me~ning of th~ terms used in the argumentation: "they are based upon symbolic formulatIOns that exist in the language and thinking of people because of s~mantic reinforcement" (1962: 139). There are three subcategories: "reas~mng from example to a descriptive generalization': "reasoning from critena to a verbal classification" and "reasoning from definition to characteristics." In reasoningfrom example to a descriptive generalization, a general statement is justified by a premise in which a reference is made to one or more specific facts or situations ("The increase in muggings indicates that our society gets more violent every day"). The general form of the warrant in this type of reasoning is "the instances are typical and adequately described by the conclusion" (1962: 27). In reasoningfrom criteria to a verbal classification, a person or situation is characterized on the basis of certain characteristics ("Maxwell is smart because he is very good in math"). According to Hastings, in the warrant for this type of reasoning, the meanings of terms that are used in the characterization ("being smart") are given by referring to certain criteria ("people who are very good in math are smart"). In reasoning from definition to characteristics, an event or situation is defined in a certain way and, on the basis of this definition, either attributes or characteristics of the event or logical implications are drawn. Contrary to reasoning from criteria to a verbal classification this form of argumentation moves "from a class to the classifying attributes" ("Dolphins are mammals, therefore dolphins are viviparous") or "from a principle to an application of that principle" ("We should not kill communists because we are Christians") (1962: 49). In the warrant, the consequences or implications of the definition are mentioned. Causal reasoning, Hastings' second main category, comprises the subcategories "reasoning from sign to unobserved event", "reasoning from cause to effect" and "reasoning from circumstantial evidence to hypothesis." A common characteristic of these types of reasoning is that the warrant consists of a causal generalization. In reasoningfrom sign to unobserved event, an observed or known event is taken as an indication of the existence of an unobserved event. The unobserved event is the cause of the observed event. In reasoning from cause to effect, a certain event is predicted on the basis of the existence of

another event. Like reasoning from sign to unobserved event, reasoning from circumstantial evidence to hypothesis is argumentation from effect to cause. In this case, a series of indications is put forward intended to show that the hy,.. . pothesis mentioned in the claim is true.lO Free-floating forms of reasoning, Hast~ngs thlf~ .mam catego~;, :ncludes "reasoning from comparison" (or reasonmg from lIteral analogy ), reas~n ing from analogy", and "reasoning from author~ty".. With these reasonm.g forms, it is not possible to give a general charactenzatIOn of the warrant, as IS n possible with the other two main categories. Also, the three.forms of reaso .ing are not linked to a specific type of conclusion. In reasonmg fro~ companson, "one event is shown to be similar to another, and conclUSIOns dra~n about the first event are then applied to the second" (19 62: 93) In reasonmg from analogy, the second, analogical event is sim~lar: not on the basis of facts or circumstances, but on the basis of abstract prInCiples; the structure of the abstract relationships of the two events is the same. In spite of what most debate textbooks claim, Hastings believes that reasoning on the basis of analog.y provides some probative force, though it is less than reasoning from companson. As an example, he quotes Trwnan, who proposed that the United States immediately intervene in Korea:
The best time to meet the threat is in the beginning. It is easier to put out a fire in the beginning when it is small than after it has become a roaring blaze (19
62 : 114)

The warrant in reasoningfrom authority states that the fact that a specific person (or institution) has made a statement is a sign of the truth of that statement (1962: 132 ). Hastings' "reformulation" is not adopted in the major textbooks o.n deb~te, except for the textbook that he and Windes (1966) published later. HIS claSSIfication, however, is used as a point of departure for other scholars, such as Schellens.l1


Schellens' Reasonable Argument Forms In his Dutch monograph, Redelijke argumenten, Schellens (19 85) investigated what evaluative tools the critical reader has at his disposal to assess the reasonableness of argumentation (1985: 4) He provides an operational definition of reasonableness by formulating a series of argumentative ~chemas a~~ the evaluative criteria that go with them. To evaluate argumentatIOn, the cntlcal reader should first reconstruct the argumentation (that is normally enthymematic) by adding the unexpressed premise. Then he should see




whether the premises are acceptable, by "moulding" the argumentation in one of the argument schemes and asking the evaluative questions that go with the scheme. Following Hastings, Schellens makes a distinction between two main categories: "bound" and "unbound" (or free-floating) argumentation forms. Th~ bound argumentation forms are all tied to a certain type of conclusion, whIle ~e unbound argumentation forms can be used to defend any type of conclusIOn. Schellens classifies the bound argumentation forms on the basis of the na-

t~ve. "He dlstm gu.lshes between the following forms of bound argumentation: argumentation based on regularity", "argumentation based on rules" and "pragmatic argumentation': In argumentation based on regularity, the step from premise to conclusion is a descriptive generalization that relates to a c~rtain empirical law. According to the nature of the conclusion, Schellens ~lscerns be~een "argumentation defending a prediction" and "argumentatIOn defendmg an explanation': In his opinion, predictions can be defended by ~ea~s of causal and non-causal generalizations. In causal generalizations, it IS claImed that what is mentioned in the argument in general leads to what is mentioned .in the conclusion. 13 In argumentation defending an explanation, ~om the eXlsten~e of something that is presented as an effect, something else IS deduced that IS the cause of that effect. Schellens classifies three forms of argumentation defending an explanation: "argumentation form effect to cause", "argumentation from sign" and "argumentation from time to causality': In argumentation from time to causality, a causal connection is defended by pointing at the simultaneous appearance of two events. In the second subcategory of bound argumentation, argumentation based ~n rules, the st~p of the premise to the conclusion is a normative generalization; a conventIOn or an explicit agreement. Based on the nature of the conclusion, Schellens classifies "argumentation based on evaluative rules" (for conclusions in which something is evaluated) and "argumentation based on rules of conduct" (for conclusions in which behavior is regulated). In argumentation based on evaluative rules, something is evaluated by referring to a certain quality. In argumentation based on rules of conduct, the conclusion is an advice, a command, or a prohibition, while the premise consists of the conditions that render the advice, the command, or prohibition acceptable.14 In "pragmatic argumentation;' the third subcategory of bound argumentation, the conclusion says something about the desirability of a certain course of action. Pragmatic argumentation is seen as a new category because it appeals to both descriptive generalizations (concerning the probability of conse-

t~re I~f the ~o~clus~on. The conclusion can be factual (descriptive) or evalua-

quences) and normative generalizations (concerning the desirability of consequences). The second main category, free-floating argumentation, includes "argument from authority", "argument from example" and "argument from analogy". In argument from example, a general statement is defended by referring to a specific instance. Schellens points out that there is a difference between argument from example and inductive generalizations, which hardly ever occur in every-day argumentation. In argument from example, the number of specific instances is too small to treat as an induction. Furthermore, the general statement in the conclusion is not necessarily a generalization (1985: 192). In argument from analogy, the conclusion is defended by referring to similar cases (1985: 197). Like many other authors, Schellens distinguishes between "literal" and "figural" analogies.


The Pragma-Dialectical Typology of Argument Schemes In the pragma-dialectical argumentation theory developed by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984,1992), argumentation is seen as part of a critical discussion that is aimed at resolving a difference of opinion. ~derJg~'.l'~s ~her a single argument m~~'!1~mllri.hU1iQ!1!2tQ~.E~~01~!~~.~!~~._cgJ~ fgence of opinion, one has to check whether.~~.'t.:~~.~Ilt~~~~f!1..!!:!segj~~~ prQIY'iate and usencorrect!J.An argument scheme is appropriate if it is an adequate means for the defense of the standpoint and if the participants agree to its application. The ar~ment scheme is_~~.Q.<::9.!.!~<::!ly ifa!!!h~ !.~!e"?E! critical questions that the antagonist in th~..Q!.~!~ <::o.1:!J<!ilsl<..can be an~wered s~tisfactorily. In that way, the use of a certain argument scheme determines the course of the dialectical exchange. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst classify the argument schemes in three main categories: symptomatic argumentation of the "token" type, comparison argumentation of the "resemblance" type and instrumental argumentation of the "consequence" type. These three argumentation types are categorized according to the way in which the argument scheme concerned is to be evaluated. The "ratio" for distinguishing between the three argument schemes is the fact that each scheme corresponds to special assessment criteria pertaining to the relation between the premise and the conclusion. The argument schemes differ from each other because each scheme comes with different critical questions.'5 Because in each argument scheme the premise is linked in a different way to the standpoint, symptomatic argumentation has to be evaluated in a different way than causal argumentation, comparison argumentation in





a different way than causal argumentation, and causal argumentation in a different way than symptomatic argumentation. '6

4-4 Argument Schemes and the Description of Argumentative Discourse In Alltagslogik, Kienpointner (1992) presents a typology of argument schemes in order to give a complete description of the different types of argumentation that are used and are found agreeable in the German language community. Kienpointner intends to base his typology on the distinction between different types of warrants (1992: 43). His typology is an eclectic compilation of classical and modern classifications. Kienpointner distinguishes between three main classes: (1) "warrant-using argumentation schemes" ("schlufiregelbenutzende Argumentationsschemata"), (2) "warrant-establishing argumentation schemes" ("schlufiregeletablierende Argumentationsschemata") and (3) "argumentation schemes that neither use nor establish warrants" ("Schemata, die weder Schlufiregeln einfach beniitzen noch etablieren") (1992: 243).'7 The first of these main classes consists of argument schemes in which the premise is connected to the conclusion by way of a warrant that is assumed to be already acceptable. In this respect, the warrant is "used': This main class is subdivided into four subclasses: (1) "schemes of classification" including argumentation schemes based on definition, "genus-species argumentation" and "part-whole argumentation"; (2) "schemes based on a comparison"; (3) "schemes of contradistinction based on contrary oppositions, contradictions, incompatibilities, and converse oppositions"; and (4) "causal argumentation schemes" including causeeffect argumentation, argumentation based on motives and means-end argumentation. The second major class consists of argument schemes in which a warrant that is expressed in the conclusion is justified by means of inductive argumentation: "the warrant is the conclusion and is not a premise in the argumentation" (1992: 243). The main class comprises only one argumentation type: "inductive argumentation in the restricted sense': The third major class consists of argument schemes that cannot be classified in the first or second major class and comprises "illustrative argumentation;' "argumentation based on analogy:' and "argumentation based on authority:' In this way, the obtained twenty-one subclasses are subdivided in subsubclasses -among other things - on the basis of nature of the conclusion (normative versus descriptive). This differentiation results in a classification of fifty-eight argument schemes.

!!!arg,l!,~~:~?~,t~~t~~. ~as~~ ?~~~ s>:Tlltgmatic rdaJiQn~~~ ~e~~.~~~~b~ mell!!9pmg ~n the 12~~"!,~~~1fu: charact~~~!i~?fwh~
T_<:?t,:~~:~~~~lJ1J~~~~nre!~E~~~,~/)'lracteri~tL~ a~ a !pical (1~i!!~~~h!~11l!!~,!l~~~h~.~,;~~~?!,<l2)~~<?l~5,~The central critical question that accompanies symptomatic argumentation is whether the quality that is mentioned in the premise is really typical for what is mentioned in the standpoint. One of the argument schemes that is based on a symptomatic relation is the argument from authority, in which it is assumed that the fact that someone claims something automatically entails the truth of that claim. Another special type of symptomatic argumentation is based on the meaning ofa term. Here, the fact that something has certain qualities automatically entails a certain classification or designation. In argumentation based on a relation of comparison, the standpoint is defended by presenting the controversial as something that has similarities with something that is not controversial in order to show that what applies to what is already accepted also applies to what is not yet accepted. The key critical question accompanying comparison argumentation is whether there are enough relevant similarities. Argument from analogy belongs to the main categoryof comparison argumentation, in which the abstract relations are compared between elements from two (dissimilar) situations and comparison argumentation based on the principle ofjustice that claims that people who are in similar situations should be treated similarly. In argumentation based on a causal relation, an event that is mentioned in the argument is presented as the cause of what is mentioned in the standpoint - or the other way around - while the standpoint is defended by showing that the latter is the result of the former - or the other way around. By presenting an accepted fact in the argument as something that leads to the event that is mentioned in the standpoint (or as something that is the result of that event), the acceptability of the arguments is transferred to the standpoint. The key critical question that has to be answered in the evaluation of causal argumentation is whether the event that is presented as the cause really leads to the event that is presented as a result. One of the causal argument schemes is means-end argumentation or pragmatic argumentation, in which a certain act is presented as the means to reach a given goal. Typical for this type of argumentation is that the act or course of action that is mentioned in the standpoint automatically leads to the goal mentioned in the argument. Thus, the recommended course of action is presented as an adequate means or even the best way to reach the goal.





4.5 Conclusion The classifications of argument schemes that are described here show striking similarities. The designers of the classifications often used common sources (Aristotle, Whately) and they have influenced one another considerably. The standard classification of types of argument in the debate textbooks results from Whately's typology, while Whately, for his part, was influenced by Aristotle's system of rhetorical invention. Hastings tried to enhance the classifications from debate textbooks and tried to motivate the necessity of categories of argumentation forms. Although Hastings' typology is more complex, it still resembles the standard classification in many respects. Schellens takes Hastings' classification as a point of departure and also uses the classification of starting points developed by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca who, for their part, were influenced by the classical topical systems of Aristotle and Cicero. Finally, Kienpointner's eclectic classification system follows all of the other classifications. He bases his typology particularly on the scholastic topics. However, with respect to the descriptive nature of his classification, his orientation to the classical topical tradition, and the amount of argument schemes, his classification especially resembles Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's typology. In terms of the number and the nature of the schemes, the pragma-dialectical typology resembles the classification of Freeley. There are also important differences between the approaches. These relate especially to the systematics of the different classifications and the number of argument schemes that are distinguished. In most classifications, causal argumentation, argumentation based on comparison, and argumentation based on authority are distinguished. Also sign argumentation is distinguished in many taxonomies, but it is not always conceptualized in the same way. A typology is theoretically adequate if it lives up to the goal it is designed to serve. To be practically applicable, a typology of argument schemes should be accepted by language users as an acceptable starting point. In addition, language users should be able to identify the argument schemes that are distinguished. Warnick and Kline (1992) empirically investigated the extent to which argument schemes distinguished by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca could be identified in texts. They concluded that it is possible for trained analysts to identify most of the argument schemes. Hastings (1962) and Schellens (1985) examined the usefulness of their own typologies by examining whether language users were capable of identifying the argument schemes in argumentative texts. Hastings found that most respondents were able to identify the argument schemes from his classification. Schellens typology did not receive the same empirical support when tested (1985). However, in another

test, he found that respondents, when informed about his argument schemes, were better able to develop adequate critical questions for some argument schemes than the respondents who were not informed. Kienpointner examined the general acceptability of some of the argument schemes in his classification. In his research, respondents had to evaluate a series of arguments that were based on the argument schemes concerned. He found that the respondents' judgments about the relevance and acceptability of the arguments were predominately negative. Garssen (1995,1997) examined whether language users have a notion of the special relation between the standpoint and the premise and how well the relations between premises and standpoints as they are perceived by language users correspond to the pragma-dialectical argument schemes. In order to establish whether language users have a pre-theoretical notion of the relation between the standpoint and the conclusion, he designed a test in which respondents had to react to argumentation by criticizing the relation between the premise and the standpoint. The fact that there is a correspondence between the critical reactions and the standard critical questions accompanying the pragma-dialectical argumentations indicates that the respondents had a notion of the specific type of relation between the premise and the standpoint. In several investigations into argumentative language use, existing classifications of argument schemes are taken as a point of departure. Sanders, Gass, and Wiseman (1990: 709-718) for instance, examined whether different ethnic groups differ in their judgments of the probative force of different argument schemes ("argument by example", "argumentation by analogy" and "cause-effect argumentation"). Based on their findings Sanders, Gass and Wiseman conclude that there is no relation between ethnic origin and preferences for certain argumentation types. In "Proverbs and Practical Reasoning: A Study in Socio-Logic;' GOOdWi~J ~IUiWenzel examined to what extenTaiftei~t a-t.S~mentatiYi.l2rijiciPTes~ r:vealed in proverbs tha~ c~mmonly used in West:r~lt~~7~: ~89 ). ; In many proverbs, the prmClp!e otStg~xpressea qUIte d1stmctly ("A man is known by the company he keeps"), however, many other argumentative principles are also represented in proverbs (cause: "Where bees are, there is honey"; generalization: "The burnt child dreads the fire"). Goodwin and Wenzel therefore conclude that "proverbs (1) reflect an implicit typology 1\ of patterns of reasoning or argument, (2) illustrate and comment uponlegitimate patterns of inference and (3) caution against general and specific fallacies" (1979: 302). \





Notes 1 Argument schemes are general and abstract patterns with an infinite number of possible substitution instances. In this respect they correspond to logical reasoning patterns. With an argument scheme, however, the transfer of acceptability is based on more than just the formal characteristics of the scheme that is used. 2 There are also topics that do not point to a possible connection between premise and thesis. The topics in Cicero's De inventionefor instance should be seen as pointers to certain topical themes. 3 Grimaldi (1958) believes that the special topics are always used in combination with these rhetorical principles. In other words, every special topic can be seen as an application of a general topic. 4 This example illuminates the double function of the dialectical topics: they supply a general rule and an application of that rule in the form of an advice (van Eemeren et al.1996: 38). 5 According to Ehninger (1963), in Whately's rhetoric, its "more particular purposes are (1) to arm the pulpit orator for his task of conveying to an unlettered congregation the indisputable doctrines of the Christian faith, and (2? to arm the Christian controversialist who is called upon to defend the eVIdences of religion against the onslaught of the skeptic:' 6 Perel~an and Olbrechts-Tyteca also pay special attention to specific variants l.ike the argume~t ofwaste according to which it is better not to stop a certam course of actIOn when one has already invested a lot of energy. 7 For an early example of a classification like this, see Laycock and Scales (1913: 164). Other representative classifications can be found in McBurney and Mills (1964) and Kruger (1960). 8 Freeley does not make an effort to distinguish between different evaluative questions for the two types of causal reasoning (cause-to-effect and effect -to-effect). 9 C:>'N,eill, ~aycock, and Scales (1927: 155) consider 'argument by generalizatIOn a~d argume~t fr~m analogy' as subcategories of'arguments by example. They conSIder argument from sign' as 'argument from effect to cause' (1927: 14~). In addition to the types of argument formulated by Freeley, Brocknede, and Ehninger (1963) distinguish 'classification' and 'authority: 10 In Hasti~gs' view, the hypothesis expressed in the conclusion provides the expla~atIOn, f~r the facts mentioned in the premise. Hastings admits that there l~ a striking resemblance between this reasoning form and reasoning from slgn',Ho:vever, t~ere are clear differences: in sign reasoning normally only one sIgn IS mentIoned and there is a strong correlation between the

sign and the hypothesis, while in a~gume~t from circumsta~tial evidence to hypothesis more than one sign IS mentIOned, the correlation between signs and the hypothesis is weak, and the signs relate to 'several types of

events' (1962: 87). In Argumentation Schemes for Presumptive Reasoning (199 6 ), Walt,on takes Hastings' classification as a point of departure and adds mO,re v~nants. Walton argues that in "presumptive reasoning" the, condusIO~ IS never, . true in an absolute sense, but based on a presumption. By asking the ~ntI cal questions that pertain to the argumentation sc~em~ use~, exceptIOns may come to light, which will render the presumptIO~ mvalld. 12 Schellens refers to Perelman's distinction between pomts of departure relating to the real and points ofdeparture relation to the preferable. 13 According to Schell ens, the prediction does not necessarily concer~s ~ future event; it is also possible to prove an unknown past event by pOl~tI,ng to the causes of this event. Schellens calls this variant the quasi predICtIOn. Like Hastings, he distinguishes a variant in which a future event is predicted on the basis of a cause yet to occur (conditional prediction). 14 The step from premise to conclusion is legitimized by a rule that states when the measure or step mentioned in the conclusion should be taken. 15 With each argument scheme come specific critical questions. The most central critical question pertains directly to the relation betwe~n the , premise and the standpoint. The other critical questio~s, pert am to addI, tional factors that may hinder transference of acceptabilIty, 16 In the pragma-dialectical argumentation theory the verbal pres~ntatIO~ of argument schemes is a subject of investi~ation.A s~pt~matIc relatI~~ can, for instance, be pointed out by expressIOns such as X IS by nature Y and "it is characteristic for X that y". Verbal expressions for pointing out comparison relations are, for instance, "X is comparable to Y" and "X corresponds to Y" and a relation of causality can be pointed out by expressions such as "X leads to y" and "y results from X" (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992: 98-99). 17 The distinction between 'schluftregeletablierende' and' schlu~r~ge~-, ' benUtzende argumentation schemes corresponds to Toulmm s dIstmctIOn 8 between 'warrant-using' and 'warrant-establishing' arguments (195 : 120), There is also a correspondence with Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's distinction between argumentation based on the structure of reality and argumentation establishing the structure of reality.


Bibliography Aristotle (1924). Rhetoric. With an English translation, ed. W.D. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aristotle (1928). Topics. With an English translation, ed. W.D. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Bird, O. (1962). "The Tradition of the Logical Topics: Aristotle to Ockham." Journal ofthe History ofIdeas, 23, 3, 307-323. Boethius (1978). De Topicis Differentiis. In: Stump. E. (trans.): Boethius's De Topicis Differentiis. ItiIaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Cicero (1949). De Inventione. De Optimo Genere Oratorum. Topica. With English translation, ed. M. Hubbell. Loeb Classical Library, 386. London: Heinemann. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1992). Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies: A Pragma-Dialectical Perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, A.F. Snoeck Henkemans, J.A. Blair, R.H. Johnson, E.CW. Krabbe, C Plantin, D.N. Walton, CA. Willard, J. Woods, and D. Zarefsky (1996). Fundamentals ofArgumentation Theory: A Handbook ofHistorical Backgrounds and Contemporary Developments. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Ehninger, D., and W. Brockriede (1963). Decision by Debate. New York: Dodd, Mead. Freeley,A.J. (1993). Argumentation and Debate: Critical Thinkingfor Reasoned Decision Making. Belmont, CA: WadswortiI. Garssen, B.J. (1995). "Understanding Argumentation Schemes: An Empirical Research on the Recognition of Type of argumene' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair and CA. Willard, (Eds.), Reconstruction and Application. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 230- 237. Garssen, B.J. (1997). Agumentatieschema's in pragma-dialectisch perspectief Een theoretisch en empirisch onderzoek [Argument schemes from a pragrna-dialectical perspective J. Amsterdam: IFOTT. Goodwin, P.D., and J. W. Wenzel (1979). "Proverbs and Practical reasoning. A Study in Socio-Logic." The Quarterly Journal ofSpeech, 65, 28 9-302. Grimaldi, W.M.A. (1958). "The Aristotelian topics:' Traditio, 14, 1-16. Hastings, A. C (1962). A Reformulation ofthe Modes ofReasoning in Argumentation. Dissertation. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Kienpointner, M. (1992). Alltagslogik. Struktur und Funktion von Argumentationsmustern. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzbog. Kruger,A.N. (1960). Modern Debate, its Logic and Strategy. New York etc.: McGraw-Hill.

Laycock, C, and R.L. Scales (1913). Argumentation and Debate. London: Macmillan. McBurney, J.H., and G .E. Mills (1964). Argumentation and Debate: Techniques ofa Free Society. New York: Macmillan. O'Neill, J.M., Laycock, C, and R.L. Scales (1927). Argumentation and Debate. New York: Macmillan. Perelman, C, and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca (1969). The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation. (Translation of La nouvelle rhetorique. Traite de I'argumentation. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1958). Notre Dame/London: University of Notre Dame Press. Sanders, J.A., R.H. Gass, and R.L. Wiseman (1991). "The Influence of Type of Warrant and Receivers Ethnicity on Perceptions of Warrant StrengtiI:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and CA. Willard (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 709-718. Schellens, P.J. (1985). Redelijke argumenten. Een onderzoek naar normen voor kritische lezers [Reasonable Arguments: A study of Norms for Critical Readers J. Dordrecht: Foris. Toulmin, S.E. (1958). The Uses ofArgument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Walton, D.N. (1996). Argumentation Schemes for Presumptive Reasoning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Warnick, B. and S.L. Kline (1992). "The New Rhetoric's Argument Schemes: A Rhetorical View of Practical Reasoning." Argumentation and Advocacy,

Whately, R. (1946/1963). Elements ofRhetoric. D. Ehninger (Ed.). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Windes, R.R., andA. Hastings (1969). Argumentation and Advocacy. New York: Random House.




5 Argumentation Structures
A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans

5.1 Introduction

The structure of argumentation is an important issue for current approaches to the theory and practice of argument analysis. Recurrent questions are: How can one lay bare the structure of a complex argument? Which types of structures should be distinguished and on what grounds? Laying out the structure of an argument is not only necessary to understanding how arguers defend their positions, but also indispensable for evaluating their argumentation. An overall judgment of the quality of a complex argument requires not just a clear picture of individual arguments, but also insight into the relations among these arguments.' If it is not clear whether or not an individual argument or reason is independent of other arguments that make up the complex argument, it cannot be clear how damaging the consequences of a negative evaluation of that argument are. In most approaches, at least three types of argument structures are distinguished: (1) serial reasoning or subordinate argumentation, (2) linked reasoning or coordinate argumentation and (3) convergent reasoning or multiple argumentation. Reasoning is serial if one of the reasons supports the other. If reasoning is linked, each of the reasons given is directly related to the standpoint and the reasons work together as a unit. When each reason separately supports the standpoint (to some degree), the reasoning is convergent. A complex argument can combine all of these types of argument structures. Although at first sight there seems to be general agreement on the relevant types of distinctions between argument structures, at closer inspection the authors disagree with each other on a number of points. Often the same terminology is used for distinctions that differ in crucial respects. Moreover, the various characterizations of argument structures reflect fundamental differences of approach to argumentation. The most important difference is the one between structural (or logical) approaches, in which attention is paid only to the structural aspects of argument structure as they manifest themselves in the product of the reasoning process; and functional (or dialectical) approaches, in which the emphasis is on the process in which these structures arise and the functions the various argument structures fulfil in this process.


Apart from differences in definitions of argumentation structures and differences of approach, there is much discussion about the best method of analysis, especially in doubtful cases where there is room for more than one interpretation. For some authors, the ambiguities in the definitions and the problems of analysis have been a reason to question the importance of the distinctions. They argue that in practice distinguishing between the various argument structures is often so difficult that it is better not to make these distinctions at all. This is especially true for the notoriously problematic distinction between linked and convergent arguments. Finally, there is also disagreement about the history of the distinctions, in particular about the origins of the linked-convergent distinction. Because more insight into the historical backgrounds of the distinctions between various types of argument structure might enhance our understanding of the current controversies, this survey begins with a historical overview. 5.3 discusses the main definitions of linked and convergent argument structures or their equivalents that are given in current approaches. 5.4 is devoted to the various methods proposed in the literature to deal with doubtful cases.

5.2.1 Classical rhetoric In early Roman rhetoric, both subordinate arguments and arguments consisting of a number of reasons in direct support of a (sub )standpoint were distinguished. 2 In Cicero's De Inventione, a specific type of complex argument is discussed, the epicheirema, also called the five-part argument. Kennedy gives the following description of the five-part argument: it is in fact a kind of amplification of the Aristotelian syllogism and enthymeme in which a proposition (part 1) is supported by a variety of reasons (part 2), then a second proposition (what would be the minor premise in a syllogism) is stated (part 3), and that is followed by a variety of reasons for believing it (part 4). The fifth part then states the conclusion. Such an argument in Greek is sometimes called an epicheirema,literally"ahandful" (1994: l20). Since part 2 and part 4 consist of reasons in support of another reason, they can be seen as serial reasoning or subordinate argumentation. In both cases, the support provided by the subordinate argumentation should consist of a variety of reasons. Cicero gives the following example of support for the minor premise "Of all things nothing is better governed than the universe": And then ... they introduce another proof, that is of the minor premise, in this way:" For the risings and the settings of the constellations keep a fixed order, and the changes of the seasons not only proceed in the same way by a fixed law but are also adapted to the advantage of all nature, and the alternation of night and day has never through any variations done any harm;' All these points are proof that the nature of the world is governed by no ordinary intelligence (De inventione, 1.

5.2 Historical Overview Attention to the analysis of argument structure first transpired in American debate and logic textbooks in the second half of this century. Two major influences are identifiable in these textbooks: classical rhetoric and Enlightenment rhetorical theorists such as Campbell and Whately. Although the concepts are not fully developed, and the contemporary terminology is absent, argument structures similar to our present-day concepts were present in nascent form in both the classical rhetorical tradition and the 18th century Enlightenment rhetorics. The functional approach, in which the independence or interdependence of arguments is determined by the requirements for the burden of proof to be met by the arguer, can be found both in the classical and the Enlightenment rhetoric. The logical approach, in which the term argument structure refers to relationships among premises within different inference types, is prominent in the work of Enlightenment rhetoricians. They make a distinction between the type of linkage between premises in a deductive argument or proof and the way in which premises are combined in an inductive (or "moral") argument. In the latter argument, the premises each separately lend some degree of support to the conclusion (and are in that sense independent), but they need to be combined to make the conclusion (more) probable.

It is not clear whether these reasons are supposed to form one combined defence (and are thus a case of "linked" reasoning) or whether they should lend independent support (and are a case of "convergent" reasoning). Also in the classical theory of stasis, the concepts of dependent and independent reasons seem to have been recognized, albeit not explicitly. The issues that had to be proven in a criminal court case differed depending on whether the arguer's position was that of the defendant or that of the prosecutor. 3 In choosing the status for his defence, according to Quintilian, the defendant has four options: There are four different methods which may be employed in every case, and he who is going to plead should study them as first essentials. For, to begin with the





defendant, far the strongest method of self-defence is, if possible, to deny the charge. The second best is when it is possible to reply that the particular act with which you are charged was never committed. The third and most honourable is to maintain that the act was justifiable. If none of these lines of defence are feasible, there remains the last and only hope of safety: ... we must evade the charge with the aid of some point oflaw, making it appear that the action has been brought against us illegally (Quintilian 3, 6, 83-84). Each of these ways to defend the accused is, in principle, a sufficient defence. It is, however, also possible to combine different types of defences. Quintilian gives the following explanation of the reasons for using such a multiple defence: There are also a number who are in doubt as to a form of defence which I may exempifY as follows: "IfI murdered him, I did right; but I did not murder him."

In the Proof and Refutation of arguments it is appropriate to adopt an Arrangement of the following sort: (1) the strongest arguments should be placed at the beginning and at the end of the pleading; (2) those of medium force, and also those that are neither useless to the discourse nor essential to the proof, which are weak if presented separately and individually, but become strong and plausible when conjoined with the others, should be placed in the middle (Rhetorica ad
Herennium 3, 10, 18).

Unlike the prosecutor's main arguments, according to the author of the Rhetorica ad Herennium, some of the arguments that are supposed to be placed in the middle are not "essential to the proof': The reason of their dependency on other arguments is that they are too weak to stand on their own, and they become stronger when combined with the other arguments.

What, they ask, is the value of the first part, if the second can be proved, since they are mutually inconsistent, and if anyone employs both arguments, we should believe neither? This contention is partly justified; we should employ the second alone if the fact can be proved without a doubt. But if we have any doubts as to being able to prove the stronger argument, we shall do well to rely on both. Different arguments move different people .... one who is confident of his powers as a marksman may be content with one shaft, whereas he who has no such confidence will do well to launch several and give fortune a chance to come to his assistence (Quintilian 4, 5,13-14). The prosecutor makes use of the same issues in choosing his main arguments, but he has to prove all four points in order to make his case: The accuser '" must prove that something was done, that a particular act was done, that it was wrongly done, and that he brings his charge according to law (Quintilian 3,6, 85). In view ofthe req uirements of the burden of proof, the prosecutor's main reasons for finding the accused guilty must be regarded as interdependent, since the success of the argument as a whole depends on the success of each of its component parts.4 A different type of interdependency is at stake in the following fragment from the Rhetorica ad Herennium, where the ideal order of the arguments is discussed:


Enlightenment Rhetoric In The Philosophy of Rhetoric (199111776), Campbell makes a distinction between "scientific evidence" and "moral evidence". One of the main differences between these two types of evidence is a difference in structure; whereas scientific evidence consists of a set of interdependent premises which together form one argument, moral evidence consists of a number of independent arguments: scientific evidence is simple, consisting of only one coherent series, every part of which depends on the preceding, and, as it were, suspends the following: moral evidence is generally complicated, being in reality a bundle of independent proofs. The longest demonstration is but one uniform chain, the links whereof, taken severally, are not to be regarded as so many arguments, and consequently when thus taken, they conclude nothing; but taken together, and in their proper order, they form one argument, which is perfectly conclusive (45) Although each of the reasons given in moral reasoning is independent of the others, with each new reason the conclusion may become more likely: In moral reasoning ... there is often a combination of many distinct topics of argument, no way dependent on one another. Each hath a certain portion of evidence belonging to itself, each bestows on the conclusion a particular degree of likelihood, of all which accumulated the credibility of the fact is compounded
(199 1 /177 6 : 45)

10 4




Campbell acknowledges that it is possible to give more than one independent proof of the same proposition, but he believes that there is not much point in doing this: It is true, the same theorem may be demonstrable in different ways, and by different mediums; but as a single demonstration, clearly understood, commands the fullest conviction, every other is superfluous (199111776: 45). Campbell also gives a description of the consequences that will result from taking away one or more parts of a demonstration or a moral argument: [A demonstration] may be compared to an arch, no part of which can subsist independently of the rest. If you make any breach in it, you destroy the whole .... [Moral reasoning] maybe compared to a tower, the height whereofis but the aggregate of the heights of the several parts reared above one another, and so may be gradually diminished, as it was gradually raised (199111776: 45-46). Whately discusses two different ways in which reasons may be combined in order to produce a stronger argument (and thus may be considered as linked). A first type of case consists of reasons which separately have little or no weight, but can lend sufficient support to a conclusion when taken together: The remark above made, as to the force of concurrenttestimonies, even though each, separately, might have little or none, but whose accidental agreement in a falsehood would be extremely improbable, is not solely applicable to the Argument from Testimony, but may be extended to many arguments of other kinds also; in which a similar calculation of chances will enable us to draw a conclusion, sometimes even amounting to moral certainty, from a combination of data which singly would have had little or no weight (1846: 74). In inductions, according to Whately, mentioning just one instance can in some cases suffice to justify a general conclusion. But if not, then a number of instances are needed to support the conclusion: In human affairs .,. our uncertainty respecting many of the circumstances that may affect the result, obliges us to collect many coinciding instances to warrant even a probable conclusion (1846: 88). Instead of combining a number of similar reasons of the same type (i.e., a number of testimonies, signs or instances) it is also possible to produce a stronger argument by combining different types of reasons. A second type of

linkage implicitly distinguished by Whately consists of a combination of different types of reason, where the one reason is a means of showing that specific objections against the other reason (that there are certain exception-making circumstances to the general rule or "warrant" underlying that reason) are not valid: the a priori Argument and Example support each other, when used in conjunction ... A sufficient Cause being established, leawes us still at liberty to suppose that there may have been circumstances which will prevent the effect from taking place; but Examples subjoined show that these circumstances do not, at least always, prevent that effect (1846: 138). From his discussion of issues related to the burden of proof, it becomes clear that Whately also allows for the possibility of putting forward more reasons than are required, so that the defence as a whole consists of a number of independent reasons. If the arguer has the presumption, then the burden of proof belongs with the other side and putting forward further evidence in support of the presumption amounts to giving an argument ex abundanti, a superfluous argument:
It is a point of great importance to decide in each case ... on which side the Pre-

sumption lies, and to which belongs the [onus probandi] Burden ofProof For

though it may often be expedient to bring forward more proofs than can be fairly
demanded of you, it is always desirable, when this is the case, that it should be known, and that the strength of the cause should be estimated accordingly (1846:

So, there is nothing against doing this, provided it is made clear to the opponent that one is doing more than required.

5.2.3 The Early Textbooks American textbooks on argumentation and debate that started appearing in the fifties reflected, to a large extent, the traditional views on argument structure. But there were also a number of new developments. Modern tradition has it that Monroe Beardsley (1950) was the first to represent the structure of argumentation by using diagrams (consisting of numbered statements and arrows indicating support relationships). Beardsley also introduced part of the terminology that is still used by informal logicians to refer to the different argument structures. He gives the following definitions:





In a convergent argument, several independent reasons support the same conelusion ... In a divergent argument, the same reason supports several conclusions ... A serial argument contains a statement that is both a conclusion and a reason for a further conclusion (1950: 19). However, Thomas claims that it was he who first distinguished between linked and convergent arguments and not Beardsley, as others have thought: The distinction between linked and convergent inferences was not drawn by Beardsley, not even in his fourth edition of Thinking Straight. It was introduced in the 1973 edition of PRNL [Practical Reasoning in Natural Language J. Beardsley represented linked and convergent inferential relationships alike, using multiple arrows for (what I call) linked relationships, as if all reasoning with multiple reasons were convergent (except that this distinction did not exist in his system). The concept of linked reasoning, and the distinction between it and convergent reasoning, needed to be added to Beardsley's system of analysis before it could be generally applied at all (1986: 457). As far as the terminology is concerned, this seems to be correct, but similar distinctions between interdependent and independent reasons had already been made before 1973. One example is Mills (1968), who makes a distinction between cases where there is "one conclusion with several coordinate reasons" and cases where one has "one conclusion supported by two or more pairs of coordinate reasons". The latter type of structure is "more likely to be a case than an argument". An example of the first type of structure is: Conclusion: Our top debaters are top scholars Reasons: 1. They are John, Mary, and Jim. 2. Johnhasa3.9 3. Mary has a 3.8 4 Jim has a 3.7 Mills (1968: 182-183) An example of the second type of structure, according to Mills, would be a case involving a value proposition where each pair of reasons consists of a criterion and its application. 6 Mills also introduces a diagram convention for making the distinction between these two types of structures (1968: 183). From his examples it becomes clear that Mills makes a distinction between arguments with a structure comparable to a linked argument (the first type) and a structure which is comparable to a convergent argument (the second type, where each pair of reasons constitutes an independent reason).

Just as in the classical and enlightenment tradition, for most of the earlier textbook authors the distinction between interdependent and independent reasons coincides with the distinction between the structure of the premises in a deductive argument and the structure in an inductive (or non-deductive) argument. The distinction then is that in a deductive argument the premises need to be taken together to constitute a reason, whereas in an inductive argument a combination of reasons is needed to make the conclusion more or less probable. McBurney, O'Neill, and Mills explain that a combination of (inductive) analogies may strengthen the support for a conclusion: From a series of analogies showing the success of a certain project, we argue that it will be successful in a particular case .... Reasoning from analogy becomes increasingly strong as the number of comparisons is increased, or in other words, as the analogies are cumulated (1951: 108). And Ray and Zavos explicitly compare deductive arguments to a chain of links, and contrast this with the more gradual type of support supplied by induction and arguments from circumstance: 7 Deductive reasoning is often compared to a chain. The last link in the chain is dependent not to some degree but totally on the connection of every other link.... Induction and argument from circumstance can be better compared to the relation of the legs of a table to the tabletop. Each leg, though cooperating with the others, supports the top independent of the other legs (at least to a point) (1966: 101). In the early textbooks, the tradition of the classical theory of stasis in which it depends on tile requirements of proof, the arguer must meet what the resulting structure of his argument is, is also preserved. A good example of a textbook in which this approach is taken is Windes and Hastings' Argumentation and Advocacy (1965). According to Windes and Hastings, the issues an advocate needs to prove in order to establish the guilt of X in an embezzlement case are: Certain property was misappropriated. 2 X misappropriated the property. 3 The misappropriation was fraudulent, i.e., without the consent of the owner. 4 The property was for the personal use of X (1965: 75).



In such cases, the issues taken together form one linked argument and the advocate has to provide sufficient evidence for each of the issues: Usually there is one over-all argument leading directly to the proposition, and the elements of this argument are further supported by sub-arguments. The over-all argument states the issues and the sub-arguments are contentions in support of the issues ... Each one of the issues must be established for the proposition [X is guilty of embezzlement] to be established. If any issue is not proved, then the proposition is not proved (1965: 215-216). The task of the opponent (the negative advocate) is easier: The other party "can logically defeat the proposition by defeating one of these issues" (1965:

5.3 Current Approaches Since the seventies, a large number of textbooks have appeared in which attention is devoted to the analysis of the structure of arguments and to ways of portraying this structure in a diagram. With the exception of Van Eemeren and Grootendorst's (1992) pragma-dialectical textbook, all these books are written by informal logicians. It was not until the nineties that the subject of argument structure started receiving a theoretical treatment. In the journals Informal Logic and Argumentation, the distinctions made by informallogicians between different types of structure are discussed. Three monographs on argument structure also appear, each of which proposes a dialectical approach to argument structure. Since most of the discussion centered on problems involved in the distinction between linked and convergent arguments, I shall restrict my further discussion of the literature to these two types of structure.

Apart from cases where the advocate needs to put forward a number of interdependent reasons (corresponding to the issues) in order to defend the proposition, Windes and Hastings also discuss the possibility of constructing an argument with independent lines of reasoning: Another aspect of case building to note is that independent lines of reasoning may lead to the same conclusion. We may, for example, use three reasoning processes to support the conclusion "the corn crop of Dullnia is failing': 1 Dullnia is buying corn on the world market. (Reasoning from effect to cause.) 2 The testimony of an agricultural expert who visited Dullnia. (Testimonial evidence.) 3 The presence of drough t and poor growing conditions this year. (Cause to effect). In this series of arguments rather than having a clear set of issues to be established, the proof of the proposition depends on the number and plausibility of the component arguments. In such cases one strong one may be sufficient, but the more independent arguments which lead to the same conclusion, the more probable is that conclusion (1965: 216-218). For Windes and Hastings, two criteria seem to be relevant in determining whether arguments are interdependent or not: (1) whether the arguments given by the arguer form part of a clear set of issues that should be established (the "burden of proof-criterion") and (2) whether the argumentation as a whole is based on one reasoning process or whether the arguer uses different "reasoning processes" (the "different types of argument -criterion").

5.}.1 The Textbook Distinctions Linked and Convergent Premises Thomas (197311986) was the first to use the terms linked and convergent in describing interdependent and independent premise support, and his way of portraying these two structures has become standard. Although Thomas has had a large influence on all later informal logic accounts of argument structure, his own definitions of these two types of structures are different from those of the other authors. Whereas most informal logicians continue the tradition of associating linked arguments with deductive reasoning and convergent arguments with inductive reasoning (or other types of non-deductive reasoning), Thomas deviates from this tradition: The natural-logic concept of linked inference ... bridges the supposed sharp line of the traditional induction-deduction dichotomy, severely straining ... the traditional theory that "induction" and "deduction" comprise two completely different kinds of inference ... Both of these supposedly different "types of reasoning" receive identical diagrammatic representations (1986: 461). Thomas gives the following definitions of" linked" and "convergent" reasoning:





When a step of reasoning involves the logical combination of two or more reasons, they are diagrammed as linked (1986: 58). When two or more reasons do not support a conclusion in a united or combined way, but rather each reason supports the conclusion completely separately and independently of tiIe other, tiIe reasoning is convergent. (1986: 60)8 Both deductively valid reasoning and inductive reasoning from several similar items of evidence are analysed as linked by Thomas. In the case of inductive reasoning, the reason for linking the premises is not that each reason separately does not give any support to the conclusion, but that the support is stronger when the reasons are combined (1986: 59). Linked arguments form one single argument, whereas convergent arguments consist of separate arguments: 9 A convergent argument is equivalent to separate arguments (or evidence coming from separate areas) for the same conclusion (1986: 61). The closest formal approximation to the natural-logic portrayal of convergent inference would perhaps be two separate deductions leading to two different tokens of tiIe same conclusion (1986: 459). For this reason, convergent arguments are less vulnerable to the criticism of the acceptability of their premises than linked arguments:
An important feature of convergent reasoning is that the support given to the

From their examples it becomes clear that, just like in Thomas' approach, a premise group may both consist of premises that deductively entail the conclusion, and of premises that taken together make a conclusion likely or plausible (1993: 111). Independent groups of premises should be evaluated separately for inference strength: you should consider each independent group separately and try to judge how strongly its premisses taken together are linked to the conclusion (109). Even though independent groups of inferences (or "parallel inferences") should be evaluated separately, they are linked up by Pinto and Blair when diagramming their structure. This becomes clear from step three in their diagramming method: Step 3: Make a full diagram showing all the inferences in tiIe reasoning. In doing so,link up any ... parallel inferences (1993: 260). Pinto and Blair do not specify what the consequences are for the overall evaluation if one of the groups of premises provides strong support, yet the other weak. The fact that they link parallel inferences in the diagrammatic representation, however, suggests that they think that the groups of premises should be assessed in combination with evaluating the overall strength of the argument. Whereas Thomas and Pinto and Blair analyse both deductive and non-deductive arguments as linked, Govier's (1992) distinction between linked and convergent support more or less coincides with the distinction between deductive and non-deductive arguments, albeit that she also considers analogies as linked: In most deductively valid arguments, and in analogies, the support provided by the premises is linked, not convergent. There are exceptions, as when a person offers two separate premises, both of which deductively entail the conclusion, but this is quite rare. There are arguments in which support is convergent and in which the premises do not entail tiIe conclusion nor support it by analogy ... These arguments we call conductive arguments .... Some philosophers have referred to tiIese arguments based on separately relevant factors as good reasons arguments. The relevant factors provide reasons for tiIe conclusion, tiIough they do not deductively entail it (1992: 308-309).

conclusion by each separate reason, or line of reasoning, would remain unaffected even if tiIe other ... reason(s) were false (1986: 61).10 Pinto and Blair's (1993) definitions closely resemble Thomas' distinction between linked and convergent arguments. They make a distinction between a "group" of premises that together form one inference and "independent" groups of premises which can be seen as parallel inferences to arrive at the same conclusion: What makes for groups of premisses which are independent of each other? The fact that tiIe premisses work in combination to support tiIe conclusion constitutes them as a set or group, and the fact that tiIe premisses of each group are able to provide their support witiIout any help from premisses in any other group make them independent of each other (1993: 77).





Linked arguments are thus deductions or analogies, and convergent arguments are non-deductive (i.e., conductive) unless they consist of two premises that each deductively entail the conclusion. Yet, according to Govier, "One might also insist that such a case represents several arguments all with the same conclusion" (1992: 356 ) ." As soon as a premise can be seen as separately relevant, the argument is analysed as convergent by Govier, even if the premises need to be taken together to provide sufficient support to the conclusion. But analysing an argument as convergent has no further consequences for the evaluation: It is not the case that each of the premises should then be separately assessed. Govier claims that the separate premises in a convergent argument should always be treated as a unit:"2
There are ... two basic facts to understand right now about the way in which premises support conclusions. First, premises should be considered together in their support. Second, they may be linked or convergent. In the latter case, it would be possible to see each premise as providing a separate reason or separate bit of evidence, in support of the conclusion, but the whole argument requires us to think of these separate strands together, as the weight of support accumulates
(1992: 48).

for accepting the conclusion and would do so even in the absence of the other premiss" (1990: 19). How independent then are the arguments in a convergent argument, according to Copi and Cohen? Do they consider them as separate arguments for the same conclusion, as Thomas does? This is not the case:
Emerging practice is to say that it is one argument with two independent premisses. The principle seems to be that the number of conclusions determines tlIe number of arguments. So by a "single argument" is meant an argument to a single conclusion, regardless of how many premisses are adduced in its support (199 0 :

This remark, however, does not really clarify what exactly Copi and Cohen mean by "independent premises", since they now introduce a new criterion for the "singleness" of an argument; the number of conclusions instead of the probative force of the individual reasons. Johnson and Blair (1994) use a different definition of "single argument" than Copi and Cohen: they speak of a single argument if it contains one "premise set" and one conclusion (1994: 37). Premises belong to one set, if they are "relevant in combination" (p. 36). Convergent arguments consist of a combination of two or more premise sets, and therefore, of a combination of arguments:

Groarke, Tindale and Fisher (1997) and Copi and Cohen (1990) give definitions similar to Govier's of linked and convergent premises.'3 Groarke, Tindale, and Fisher make the distinction in the following way:
Linked premises work together. Taken independently, they do not support the argument's conclusion. Convergent premises do not require each other, for they support the conclusion independently of the argument's other premises (1997:

When there are, in effect, two or more distinct independent grounds for a cond usion, tlIink of each ground as a separate argument (1994: 38).

If all of the premises but one of a convergent argument were to be taken away, "we would have a weaker argument, but the premise would still provide some evidence for the conclusion. None of the premises requires one of the other premises for this to be the case" (1997: 36). In other words, the premises are independent in the sense that they are separately relevant, that is, lend some support to a conclusion by themselves.'4 According to Copi and Cohen, premises depend on each other if each premise "supports the conclusion through the mediation of the other premiss" (1990: 20). If one of two interdependent premises were true, but the other not, "the conclusion would have been given no support at all" (20). Two premises support a conclusion independently if each "supplies some warrant

Convergent arguments can typically be found in a" case" which consists (minimally) of arguments for the claim and arguments against the claim (1994: 247). Each distinct argument for a claim is called a "line of argument". In cases where the premises constitute several independent lines of arguments, the relevance is checked for each premise individually, but the sufficiency of these premises should be established by considering them as a whole:
Check the premises individually for relevance .... Finally, check for sufficiency: Do tlIe premises, taken together, satisfy tlIe sufficiency requirement? Do they provide enough support for the conclusion? (1994: 269)

From this comparison of informal logical approaches to argument structure, a number of differences emerge. For Thomas, premises are both interdependent when no premise separately lends any support to the conclusion, whereas the combination of premises does and when each premise separately provides some support to the conclusion, but the combination of premises forms





a stronger argument than each premise by itself. Both deductive andnon-deductive arguments consisting of premises whose separate support is too weak for them to stand on their own are analysed as linked by Thomas. Only if each reason alone is enough, if true, to support the conclusion, and if the falseness of one reason does not weaken a step of reasoning from the other to the conclusion, then the reasoning may be regarded as convergent. Linked arguments are seen as equivalent to one single argument, whereas convergent arguments are regarded as a combination of single arguments, which should each be evaluated for their strength of support separately. Pinto and Blair seem to employ similar definitions oflinked and convergent arguments as Thomas. They also think independent groups of premises should be assessed separately for their strength of support, but they are less clear as to how these separate assessments should be used in the overall evaluation of an argument. Other authors, such as Govier, Copi and Cohen, and Groarke, Tindale and Fisher, employ a more restricted definition of interdependency. For them, arguments are interdependent only when they are separately irrelevant to the conclusion and relevant in combination. As soon as premises can be seen as separately relevant (as providing some support to the conclusion), they can then be considered independent, and thus convergent. This is also the case if they can only lend sufficient support to the conclusion in combination. To the evaluation of whether the amount of support the premises lend to the conclusion is sufficient, it makes no difference whether the premises are independent or interdependent in these approaches; they are always considered together in their support during the evaluation. Johnson and Blair's position seems to be intermediate: on the one hand, just like Thomas and Pinto and Blair, they consider convergent arguments as separate arguments. On the other hand, they claim that the sufficiency of support should always be assessed by checking whether the different premises (or reasons) taken together provide sufficient support for the conclusion. In their approach, it is unclear what the consequences would be for the evaluation of the argument as a whole if one of the lines of argument was flawed but one or more of the other arguments prove to be acceptable!5 In Johnson and Blair's view, the question of whether an argument is single or convergent is only important for determining whether one should take the premises together in determining their relevance, or whether each premise should in principle be relevant by itself. The singleness or complexity of an argument does not make any difference to the evaluation of the strength of the argument: in either case, the premises are considered as a whole. Although Johnson and Blair observe that convergent arguments are typical of a "case;' in which one should respond adequately to relevant objections, they do not devote any attention to the connection between the burden of proof and the argument structures that result from arguers' attempts to fulfil their obligations.

Coordinative and Multiple Argumentation

Although at first sight the definitions given by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (199 2 ) seem to resemble the definitions provided by Thomas, Johnson and Blair, and Pinto and Blair, there is an important difference - both the equivalent of a linked argument (coordinatively compound argume~tation) and the equivalent of a convergent argument (multiple argumentat.lOn) are seen as forms of complex argumentation consisting of a number of smgle argumentations: Analytically, complex argumentation can always be broken down into single argumentations (1992: 73) The distinction between coordinative and multiple argumentation is therefore not that coordinative argumentation describes the relations between premises within one single argument and that multiple arg~mentation consists of a combination of single arguments, but that the relatIons between the single arguments that constitute these two types of c~mplex argument. are different. In multiple argumentation, "the constituent smgle argumentatlOns are, in principle, alternative defences of the same standpoint" (199 2: 73) In.coordinatively compound argumentation, "unlike in multiple argumentatlOn, all the component single argumentations are, in principle, necessary for a conclusive defence of the standpoint" (199 2 : 77) In pragma-dialectics, unlike in most inform~ logical appro.ach~s, coor~i natively compound argumentation always consIsts of a combmatlOn of (mdependently relevant) arguments, that nonetheless need to be t~en t.ogether for reasons of sufficiency. Coordinatively compound argumentatIon IS therefore comparable to the concept of a convergent argument in the definitions given by Govier, Groarke, Tindale and Fisher, and Copi and Cohen. The premise structure of a single argument is not dealt with b~ Van Eemer~n and Grootendorst in the context of argument structure. Prenuse structure IS seen as an issue of a different hierarchical nature than argument structure. Each separate argument in a coordinatively compound ar~umentation c~n b.e analysed as a single argument, consisting of two premIses, one of whICh IS usually left unexpressed.

Van Eemeren and Grootendorst give the following two examples to explain the difference between the two structures. Example (1) is an example of a multiple argument; example (2) of a coordinative argument:



(1) Postal deliveries in Holland are not perfect. You cannot be sure that a letter will be delivered the next day, that it will be delivered to the righ t address and that it will be delivered early in the morning (1992: 73). (2) Postal deliveries in Holland are perfect. You can be sure that a letter will be delivered the next day, that it will be delivered to the right address, and that it will be delivered early in the morning (1992: 77). In example (1), each of the single argumentations is in principle sufficient to defend the standpoint. What would be the reason for an arguer to produce multiple argumentation if one single argument might have sufficed? Van Eemeren and Grootendorst mention the following possible reasons: It is possible that the speaker tries to cater for various kinds of doubt about his standpoint, pertaining to different aspects ... Multiple argumentation can also be used for rhetorical reasons; the profusion of arguments makes the defence appear stronger. The speaker gives the impression of having taken account of every possible objection to his standpoint... Because acceptance is liable to gradations, in producing a multiplicity of arguments the speaker may gradually overcome the last remaining morsel of doubt in the listener. It may also simply be that after one argument the speaker advances another quite different sort of argument in the hope that it will be more successful (1992: 74). In example (2), the three argumentations that support the standpoint that postal deliveries in Holland are perfect are interdependent: "Only if they are taken together, they are deemed to provide sufficient grounds for accepting the standpoint. If [any1of the single argumentations proves to be unacceptable, the entire coordinatively compound argumentation falls apart" (1992: 77). The main reason that Van Eemeren and Grootendorst give for putting forward a coordinative argument is: In many cases, it is not possible to remove all the antagonist's doubts by means of one argument. When defending his standpoint, the protagonist then has to advance two or more connected arguments that, only when taken together, are supposed to constitute a well-rounded and conclusive defence (1992: 77). Each individual argument (or reason) in a coordinative argumentation gives some partial support to the standpoint, but the degree of support per argumentmayvary:

Although the term coordinative may suggest that the argumentation consists of a series of arguments that are equally important, this need not be so. It is, for instance quite possible for one argument to account for, say, 60% of the cogency of the argumentation, the next fOrIo%, and the third for 20% (1992: 77) Apart from the fact that the concept of argument structure applies to combinations of single arguments in Van Eemeren and Grootendorst's approach, a second difference with the informal logicians' approach is that they explicitly connect argument structures with the dialectical situation; it depends on the antagonist's doubts and the way the arguer attempts to deal with these doubts what the resulting structure of his argument will be. In this respect, the pragrna-dialectical approach can be seen as a continuation of the functional aproach of the theory of stasis and debate.

5.3.2 Theoretical Approaches

Freeman's Toulminian Approach In the nineties, three monographs on argument structure appeared: Freeman's Dialectics and the Macrostructure of Arguments (1991), Snoeck Henkemans' Analysing Complex Argumentation (1992) and Walton's Argument Structure (1996). What these three approaches have in common are: first, dissatisfaction with the unclear and ambiguous way in which the concepts of independent and interdependent arguments were defined in the literature; second, the goal of arriving at more precise definitions and giving a functional justification of structural distinctions by means of a dialectical approach. Whereas Freeman and Snoeck Henkemans propose a dialectical model of argument structure, Walton's contribution consists mainly of a critical discussion of the existing definitions and tests for deciding whether an argument is linked or convergent. He supports the dialectical approaches to argument structure and introduces a new system of diagramming argument structure. Freeman's (1991) thesis is that argument structures should be analysed as the results of argumentative processes, i.e., of challenger-respondent dia10guesY His approach to argument structure is to a large extent based on the procedural model introduced in Toulmin's The Uses of Argument (1958). In Freeman's view, a theory of argument structure should provide a clear-cut demarcation of argument structures. Such a theory should provide "a rationale for distinguishing different types of argumentative elements and structural configurations" (1991: 37).





In his endeavour to provide such a rationale, Freeman takes the "basic dialectical situation" as a starting point; a respondent develops an argument in response to the questions of a challenger. The situation is dialectical, and not merely dialogical, if the challenger's questions are aimed at critically testing the claim and the whole interactive process is clearly regimented. In the basic dialectical situation, the challenger can ask three types of basic dialectical or argument generating questions: acceptability questions, relevance questions, and ground adequacy questions. Each of these questions calls for a specific elaboration of the argument by the respondent and results in a different type of argument structure. ,8 Linked and convergent argument structures (as well as other types of argument structure) are analysed as answers to different types of dialectical questions: a linked structure is the result of the respondent's answer - by means of a "relevance explaining premise" (1991: 93-94) - to the question of relevance ("Why is that reason relevant to the claim?"). A convergent structure results from the arguer giving more evidence for the conclusion in response to a ground adequacy question ("Can you give me another reason?") (1991: 95). Then, the result of the exchange is an argument with premises that are each independently relevant to the conclusion. For Freeman, linked structure is exclusively connected with the question of relevance: "premisses are linked when we need to take them together or they are intended to be taken together to see why we have a relevant reason for the conclusion" (1991: 94). According to Freeman, the source of confusion in the definitions of linked structure in most textbooks is the lack of clarity as to whether the arguments are linked because each of the premisses by itself is irrelevant to the conclusion, or because each of the premisses by itself provides insufficient support for it. In addition to the normal concept of a linked argument, Freeman introduces a second type of , linkage; referred to as 'modal linkage.' Freeman introduces a special notation for this type oflinkage. In this way, he thinks, "we have a perspicuous way of accommodating some intuitions of those who want to link, while still keeping modality and relevance issues distinct" (1991: 104). In modal linkage, each premise constitutes a separate reason for the conclusion, but the premisses only lend sufficient support to the conclusion in combination. Snoeck Henkemans (1994) points out that it is questionable whether Freeman has indeed succeeded in achieving his aim of clarifying the distinction between linked and convergent arguments: This solution merely adds to the confusion concerning the concepts of'linked' and 'convergent' structure: an argument can now be (modally) linked and convergent at the same time. Another problem is that Freeman ignores the possibility that a convergent argument consists of premisses that are not only separately rel-

evant but also have sufficient weight by themselves; in his approach, all convergent arguments are 'modally linked.' Instead of clarifying the distinction between linked and convergent arguments, his solution amounts in fact to drawing a distinction between two types oflinked argument (1994: 320 -3 21 ).

Snoeck Henkemans' Pragma-DialecticalApproach

Snoeck Henkemans (1992) gives a pragma-dialectical analysis of multiple and coordinative argumentation as resulting from different types of defensive moves aimed at removing different forms of criticism. This analysis can be seen as an elaboration of Van Eemeren and Grootendorst's (1984) pragma-dialectical discussion procedure in which different types of argumentation are regarded as functional means to further the resolution of a difference of opinion. Snoeck Henkemans (92-93) develops a model in which rules are given for responding to criticism. It depends on the type of criticism and the wayan arguer chooses to deal with this criticism which form of complex argumentation will arise in a discussion. When an arguer's attempt to get his standpoint accepted on the basis of an argument meets with criticism, the arguer can use various types of argumentative strategies to eventually make his standpoint acceptable. He can advance more arguments to respond to the criticism, he can attempt to counter the criticism with new arguments, or he can withdraw the original argument and undertake a new attempt at defending the standpoint. If the antagonist has criticized the argument for reasons of sufficiency, the protagonist can attempt to remove the criticism by supplementing his argument with another argument. This can be done in two ways. The protagonist can add one or more arguments that -in combination with the argument given earlier - should suffice to convince the antagonist of the acceptability of the standpoint (direct defence). The protagonist can also refute the counterargument that has been used by the antagonist against the original argument (indirect defence). Both types of defence result in coordinative argumentation. But in the direct defence case, the argumentation is called cumulative and in the indirect defence case it is called complementary.'9 In both cases, the arguments that are put forward must be combined, because the arguer can only convince the opponent of the acceptability of the standpoint if he succeeds in removing the opponent's doubt or criticism regarding the sufficiency of the argumentation. In multiple argumentation, the only connection between the arguments is that they are all advanced as a defence of the same standpoint. In a completely externalized discussion, a protagonist who finds that he is not capable of deal-





ing with the antagonist's criticism, may withdraw his argument and undertake a new attempt to defend the standpoint. The argumentation is then multiple in the sense that more than one attempt to defend the standpoint has been undertaken, but the final result is in fact a single argument. In an implicit discussion this is different; in anticipation of a possible non-acceptance of his argument, the protagonist may advance a new argument. Each of these arguments is a separate attempt to defend the standpoint, and is motivated by the (potential) failure of a previous attempt.

In order to determine which of these tests is best, Walton thinks one should consider the purpose of distinguishing between these structures, the evaluation of argumentation: The critic needs to know whether it is necessary to refute both the ... premises, or if it is enough to find fault with just the one, in order for the whole argument to fall down .... From this point of view, the pragma-dialectical viewpoint represented by the Van Eemeren and Grootendorst conception of the linked-convergent distinction is basically the right one, because it is centrally concerned with the question of whether a set of premises is sufficient for a conclusion, where "sufficient" means adequate to resolve the other party's doubts in a context of a critical discussion (1996: 175). Walton adopts a functional interpretation of the linked-convergent distinction, "meaning that it relates to how the premises of an argument function together in supporting the conclusion in a context of dialogue" (1996: 177). Seen from this perspective, the fact that there are many cases in which it is hard to determine whether an argument is linked or convergent, is not an indication that the linked-convergent distinction is vague or incoherent: "it is possible to see why, in many cases, it is difficult or even impossible to determine categorically whether the argument is linked or convergent. The reason: there just isn't enough evidence given to enable us to determine how the argument is being used in the given context" (178). Walton's conclusion is that the Suspension/Insufficient Proof Test is the best test in the sense that "it is congenial to our pragmatic theory of argument because of its frankly dialectical conception of an argument as a dialectical exchange". According to Walton, this test is used by pragma -dialecticians such as Van Eemeren and Grootendorst and Snoeck Henkemans.Applying this test is problematic, however, since it is extremely difficult in practice to determine whether or not the support for a conclusion is sufficient (1996: 180-181). Moreover, the fact that this text contextualizes the distinction between co-ordinative and multiple argumentation may be positive in itself, but it also makes the test more difficult to apply in cases where this contextual background is not available. In such cases, according to Walton, the Degree of Support Test is most useful to determine whether the argument can best be analyzed as linked or as convergent (1996: 179-181). Finally, Walton also proposes a new method of diagramming linked and convergent arguments, the "graph method": The most important thing is to see that, by changing from the old notation to the graph method, we are freed from always being forced to model an argument as ei-

Walton's PragmaticApproach

In his approach to argument structure, Walton (1996: xiv) proclaims that he uses methods similar to Freeman (1991) and Snoeck Henkemans (1992) and has taken a pragma-dialectical approach, although some of his solutions will be different. His main goals are to develop more refined guidelines for identifying linked and convergent arguments and to rescue and refine the technique of argument diagramming. Walton discusses numerous examples of linked and convergent arguments and develops a classification and terminology of the different tests used in the literature to determine whether an argument is linked or convergent. Walton discusses the following five t\>~ts (for simplicity, he applies them only to two premise arguments):

Falsity/No Support Test: If one premise is false, the conclusion is not given any support.

Suspension/Insufficient Proof Test: If one premise is suspended (not proved, not known to be true) the conclusion is not given enough support to prove it. 3 Falsity/Insufficient Proof Test: If one premise is false, the conclusion is not given enough support to prove it. 4 Suspension/No Support Test: If one premise is suspended (not proved, not known to be true), the conclusion is not given any support. S Degree of Support Test: reasons are dependent when together they make the overall strength of the argument much greater than they would considered separately (1996: 119-120, 127).

Whereas the first four tests are based on the idea of whether the conclusion is given enough or any support to prove it and are thus "absolutistic, 'all-ornothing' kinds of tests" (1996: 121), the Degree of Support Test is a matter of degrees. 2o





ther linked or convergent. It is for this reason that the recommendation is made here that we should move from the existing method of argument diagramming to the new method of reasoning graphs (1996: 187).21

If you have difficulty deciding whether you should join one premise P to another, ask whether the support it provides for the conclusion depends on some other premise(s) (1997: 36). Problems in deciding on the right structure of an argument are generally attributed to a lack of clarity in the definitions and the absence of clear and decisive tests. According to Walton, when diagramming arguments, there are many cases in which there is room for more than one interpretation. 23 This leads to a pedagogical problem in argumentation courses, which is compounded "by the use of short contextual examples as arguments, conjoined with the use of a test that appears to be precise, decisive, and non-contextual" (1996: 108). In a functional approach in which it primarily depends on the context of the dialogue how the structure of a given argument should be analysed, one should be prepared to accept that there will be cases in which there will not be enough contextual evidence to enable a well-founded decision (1996: 178). Apart from contextual evidence - evidence concerning the type of dialogue, the stage of the dialogue and the burden of proof - the analyst can make use of structural evidence - evidence of the type of reasoning (deductive, practical) being used - and textual evidence - indicator words, such as "My one reason for believing is this, and my other reason is that" and "This reason, taken along with my other reason ... shows that my conclusion is true", which give clues as to how the argument is structured. Once all these types of evidence have been collected, the relevant test can be applied as a fourth resource that may help in the identification of the argument. Some authors propose a special policy for problematic cases. The policy which both Thomas (1986) and Noh (1984: 32) propose for doubtful cases is to start with a linked interpretation. To Nolt, the main reason for advocating this policy is that it is the most charitable. He thinks that in borderline cases an argument is usually strongest if it is regarded as linked. Thomas realizes that there may be situations where this policy might not be to the advantage of the arguer: Probably, you will want to separate reasons, and diagram reasoning as convergent, anytime you suspect that one of the lines of reasoning is bad, while the other line of reasoning is good (1986: 65). Thomas justifies his approach by saying that it is in accordance with his Principle of Charity: "When unclarity exists, analyze reasoning in whatever way it gives the greatest strength" (1986: 89). Snoeck Henkemans (1992) objects to this solution because she thinks that the analysis and the evaluation of an argument are mixed up in this policy.24 Whether the arguer's reasons are good

54 Methods of Analysis in Doubtful Cases

According to Snoeck Henkemans (1992: 43), the problem of making a choice between a linked or a convergent analysis of an argument is not just caused by a lack of clarity in the definitions, but also by the lack of information concerning clues in the verbal presentation. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992: 7585) are an exception; they mention a number of words and expressions that can be indicative of coordinatively compound and multiple argumentation. Examples of indicators of multiple argumentation are: "quite apart from", "and then I haven't even mentioned the fact that': and "needless to add that': Indicators of coordinatively compound argumentation are: "in addition to the fact': "when it is also remembered that", "as well as the fact that': Snoeck Henkemans (1992) adds three types of clues to Van Eemeren and Grootendorst's indicators of argumentative structure: pragmatic clues in the way the arguer has presented the standpoint, dialogical clues in his references to criticism, and dialectical clues following from the assumption that he observes the procedural norms for a critical discussion, specifically those norms that are related to the burden of proof. 22 Among the pragmatic clues are expressions by means of which the arguer indicates the force of his standpoint and the quantifYing elements in the propositional content of the standpoint: they influence the burden of proof. Among the dialogical clues are the arguer's acknowledgements and refutations of counterarguments. Among the dialectical clues are the procedural norms pertaining to a critical discussion. One of them concerns the requirements an arguer should meet if his argumentation is to defend the acceptability, or un acceptability, of a speech act; the other concerns the requirements he should meet to justify the use of a particular argumentation scheme. These two types of requirement enable the analyst to determine whether, in order to lend sufficient support to the standpoint, the arguments that are advanced should be taken together, or whether they should be taken to stand by themselves. In cases where there is doubt as to whether an argument should be analysed as linked or convergent, informal logicians generally instruct the analyst to apply the types of tests that have been classified by Walton (199 6 ). Groarke, Tindale and Fisher (1997) are an example:





or bad, only becomes relevant when the argumentation is evaluated. In deciding on whether the argumentation is best analyzed as convergent or as linked, a different issue is at stake: The decision on whether to analyze the argumentation as linked or as convergent only depends on the degree of support which the premisses, either separately or jointly, lend to the standpoint, and should not be confused with an assessment of the acceptability of the premisses (1992: 42).25 Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992: 81-82) propose a policy, called the strategy of maximally argumentative analysis, which is the converse of Nolt's and Thomas' policy. In cases that cannot be decided on pragmatic grounds, they advise that one start by analysing the argumentation as multiple (i.e., convergent). They justify this strategy as follows: By way of this strategy, all single argumentations are being given the greatest possible credit ... analyzing the structure as multiple can, at the same time, be called more and less "charitable" than analyzing it as coordinative. It is more charitable, because in multiple argumentation each individual argument is supposed to have its own, independent argumentative force and, in addition, dropping one unacceptable argument does not automatically undermine the whole argumentation. It is less charitable, because in multiple argumentation, in principle, all the individual arguments must be separately conclusive. More important tlIan charity, however, is from a dialectical perspective that the quality of each and every individual argument shall be examined critically (1992: 81-81).

5.5 Conclusion Two approaches to argument structure, the functional approach of the classical theory of stasis (and the debate tradition) and the logical approach of identifying argument structure with different inference types, have continued to exist until the present. Dialectical approaches to complex argumentationcan be seen as a continuation of the tradition of viewing argument structures as the result of an arguer's attempts to deal adequately with an opponent's objections in a context of dialogue. Just as in classical status theory, it depends on the requirements the arguer should meet to provide sufficient support for his standpoint (and thus on the dialogical context) whether or not these arguments should be taken together, or seen as separate, alternative defences. In contrast to all informal logical approaches, argument structures in pragma-dialectics are always analysed as combinations of single argu-

ments. As a result, a large category oflinked arguments dealt with by informal logicians, i.e., those linked arguments that are equivalent to one single argument, falls outside the scope of the pragma-dialectical treatment of argument structures. In informal logic, the logical tradition is still predominant. Informallogicians are either concerned with describing different types of premise structure within one (deductive or non -deductive) inference, or with distinguishing between arguments with one inference and arguments consisting of a number of inferences, that is, with the distinction between single and complex argumentation. The definitions of the key concepts, linked and convergent arguments, given in informal logic, differ considerably. The guidelines that are given for evaluating linked and convergent arguments also vary from author to author. Authors who give a narrow definition of linked arguments, regarding only premises as interdependent that need to be taken together in order to be relevant, generally advise that one always consider all the premises together when evaluating the argument, regardless of the structure of the argument. In this interpretation of argument structure, part of the rationale for making the distinction between interdependent and independent arguments is lost. There also seems to be a general (though unsupported) belief among informallogicians that structures consisting of combinations of separate arguments are extremely rare, and therefore not worth any serious attention. This belief in itself may be traced back to the logical tradition where presenting more than one independent proof is, generally speaking, superfluous. In the context of our everyday discussions, however, one can rarely be sure that a defence that should be conclusive will really convince our opponent and one is often at the same time addressing several opponents with different views. Presenting a number of arguments which would, if acceptable, each provide sufficient support for the conclusion, may then often be the only realistic option.


A "complex argument" is an argument that consists of a number of single arguments that support a conclusion. A "single" or "individual" argument is the equivalent of a "reason." 2 The Aristotelian 'sorites' can also be analyzed as a serial argument in support of the major premise. 3 In his study of classical status theory, Braet (1984: 55) points out that classical rhetoricians seem to have had some idea of the difference in burden of proof for the defendant and the prosecutor, but that they did not devote





any systematic attention to this difference. The emphasis was always on the defendant. Quintillian is an exception. 4 The same difference in obligations for the defendant and the prosecutor is found at the sublevels of the argumentation. Cicero (De inventione2, 3233) points out that the prosecutor cannot just prove that the accused had a motive for his crime unless he also proves that the character of the defendant is consistent with his having such a motive (and vice versa). The defendant should show that the accused has never committed any offence, and "this argument will be strengthened if it can be shown that when he had an opportunity of doing a dishonest deed with impunity he had no desire to do so" (Cicero, De inventione 2, 3S). S According to Whately, in refuting an opponent's argument though, one should be careful not to adduce much more than is sufficient to prove one's conclusion, since otherwise one's opponents may become distrustful (1963: 16S). 6 Mills gives the following example: "Installment buying is harmful if it encourages people to live beyond their means, and it does so; it is harmful if it causes inflation, and it does so, etc." (1968: 183). 7 Ray and Zavos (1966: 99) give the following definition of an argument from circumstance:" [It] is an argument in which a number of particulars are brought to bear on some point. It is usually used to prove the occurrence of some past event." 8 According to Thomas, the main criterion for the independence of premises is that the falseness of one reason would not weaken the step from the other to the conclusion. In this way each of them individually supports the conclusion: "It is possible to have a correct convergent diagram in which the result of combining the separated reasons would (if this were done) be a stronger argument than either reason provides alone, as long as the negation or Jalsityof the various separated reasons would not decrease the support given by the other(s) to the conclusion"(1986: 62). 9 Yanal (1991: 139) gives a similar analysis of the distinction between dependent and interdependent reasons: "What ... is the difference between dependent and independent reasons? ... Dependent reasons form one argument; independent reasons form multiple arguments." 10 The idea that convergent arguments are less vulnerable than linked arguments is "all myth" according to Conway (1991: ISS): "Even when premises clearly'work together; we know perfectly well that the falsity of one need not necessitate rejecting the entire argument." With any sort of argument, when we find that one of the premises are false, "we dismiss the unacceptable premises and evaluate the support on the basis of those that remain. We do not need a notion of convergent support to enable us to do this."

Conway concludes that we can very well do without the notion of"conver11

gence" (IS6). It is not clear to which category inductive generalizations belong in Govi-


er's classification. According to Conway (1991: 148-149), if individual relevance is the criterion for convergence, the distinction does not correspond to our intuitions about the "separateness" of premises. Moreover, an argument being convergent on this criterion cannot serve as an "instruction" to evaluate each line of support separately or to evaluate the degree of support of the premises for the conclusion in any other particular way. Conway concludes: "if there is any evaluative importance to the linked/convergent distinction, understood in this way, it is not in the area of the degree of support premises give to a conclusion" (199 1: 149). 13 Similar definitions oflinked and convergent arguments as Govier's are also given by Kelley (1988: 6-87), albeitthat he uses the terms additive and nonadditive premises. Fisher's (1988: 19) definition of independent arguments is somewhat different, since he analyses independent reasons as reasons that the author intends to lend conclusive support to the conclusion by themselves: reasons "may be presented as independently justifying" a conclusion "so that if you accept one of the reasons the author expects you to accept the conclusion:' Noh's (1984) criterion for independence is ambiguous: on the one hand he seems to consider arguments as interdependent if they form one inference, and independent if they each constitute a separate inference; on the other hand he recommends combining inferences to produce a single inference in cases where such a combined inference would make a stronger case (1984: 32). In this respect, his approach is more like Thomas' approach. 14 Vorobej (199Sb) gives similar definitions as Govier (199 2) and Copi and Cohen (1990), but also introduces a third category of premise structure: the hybrid argument. In convergent arguments, according to Vorobej, "each premise, in isolation, is relevant to or provides a reason in support of the conclusion" (199Sb: 289). If a set of premises is relevant to the conclusion, whereas no subset of the premise set is relevant to the conclusion, an argument is linked (199Sb: 290). In hybrid arguments, the relation between the premises is asymmetric. One premise (or premise set) is relevant on its own and another premise (or premise set) is not relevant to the conclusion on its own. The latter premise (or premise set) supplements the other premise (set): taken together, the premises provide a better argument for the conclusion than the one relevant premise (or premise set) alone (199Sb: 292). IS According to Conway (1991: 149), there are many authors who are unclear





as to how the evaluation oflinked and convergent arguments should take place: "Remarkably, most who claim that the linked/convergent distinction is important for evaluation say nothing about how to evaluate convergent arguments:' 16 Even though each coordinative argument is analyzed as composed of a number of single argumentations that each consist of two premises, one of which has been left unexpressed, in reconstructing a coordinative argument, one combined unexpressed premise is made explicit. This is done to make it clear that it is only in combination that the arguments are supposed to lend sufficient support to the standpoint. For instance, in an example of a coordinative argument that is provided by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992: 89), two single arguments are given for the standpoint that" The Telegraph is a good newspaper": (1) The Telegraph contains facts, news, and background information; (2) The Telegraph is a commonsense newspaper. In the diagram of this argument, the following unexpressed premise is made explicit: "A newspaper that combines quality with wisdom is good." 17 The basic ideas of Freeman's approach were already introduced earlier, in an article in Informal Logic (198S) and in his textbook Thinking Logically
(1988). 18 Freeman thinks that there is independent confirmation for the fact that

these questions are central to any argumentative exchange, since they pertain to the three criteria for argument appraisal distinguished by most informal logicians, they parallel Grice's (197S) conversational maxims and are also represented in Rescher's (1977) challenging moves of formal disputation. 19 The terms cumulative and complementary stem from an unpublished manuscript of Pinto and Blair's. In this manuscript, they distinguish between three types of interdependency: "linked" premise sets, "cumulative" premise sets and "complementary" premise sets. Snoeck Henkemans (1992: 94) analyses linked premise sets (which consist of a minor and a major premise) as single arguments. Explicitizing an unexpressed premise in response to an arguer's reaction is, according to her, only adequate in cases where there is a problem concerning the comprehensibility, not the acceptability of the argument. Since all forms of complex argumentation are seen by her as attempts to remove an opponent's doubt or criticism, and thus, to resolve a problem concerning the acceptability of a given argument, making explicit the unexpressed premise cannot result in complex argumentation. Cumulative and complementary arguments are regarded by Snoeck Henkemans as two different ways of responding to criticism about the sufficiency of one of the other arguments: "if the attempt

to answer criticism consists of adding another argument that supports the standpoint directly, the coordinative argumentation is cumulative. If it consists of a refutation of a counter-argument, the coordinative argumentation is complementary" (1992: 174). These two types of support are reminiscent of Whately's (1846: 88, 138) ways of combining arguments. 20 In the discussion of the informal logical distinction between linked and convergent arguments, the tests that are used to identify linked and convergent reasoning are often the subject of discussion. According to Vorobej (1994), most authors propose isolation tests for linked arguments (tests that require the analyst to find out whether the premises are relevant in isolation, or whether they provide less support in isolation than taken together). The problem with those tests is that (in a weak form) they yield the result that any argument with a single irrelevant, superfluous premise is linked, and they do not classify all deductively valid arguments as linked. The latter is the case because many deductively valid arguments contain no premises, which are independently irrelevant to the conclusion (1994: 149). Vorobej's own alternative is to use an elimination test, which says that "an argument is linked if the type of (positive) support which its premises offer its conclusion would be weakened upon elimination of at least one of its premises" (1994: lSI). On this test, every deductively valid argument (with two exceptions) is linked, all analogical arguments are linked, and all arguments positively corroborating hypotheses. The test classifies as convergent all conductive arguments and inductive generalizations. Isolation-relevance tests are comparable to Walton's Suspension/No Support Test, while the Elimination test is similar to Walton's Degree of Support Test. Vorobej acknowledges that his Elimination test cannot do justice to the idea "that in a linked argument all the premises must be considered together if we are to recognize a persuasive case for accepting the conclusion" and "that convergent arguments are equivalent to, and ought to be treated as, more than one single argument" (1994: lS6). However, he believes such ideas are of questionable value "insofar as they tend to generate accounts of the linked! convergent distinction which seriously run the risk of undermining the significance of that very distinction" (1994: 157). This is because, according to Vorobej, convergent arguments consisting of multiple arguments are extremely rare (1994: lS7). 21 Apart from the fact that I fail to see the advantage of not having to make a decision between a linked or a convergent diagram, I do not think this is correct: Walton explains that with the graph method, linked arguments all get the same number, while convergent diagrams receive different numbers (1996: 187). 22 A difference between the indicators of multiple and coordinative argu-





mentation mentioned by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992) compared with the clues offered by Snoeck Henkemans is that the first type of clues indicate how the author intends the text to be understood, whereas the second type of clues are clues about how reasons offered in support of a conclusion support the argument according to the most charitable analysis. 23 Both Walton (1996) and Snoeck Henkemans (1992) mention a similar type of argument of which it may be difficult to establish in practice whether it is linked or convergent. Walton calls this type of argument "evidence-accumulating" (132-133), Snoeck Henkemans "cumulative coordinative argumentation". According to Snoeck Henkemans (1992: 175), it is predictable that multiple argumentation will be particularly difficult to distinguish from cumulative argumentation. This is because it is not always clear whether the arguer can be assumed to be anticipating that he will have to withdraw some of his arguments, or whether he may be assumed to believe that the arguments he has advanced strengthen each other. 24 According to Vorobej (1994: 153), classifying arguments as either linked or convergent inevitably involves adopting an evaluative point of view during the analysis. The objection might therefore be raised that "there is little point in invoking a distinction between linked and convergent arguments as an aid to argument evaluation if the distinction can be drawn only after engaging in that very process of evaluation': But Vorobej thinks this objection is not sound. Appraising an argument requires several stages. Therefore, "the fact that some distinction is drawn by employing evaluative concepts and adopting an evaluative point of view does not preclude that distinction from serving a useful purpose in the evaluative enterprise" (1994: 153). 25 Vorobej makes a similar observation. He claims that determining whether an argument is linked or convergent requires appraising the actual degree oflogical support provided by (various combinations of) the premises. Although this means that the linked/ convergent distinction does not operate purely at the descriptive level, the process of evaluation is not completed once the structure of the argument has been decided on, and the way one should proceed with the evaluation also differs depending on the outcome of the analysis (1994: 153).

Braet, A. (1984). De klassieke statusleer in modern perspectief [The Classical Status Doctrine in a Modern Perspective]. Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff. [Cicero] (1968). Ad C. Herennium. De Ratione Dicendi (Rhetorica ad Herennium.) London: Heineman. Cicero (1968). DeInventione. London: Heineman. Campbell, G. (177611991). The Philosophy ofRhetoric. Lloyd E Bitzer, ed. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press. Conway, D.A. (1991). "On the Distinction between Convergent and Linked Arguments." Informal Logic, 13, 145-158. Copi, I.M., and e. Cohen (1990). Introduction to Logic. 8th ed. New York: Macmillan. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1984). Speech Acts in Argumentative

Discussions: A Theoretical Model for the Analysis ofDiscussions Directed towards Solving Conflicts of Opinion. Berlin/Dordrecht: Walter de Gruyter/
Foris. Eemeren, F.H. van, and R. Grootendorst (1992). Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies: A Pragma-Dialectical Perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Fisher,A. (1988). The Logic ofReal Arguments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Freeman, I.B. (1985). "Dialectical Situations and Argument Analysis:' Informal Logic, 7, 151-162. Freeman, J.B. (1988). Thinking Logically: Basic Concepts for Reasoning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall. Freeman, J.B. (1991). Dialectics and the Macrostructure ofArguments: A Theory ofArgument Structure. Berlin/New York: Foris. Govier, T. (1992). A Practical Study ofArgument. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Grice, H.P. (1975). "Logic and Conversation." In: Cole, P., and J.L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics III. New York: Academic Press, 41-58. Groarke, L., C. Tindale, and L. Fisher (1997). Good Reasoning Matters! A Constructive Approach to Critical Thinking. 2nd ed. Toronto/New York Oxford: University Press. Johnson, R.H., and J.A. Blair (1994). Logical Self-Defense. New York: McGraw-Hill. Kelley, D. (1988). The Art ofReasoning. London: Norton. Kennedy, G.A. (1994), A New History of Classical Rhetoric. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. McBurney, J.H., J.M. O'Neill, and G.E. Mills (1951).Argumentation and Debate: Techniques ofa Free Society. New York: Macmillan. Mills, G.E. (1968). Reason in Controversy. 2nd ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Bibliography Beardsley, M.e. (1950). Practical Logic. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Beardsley, M.e. (1975). Thinking Straight. Principles ofReasoning for Readers and Writers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 132



Noit, 1.E. (1984). Informal Logic: Possible Worlds and Imagination. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pinto, R.c. (1994). "Review of Snoeck Henkemans (1992):' Argumentation, 8, 314-318. Pinto, R.C., and J.A. Blair (1993). Reasoning: A Practical Guide. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Quintilian (1969). Books I and II. London: Heineman. Ray,J.,and H.Zavos (1966). "Reasoning and Argument: Deduction and Induction:'In: Miller, G.A., and T.R. Nilsen (Eds.). Perspectives on Argumentation. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Compo Ch. 3, 51-109. Snoeck Henkemans,A.F. (1992). Analysing ComplexArgumentation: The Reconstruction ofMultiple and Coordinatively Compound Argumentation in a Critical Discussion. Amsterdam: Sic Sat. Snoeck Henkemans,A.F. (1994). "Review of Freeman (1991)." Argumentation, 8,319-32l. Thomas, S.N. (1986). Practical Reasoning in Natural Language. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Toulmin, S.E. (1958). The Uses ofArgument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vorobej, M. (994). "The TRUE Test of Linkage." Informal Logic, 16, 147-157. Vorobej, M. (1995a). "Linked Arguments and the Validity Requirement:' Argumentation, 9, 291-304. Vorobej, M. (1995b). "Hybrid Arguments." Informal Logic, 17, 289-296. Walton, D.N. (1996). Argument Structure: A Pragmatic Theory. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Whately, R. (1846). Elements ofRhetoric: Comprising an Analysis ofthe Laws of Moral Evidence and ofPersuasion, with Rules for Argumentative Composition and Elocution. D. Ehninger (reprint ed., 1963), Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press. Windes, R.R., andA. Hastings (1965). Argumentation andAdvocacy. New York: Random House. Yana!, R.J. (1991). "Dependent and Independent Reasons:' Informal Logic, 13, 137- 144.

6 Fallacies
Frans H. van Eemeren

6.1 Introduction According to a standard definition that was generally accepted until fairly recently, a "fallacy" is an argument that seems valid but is not. In the last decades, however, argumentation theorists have made several important objections to this definition: the word "seems" brings in an undesirable amount of subjectivity; "validity" is misleadingly presented as an absolute and conclusive criterion; the definition ignores that some well-known fallacies are, by certain logical standards, "valid" arguments; the definition restricts the concept of fallaciousness to patterns of reasoning, whereas a great number of generally-recognized fallacies fall outside this scope. These objections explain why a broader definition is ~owadays pref~rre~. c:.~~ are uS:~alj




This chapter presents an overview of the hIstory of the study of fallaCIes and the development of views on fallacies from the classical theoretical approaches to the modern theoretical approaches. The discussion of the classical approaches (6.2) starts with the Aristotelian approach (6.2.1), which has thoroughly influenced all theories regarding the fallacies. This is followed by Bacon's concept of the "idols" and the "sophisms" of Port-Royal (6.2.2), and by the "at!' fallacies as introduced by Locke (6.2.3) and Whately's "syllogistic" and "inductive" fallacies (6.2.4). This overview of the classical approaches ends with a survey of the traditional treatment of the fallacies in logic textbooks, which Hamblin christened the standard treatment (6.2.5) The discussion of modern theoretical approaches to the fallacies (6.3) starts with Hamblin's criticisms of the standard treatment (6.3.1). Then various post-Hamblin treatments of the fallacies an; introduced (6.3.2). Subsequently, some distinct modern approaches are highlighted: the Woods-Walton approach (6.3.3), the formal-dialectical approach (6.3.4) and the pragma-dialectical approach (6.3.5). The survey of the state of the art in the study of fallacies ends with a short expose of Walton's prominent pragmatic approach (6.3. 6 ).





6.2 Brief History of the Study of Fallacies 6.2.1 The Aristotelian Approach to Fallacies The history of the study offallacies begins with Aristotle (384-322 BCE). Aristotle addresses the fallacies in De sophisticis elenchis, the Topics, Prior Analytics and Rhetoric. In De sophisticis elenchis and the Topics, he treats the subject quite thoroughly. The Prior Analytics, meanwhile, contains additional remarks, and Rhetoric discusses only a selection from the list compiled in De sophisticis elenchis. De sophisticis elenchis means "On refutations as used by the Sophists" (the English title is Sophistical Refutations). This is why fallacies are sometimes called sophisms. Aristotle places fallacies in the context of a dialectic in which one person attacks a thesis and another person defends it. Refuting the thesis of one's opponent is one way to win a debate. In this perspective, fallacies are false moves employed in the attacker's efforts to refute the defender's thesis. Sophistical Refutations deals with those that are only apparent refutations (paralogisms). In his treatise on dialectic, the Topics, Aristotle discusses both the correct moves attackers may use to refute the defender's thesis, as well as incorrect moves in reasoning, such as petitio principii (better known as begging the question or circular reasoning); in Rhetoric, he discusses some of the fallacies mentioned in Sophistical Refutations, referring also to the fallacy now known as post hoc ergo propter hoc ("after this, therefore on account of this"). Aristotle divides the incorrect or false refutations that can be used in a dialectical context into two groups. The first group consists of Sophistical refutations that are dependent on language (in dictione), while the second consists of Sophistical refutations independent of language (extra dictionem). Aristotle then divides these groups of fallacies into altogether thirteen different tIT~_~i!lAi<::'!tin~i~ ei}ch_@sehQw falsemoyeSCaDJ1.!;_mllI~_ by the ~

doms, take turns to demonstrate their debating skills (Euthydemus 275d276C; see Hamilton and Cairns, eds. 1994: 389-390). Socrates is describing to Crito how Euthydemus debates the young Clinias:
Well, Euthydemus began something like this, I think. Now Clinias, which of mankind are the learners, the wise or the ignorant? This was a large question; so the boy blushed, and looked at me in doubt. Seeing that he was troubled I said, My dear Clinias, cheer up and answer like a man, whichever you think, for perhaps it will do you a deal of good. Just then, Dionysodorus leaned over me, and whispered in my ear, smiling all over his face, Now look here, Socrates, I prophesy that whichever the lad answers, he will be refuted! While he spoke, Clinias made his answer, so I had no chance to warn the boy to take care, and he answered that the wise were the learners. And Euthydemus said, There are people you call teachers, aren't there? He agreed. The teachers are teachers of the learners; for example, ilie music master and the grammar master were teachers of you and the other boys, and you were learners? He said yes. Of course at the time when you were learning, you did not yet know ilie iliings you were learning? No, he said. Then you were wise when you did not know these iliings? Certainly not, he said. If not wise, then ignorant? Yes.

ft:l1l:kr .
The fallacies dependent on language consist of six types, all connected with the ambiguities and shifts of meaning which, because of the imperfections of the language, may occur in ordinary colloquial language (accent, form of expression, combination of words, division of words, equivocation, and amphiboly). The fallacies that are independent of language are divided into seven types, all of which could also occur if the language were perfect (accidens, secundum quid -later known as hasty generalization - (affirming the) consequent, non-cause as cause, petitio principii, ignoratio elenchi or "ignorance of refutation," and many questions). Let us take an example of a language-dependent fallacy from Plato's Euthydemus dialogue. In this dialogue, two Sophists, Euthydemus and Dionyso-




So you boys, while learning what you did not know, were ignorant and were learning? The boy nodded. So, the ignorant learn, my dear Clinias, not the wise as you suppose. When he said this, it was like conductor and chorus - he signaled, and they all cheered and laughed, I mean Dionysodorus and Euthydemus and their followers. Euthydemus' rebuttal of Clinias' thesis is directly followed by Dionysodorus' rebuttal of the thesis that those who learn are the ignorant. In both cases useor misuse - is made of the ambiguity of the words "wise" ("learned" and "sensible") and "ignorant" ("untaught" and "stupid").

Ctesippus said with a laugh, No mistake, I do, for I can't beat you! Well then, you beat your own father, the other said. These examples show that the distinction between language-dependent and language-independent fallacies is not without problems. The fallacy in the dialogue about learnin~ems from ambiguity, and is thus dependent on language. Yet in the dialogue about the dog the situation is more complex. The fallacy in the argument "This dog is a father, this dog is yours, therefore this dog is your father", too, appears to be dependent on, rather than being independent of, language. According to Aristotle, however, this kind of fallacy is_; caused by an j1Jegjtjma;;~f~attribute from an accidental prore!:!YQ.f a. subject (accidens) to ..!~!~l1J~.i~~.LU..~1i_llLy.ice.-Jte.tSIL(.sapbistiCiJ.L.RejUtariQl1~ 1665 28-34,l79a 26-32.). What Aristotle here means by "accidental" is not clear. Hamblin (1970: 85) thinks that Aristotle calls a property accidental if the subject and predicate terms of the statement in which the property is attributed to someone or something are not convertible. If an accidental property is treated in an argument as if it were a convertible property, a fallacy is created which is independent oflanguage (see also Bueno 1988). This can be illustrated by the following invalid argument, taken from Hamblin (1970: 85, cf. Sophistical Refutations166b 34):
(1) Coriscus is different from Socrates (2) Socrates is a man Therefore: (3) Coriscus is different from a man

An example of one of Aristotle's language-independent fallacies can also be found in the same Platonic dialogue (Euthydemus 298d-299a, see Hamilton and Cairns, eds. 1994: 412). The debate is conducted between Dionysodorus and a spectator, Ctesippus:
Just tell me, have you a dog? Yes, and a very bad one, said Ctesippus. Has he got puppies? Very much so, he said, as bad as he is. Then the dog is their father? I have seen him myself, he said, on the job with the bitch. Very well, isn't the dog yours? Certainly, he said. Then being a father he is yours, so the dog becomes your father and you the puppies' brother. Dionysodorus quickly broke in again, that Ctesippus might not get in his retort first. One more little question. Do you beat this dog?

Premise (2) contains a statement of an accidental property of Socrates, for "Socrates is a man" cannot be converted into ''A man is Socrates" since not every man is identical to Socrates. It is uncertain in which way the example should be analyzed. Perhaps one may read premise (1) as attributing "being different from Coriscus"to Socrates, the subject of premise (2). In the conclusion (3) this attribute is applied to "being a man", the accident expressed in premise (2). Thus an attribute ("being different from Coriscus") is shifted from a subject (Socrates) to its accident ("being a man"). The example of the dog presents even more difficulties. What seems to be involved is that the statement "This dog is [aJ father" is not convertible, because not all fathers are identical to this dog. Therefore, the fatherhood must here be regarded as an "accidental" property, so that the presented conclusion cannot be drawn.




Judging from introductions to logic and popular books on fallacies such as Fearnside and Holther (1959), modern authors have little difficulty with Aristotle's language-dependent fallacies. Clear - albeit not always very realisticexamples of fallacies of ambiguity are given, generally in the form of puns. A frequently recurring example is the following (see, e.g., Copi 195311972: 93):
(1) Some dogs have fuzzy ears
(2) My dog has fuzzy ears

not have gone straight back to Aristotle either. I_n this way, ol~_~jst~es may be perp~!uated. The treatment of ilie following fallacy pr~~ides an example

(Hambli~970~ 29):

(1) What you bought yesterday, you eat today

(2) You bought raw meat yesterday

(3) You eat raw meat today

(3) My dog is some dog

Another example is:

(1) After her finals Laura went crazy [with joy] (2) Crazy people [lunatics] must be locked up

(3) Laura must be locked up

Language-independent fallacies present more problems to modern authors, at least if they want to stick to Aristotle's classification. In some logic textbooks, the difficulty is solved by moving the accidens fallacy into the category of language-dependent fallacies (e.g., Cohen and Nagel 193411964). Usually, however, this fallacy is given a non -Aristotelian interpretation. It is then a fallacy because of the application of a general rule, without any modification, to a specific case in which accidental circumstances render it inapplicable (see, e.g., Copi 1972: 81). The following argument is an example of this fallacy:
Member of Parliament, Giebels, is entitled to publish tlIe contents of his conversation with the queen, since in Holland we have freedom of speech.

According to De Rijk (1962), in his survey of the treatment of fallacies in twelfth-century logic, iliis example first appears in the Munich dialectica. This argument is usually regarded as belonging to ilie type of fallacy which is known as secundum quid ("in a certain respect') - in modern terminology reinterpreted as hasty generalization - the second of Aristotle's language-independent falla~ieS:-Intlie -nineteenth century, De Morgan still considered this example as a secundum quid, but the passage in which he discusses accidens and secundum quid fallacies may easily be read as stating that ilie example is an accidens fallacy. Before De Morgan, no author regarded it as an accidens fallacy, whereas following him several writers do (e.g., Cohen and Nagel 1934h964 and Copi 195311972).


Idols and Sophisms Aristotle's standard definition of a fallacy as seemingly valid reasoning iliat is really invalid has remained authoritative for a long time. All the same, later authors often ignored the dialectical context of the definition, and overlooked the differences between a deductively valid argument and Aristotle's view of good reasoning as having a conclusion that not only follows necessarily from ilie premises of the syllogism, but is also different from, as well as based on, these premises. In oilier respects, however, until the Renaissance most scholars only seemed to repeat Aristotle. Then there were also authors, such as the French dialectician Petrus Ramus (1515-1572), who have dismissed his views or abandoned ilie study of fallacies altogether. Although the Ramist British philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) considers the study of fallacies to be "excellently handled" by Aristotle, his contention in The Advancement ofLearning (160511975) is iliat there are more im-

In this argument, an appeal is made to the general rule that in Holland freedom of speech applies to everybody. The fallacy arises because the argument ignores the accidental circumstance that this general rule does not apply to a confidential meeting of a Member of Parliament wiili the queen. Several other language-independent fallacies on Aristotle's list have undergone similar changes in modern textbooks, sometimes to ilie point of be coming almost unrecognizable. One rea~~n for these ~!!.~~g~~i~_~mdoubtedly the obscurityoJ!!Qm~ Qf Aristotle'sd~flIl~ti<??~;a_~:~f~SIJJ:i~lhiltiS...asi.t~re. an invitati().11 to multifarious reinterpr.etations.. Anoilier reason is that many , modern authors have not taken their definitions and examples of fallacies straight from Aristotle but from other authors who, in turn, may themselves

errors 9J th9ugh~.':~~~~r~~?Il~=Za~i~4}~Y:f~!_~~ t ~~!l!~~!c_i~~~~ch!!s ~~':!~2.!"-!Po~~ Among the latter are the "false

idols of the marketplace: appearances that are imposed upon words, which are framed and applied according to conceit and capacities of the vulgar sort" (p. 134). The Aristotelian





list of fallacies is also the starting point in Logic or the Art of Thinking (1662), the "Port-Royal Logic," by the seventeenth century French scholars, Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole, who possibly worked together with Blaise Pascal. These fallacies are included in this first modern approach and can, in the first place, be seen as ~s.f!phisms of the scientific m~thod. Second, fallacies found in p()pular discourse are li;ted~~~~~~~;;g the force ;jihr~~~(~ ing them argumenttl,?!J1.4J7i:~Etlluiri), and drawing a generaI co;;;i;;Si~'n from an l;icompzete-lnduction.~TIiisdi~~between fallacies associated with scientific subjects and fallacies in public discourse replaces the language-dependent versus language-independent distinction.

A third way is to press a man with consequences drawn from his own principles

or concessions. This is already known under the name of argumentum ad hominem (Essay IV,iii). The latter remark reveals that Locke does not assume that he was introducing anything new. His source for this meaning of argumentum ad hominem is not easy to trace. Hamblin claims that Locke is referring to a Latin translation of a passage from Aristotle's Sophistical Refutations and to several medieval treatises (1970: 161-162, see also Nuchelmans 1993). Originally the ad hominem made use of the other party's concessions in one's argument, but now it is a general term for the fallacy of attacking the other party's person either directly by depicting them as stupid, bad or unreliable (abusive variant) or indirect1y by casting suspicion on the opponent's motives (circumstantial variant) or pointing out a contradiction in the other party's words or deeds (tu quoqueyou too! -variant). The following example is a modern case of an argumentum ad hominemm the Lockean sense: How can you say the Casinos in Las Vegas should be closed down? You've always said everyone should be free to decide for himself what to do or not to do. In the following text fragment two other of the four sorts of argument mentioned by Locke are used, the argumentum ad verecundiam ("awe-directed argument" or argument of shame) and the argumentum ad ignorantiam ("ignorance-directed argument"): Of course Beethoven dictated that symphony to Rosemary Brown: in Playboy the famous author Elisabeth Kiibler-Ross recently explained that communication with the dead is perfectly possible. Anyway, nobody has ever proved that dead composers don'tmanifest themselves in this way. The argumentum ad verecundiam is generally described as a misplaced appeal to authority. This does not quite conform to the literal meaning of verecundia ("diffidence, awe, shanIe, embarrassment, modesty"), though it appears to be in line with what Locke intended. With Locke, the argumentum ad verecundiam refers to cases in which it is suggested or stated that it would be arrogant of listeners to set themselves up in opposition to the authority to which the speaker appeals in the argument. Nowadays, the term ad verecundiam is often used to refer to a fallacy that involves an incorrect appeal to an authority. It can be reconstructed from Locke's remarks that an argumentum ad ignorantiam for him relates to the burden of proof in a debate. An inadmissible


The Ad Fallacies The most important addition to the fallacies of Aristotle's list consists of the fallacies known as the ad fallacies, a category of arguments first distinguished by the seventeenth-century philosopher John Locke (1632-174). Among them, the argumentum ad hominem ("argument directed at the man") is the most familiar. In the study of argumentation, the term argumentum ad hominem is nowadays mostly used in a pejorative sense. It refers to the fallacy of attacking the opponent personally, one way or another, instead of responding to the actual arguments put forward by the opponent in support of a standpoint. There is also a long-standing nonpejorative tradition, however, in which arguing ad hominem is regarded as indispensable for successful argumentation (see Nuchelmans 1993 for the Aristotelian roots of the pejorative and nonpejorative meanings of the term argumentum ad hominem). It is not quite clear what Locke had in mind when he discussed the argumentum ad hominem in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (169/1961, cf. Hamblin 1970: 41,158-163 and Finocchiaro 1974). In the chapter "Of reason," he introduces three more types of" ad arguments": ad verecundiam, ad ignorantiam and ad judicium. This gave him the reputation of being the "inventor" of the category of the" ad fallacies': Yet he does not explicitly state that he considers the ad arguments to be fallacious: ... it may be worth our while a little to reflect on four sorts ofarguments that men, in their reasonings with others, do ordinarily make use of to prevail on their assent, or at least so to awe them as to silence their opposition (Essay IV, iii). The argumentum ad hominem is placed third on Locke's list:




way of evading one's duty is to give arguments for one's point of view when expressing an opinion contrary to somebody else's. Nowadays, the argumentum ad ignorantiam is generally regarded as a fallacious appeal to ignorance or lack of proof (as in the example above). On the basis of the observed fact that something has not been proven notto be the case, it is concluded that it is the case (orthe other wayaround). Although it is clear from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding that Locke was aware of the intended effect on others of these three kinds of arguments, it must be emphasized, again, that it is not clear whether Locke himself regarded the argumentum ad hominem, the argumentum ad verecundiam and the argumentum ad ignorantiam as fallacious arguments, as is usually done in present-day literature (the argumentum ad judicium is not fallacious but sets a standard for using proofs drawn from the foundations of knowledge or probability). Definitions of the argumentum ad hominem similar to Locke's can be found in the works of the nineteenth-century British logician Whately, the nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer, the twentiethcentury American philosopher Johnstone Jr., and the twentieth-century Belgian philosopher Perelman (see Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1993). An example of an argumentum ad hominem in the modern non-Lockean pejorative sense is the following:
The argument that the state may not impose limitations on free speech and thus may not contemplate any curtailment of the cable television explosion only has the appearance of being sound. This reasoning is used by groups with a vested interest in seeing the cable explosion continue unabated. It is therefore a false argument.

Whately has had a great influence on the textbook tradition in both Britain and the United States. Whereas Whately holds that reasoning should conform to the syllogism, the British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) propounds in A System ofLogic, Ratiocinative and Inductive (1843/1970 ) that only inductive inferences count as reasoning. Although Mill created a category of inductive fallacies, his views on the fallacies and the empirical investigation of the fallacies have not led to crucial theoretical innovations.


The Treatment of Fallacies in Logic Textbooks An important characteristic of traditional accounts in later logic textbooks is the shift in the approach to the fallacies that replaced the Aristotelian dialectical perspective by a monologic perspective. Fallacy theory then deals exclusively with errors in reasoning instead of deceptive maneuvers made by a party who tries to outwit the other party. Because some of the fallacies on Aristotle's list are intrinsically linked with the dialogue situation, one of the consequences of abandoning the context of debate is that the reason a particular fallacy should be regarded as a fallacy may become obscure. An example is "many questions" in Aristotle's category of language-independent fallacies. Alt~ough it is clear why Ari~t?!~e ree<lr5!~ manlqUestio~S, as a fallacious refutatlo;;' i~tliec~;text~f debate, it is less clear why exactly he


Syllogistic and Inductive Fallacies In his Elements of Logic (1826/1975), the logician and rhetorician Richard Whately (1787-1863), wanted to present an improved account of the fallacies from a logical point of view. Defining a fallacy in the appendix as "any argument, or apparent argument, which professes to be decisive of the matter at hand, while in reality it is not': he replaces the established definition with a wider one. Next to the class of (syllogistic) logical fallacies (e.g., four terms as a violation of the rule defining a syllogism as a form of reasoning with no more than three terms, and the, semiological, fallacy of false analogy), Whately, in his tree of classification, distinguishes a broad class of (valid) nonlogical (or material) fallacies, divided into fallacies that involve a wrongly-assumed premise (petitio principii, false premise) and irrelevancies (ignoratio elenchi), such as the ad fallacies.

After all, it is precisely the way in which the question is framed that otters the possibility of checkmating one's adversary. This fallacy occurs when a question is asked that can only be answered by answering at least one other question that is "concealed" in the original question at the same time. In modern interpretations, the answer to the original question presupposes a particular answer to one or more other questions. By (implicitly or explicitly) forcing someone to answer a question other than the one that is asked, the fallacy of many questions is committed. Since many questions hinges on the dialogue situation' this fallacy can only be adequately analyzed in a dialectical approach.

c~~~!:fi~~ih:i~;r2E.i~~~~I~~fu~:~~te.~()~r.~~ ~i~~~~~.~-~~.~e~e~d~.~t.~all~~i~~}

\ :~~~i:fitt~~~~!~~;;~f~~-<!~~~~~?'Il~'<lIl~
an illustration:
(1) Are you still beating your wife? (2) When did you stop beating your wife?

. II1.l~~~~1!~.41~LAJ:!.lQtl~1"~kfulder i.,<t!I.<?~!.g"!s>"~r}i.!~t to answer


thef~ll~~i~g-;;xamples of many questions fallacies are commonly given as



A person who answers question (1) as intended, with a simple Yes or No, thereby admits being, or having been, in the habit of beating his wife. This is because (1) contains the following presupposition: (Ia) You used to beat your wife The same presupposition is contained in question (2), but in that case there is also a second presupposition: (2a) You no longer beat your wife Asking questions of the many questions type can serve to pin down an opponent who fails to spot the treacherous nature of such a question. According to Aristotle, such questions are incorrect ways of making opponents contradict themselves in a debate. This happens, for example, if the thesis that the defender has never beaten his wife is at some point refuted through the No answer of the defender to question (1) of the attacker (of course, the defender is in even deeper water if he answers Yes). By addressing the dubious presupposition(s), the defender avoids giving a direct answer to the original question. In the case of question (2), this strategy might lead to these replies: (2') I am still beating her (2") I have never beaten her Answer (2") is the best way to parry question (2) if the discussion hinges on whether the defender is or was in the habit of beating his wife. A "direct" answer, such as "Last week", would lead to an immediate and irrevocable defeat in the debate. The wording of question (1) virtually forces the defender of the thesis to answer yes, or no, and thus to admit what the opponent tries to demonstrate: that the defender is, or was, in the habit of beating his wife. Instead of distinguishing fallacies in dictione from fallacies extra dictionem, logic textbooks frequ~ntly make a distinction between fa~~cies of a,mbi~

quid, accidens, many questions, ad hominem, ad verecundiam, and ad ignora.ntiam, this category includes false analogy, and ethical and pathetlc fallaCIes
(parading one's own qualities and playing on the sentiments of the audience). Other fallacies of relevance, including begging the question, follow below. Begging the question, also known as petitio principii or circular reas~ning, means that the arguer assumes that what needs to be proven (the questlOn at issue) has already been shown to hold. A simple example is: "God exists because the Bible says so, and the Bible is God's word:' Ignoratio elenchi ("ignorance of refutation") amounts in the "standard interpretation" to an argument that does not address the thesis that happens to be the point at issue, but a different opinion attributed, rightly or not, to the other party. Thus, a person who doubts whether state-controlled housing projects are a useful means of alleviating a housing shortage ~ay, for ex~ pie, be opposed to them by advancing arguments for the theSIS that there IS a serious shortage of houses. This, however, is not the point at issue. A non seq~"Cl~2~~n~!i2!!9w") !S a form of argumentation, simila: to 19norailo~l~nchi, in which the arguments that are used ~nd the concluSlOn that is drawn may in themselves be correct, but the concluslOn does not follow from the arguments. The Dutch author, Piet Grijs, once gave this absurd example: The devil painted tile world. But he is not allowed to deduct the costs from his taxes. Then his nephew appears, in tile year 1982. His nephew has an affair with tile Prime Minister, and that is why the trees turn green again. As the name suggests, post hoc (ergo propter hoc) ("after this, therefore on account of this") means that merely because the one event follows the other temporarily, then the first caused the second. This fallacy is used when it is claimed that the rise in (un)employment that has manifested itself since the new government took office is the result of the new government's policies, when it is, in fact, perfectly clear that there are other causes. The argumentum ad baculum ("argument of the stick"), the appeal to force, amounts to resorting to the use of threats against an adversary who refuses to accept one's standpoint. The threat may involve physical force, but also other measures. Usually, threats are issued indirectly, sometimes preceded by an emphatic assurance that no pressure is being put upon the listener or reader: Of course, I leave it entirely to you to take a stand, but you must realize that we are your biggest advertiser (and if you publish that article about our role in South Africa you can forget about our advertising account).

?! ~le~~~;;~:~~~I!,a.CI_~s. ?r~~?~~e.g., Copi 1972). Thehrst are caused by leXIcal or grammaticaTambigulty ("Pleasing students can be trying") or shifts of accent ("Why did Adam eat the apple?': "Why did Adam eat the apple?"); they correspond more or less with Aristotle's fallacies in dictione. Fallacies of
.. .. no log~cal )ustIfica.tion for t~~,?J:iI1~~I1_~.x.::g::ssed; aJ! th~ ~~~'_!~.:.L~ay be:. a effective means to persuade an audience. Alongside secundum \\ rhetoncally ----.~" ..--... -.-------".-.. --- .... --..... ..... ..._.-,-- ....-~.~"---..-.

re~an ~~~~~i;nE!~ ~~~~!:t.f~acLe.-.~:!~eY-':~':'~~E~I:.:,a~_!~:.?e~a._~~~~~

-- -.--





The argumentum ad misericordiam ("pity argument") is a fallacy in which an unjustified appeal is made to the audience's compassion in order to further one's own interests: If you don't improve my grade for this course I will lose my self-esteem and find it difficult to continue with my life. ,; The argumentum ad populum ("argument directed at the people"), some\ times referred to as "mob appeal" or as "snob appeal", "app~~_ p\~~~~s_~f~ particlJlaL@sl}.~~his is, for instance, done by contrasting "we" (the speaker and his audience) and "they" (those against whom the discourse is aimed). The following might be an example: There is nothing to be gained from these proposals: We socialists all know that the , arms race is carefully maintained by the arms manufacturers and that in the final analysis it's just a matter oflining the pockets of a crowd of unscrupulous shareholders. /

"Straw man" is the fallacy of attributing a fictitious or distorted standpoint to another party that makes it easier to deal with. Somewhere between the fallacies of ambiguity and the fallacies of relevance, we find the fallacies of composition and division. The fallacy of composition arises when characteristics of the parts are attributed to the whole in order to make a standpoint with respect to the whole acceptable. For example: All the parts of the machine are light in weight, therefore the machine is light in weight. We use real butter, cream, and fresh lettuce, so our meals are delicious. The fallacy of division is the converse: The machine is heavy; therefore all the parts of the machine are heavy. The Catholic Church is a church for poor people; therefore the Catholic Church is poor.



The argumentum ad consequentiam ("consequence-directed argument" or "wishful thinking") is a fallacy in which a specific favorable or unfavorable light is cast on a factual thesis just by pointing out its possible desirable or undesirable consequences. For exam pIe: We may suppose no H-bombs will ever hit the Netherlands, for our country is so small that nothing would remain of it. (From a Civil Defense pamphlet issued in the sixties) Or: God exists; otherwise life would be without hope. The slippery slope fallacy is a special case of argumentum ad consequentiam, in which the speculation on unsubstantiated negative consequences of a proposed course is carried to an extreme. This fallacy entails wrongly suggesting that by taking the proposed course one will be going from bad to worse. In discussions about legalizing abortion and euthanasia, this type of argument occurs frequently: If we start making euthanasia legal, we'll end up with gas chambers like in Nazi Germany.

These examples show that properties of the parts are not automatically transferable to the whole, and vice versa. Here the words "light" and "heavy" refer to relative properties. As soon as there are enough light parts, they will make the machine heavy.

6.3 Modern Theoretical Approaches to the Fallacies 6.3. 1 Hamblin's Criticisms of the Standard Treatment In Fallacies (1970 ), an influential survey of the history of the study offallacies since Aristotle, the Australian philosopher, Charles Hamblin, observes such a uniformity in contemporary treatments of fallacies in prominent logic textbooks that he speaks of the standard treatment, "the typical or average account as it appears in the typical short chapter or appendix of the average modern textbook" (1970: l2). This characterization is based on textbooks by Cohen and Nagel (1934119 6 4), Black (1946), Oesterlee (1952), Copi (195311972), Schipper and Schuh (19 60 ), and Salmon (1963), but also applies to other textbooks, such as Beardsley (195 0 ), Fearnside and Holther (1959), Carney and Scheer (1964), Rescher (1964), Kahane (1969,1971), Michalos (1970 ), Gutenplan and Tamny (197 1), and Purtill (1972). It should be added, however, thatthe unanimity in the textbooks is not as striking as Hamblin suggests.





Hamblin's book, which also contains Hamblin's own theoretical contribution to the study of fallacies, is now a standard work on the subject. It is not only important because of the excellent historical overview, but also because of its diagnosis of the shortcomings of the standard treatment. These criticisms are devastating: '" what we find in most cases, I think it should be admitted, is as debased, wornout and dogmatic a treatment as could be imagined - incredibly traditionbound, yet lacking in logic and historical sense alike, and almost without connection to anything else in modern logic at all (1970: 12). This quotation illustrates Hamblin's earlier lament: We have no theory of fallacy at all, in the sense in which we have theories of correct reasoning or inference (1970: 11). According to Hamblin, the shortcomings of the standard treatment already reveal themselves in the standard definition of the term fallacy: A fallacious argument, as almost every account from Aristotle onwards tells you, is one that seems to be valid but is notso (1970: 12). The problem with this definition is that most fallacies discussed in the standard treatment do not fit with it. In fact, only a few formal fallacies fall without any problems under the definition. This applies, for instance, to two cases of treating a sufficient condition as a necessary condition: affirming the consequent and denying the antecedent (inferring from the premises "If A then B" and "B" that ''If: and inferring from the premises "If A then B" and "not-A" that "not B': respectively). The mismatch between the definition and the fallacies in most other cases is sometimes due to the fact that there is no argument; in other cases, the reason is that the argument is not invalid at all in modern interpretations. As an example of the former, Hamblin mentions the fallacy of many questions, and as an example of the latter, he refers to the fallacy of begging the question (petitio principii, circular reasoning). With respect to the fallacy of many questions, Hamblin writes: ... a man who asks a misleading question can hardly be said to have argued, validly or invalidly, for anything at all. Where are his premises and what is his conclusion? (1970: 39)

And with respect to the fallacy of begging the question, he says: However, by far the most important controversy surrounding petitio principii concerns J.S. Mill's claim that all valid reasoning commits the fallacy (1970: 35). This can be illustrated with an example: That is my bicycle; therefore this is my bicycle. In a debate about whose bicycle it is, this argument is unlikely to have much effect, since the premise only repeats the conclusion. But according to standard logic, the argument as such is not invalid, since it substantiates a valid argument form: A; therefore A. In still other cases, it would be highly overdoing things if one looked for the error in the invalidity of the argument, since the fallaciousness primarily has to do with the incorrectness of an unexpressed premise. This is true for fallacies such as the argumentum ad verecundiam and the argumentum ad populum, but also for the argumentum ad hominem. We can demonstrate this point by referring to an earlier example of an argumentum ad verecundiam: Of course Beethoven dictated that symphony to Rosemary Brown: in Playboy the famous auilior Elisabeili Kiibler-Ross recently explained iliat communication with the dead is perfectly possible. The "fault" here appears to exist not so much in the form ofthe argument as in the incorrectness of an unexpressed premise (d. Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992: 60-72). If this unexpressed premise is made explicit, the argument is not per se invalid:
(1) Elisabeth Kiibler-Ross has said iliat communication with the dead is possible

(2) Kiibler-Ross is an authority in the field of occultism: everything she says

about it is true Therefore: (3) It is possible that Beethoven dictated that symphony to Rosemary Brown This argument has the following form:




(1') X says that S is possible; this is a statement of type T (2') Every thing X says about statements of type T is true

(3') S is possible

Here we face, in Hamblin's words, the problem of "nailing" a fallacy: the accused can quasi-naively maintain that no argument has been advanced. Hamblin describes how that defense could proceed with regard to the use of an argumentum ad hominem:
Person A makes statement S: person B says "It was Cwho told you that, and I happen to know that his mother-in-law is living in sin with a Russian": A objects, "The falsity of S does not follow from any facts about the morals of Cs motherin-law: that is an argumentum ad hominem": Bmayreply"I did not claim that it followed. I simply made a remark about incidentals of the statement's history. Draw what conclusion you like. If the cap fits ..." (1970: 224).

If an objection is made to the original argument, it is not very likely that it will concern the form of the argument. More likely it will be the content that causes problems. Such an objection would, for example, be "It's easy enough for Kiibler- Ross to say things like that" or "Just how does that Kiibler- Ross person know so much, then?" Another example of overdoing things by looking at the validity of the argument is Copi's illustration of the abusive variant of the argumentum ad hominem, a head-on personal attack in which the opponent is portrayed as stupid, dishonest or unreliable, thereby undermining the opponent's credibility:
Bacon's philosophy is untrustworthy because he was removed from his chancellorship for dishonesty (1972: 75).


Post-Hamblin Treatments of the Fallacies Hamblin's criticisms of the standard treatment have led to various kinds of reactions (see Grootendorst 1987). In textbooks on logic, there was initially very little noticeable effect. In reprints of Copi (1953), Rescher (19 6 4), Carney and Scheer (1964), for example, no attempt was made to deal with Hamblin's objections. Copi, for one, states in his preface to the fourth edition of Introduction to Logic (1972) that in the chapter on fallacies he made grateful use of Hamblin's critical remarks; however, a closer comparison reveals that, aside from a few minor alterations, Copi adheres strictly to the standard treatment. An extreme reaction is Lambert and Ulrich's, who thought it better to totally drop informal fallacies from logic textbooks (1980: 24-28). Lambert and Ulrich clarified their drastic step by means of a discussion of the argumentum ad hominem, which they define as an attempt to cast doubt on someone's standpoint by bringing that person's reputation into disrepute. They contend that it is impossible to characterize the argumentum ad hominem satisfactorily by appealing to its form or to its content. Their general conclusion runs as follows:

In this example, there is indeed an argument, but its fallaciousness seems to be lurking in the unacceptability of the unexpressed premise (Why should a swindler not have any interesting philosophical ideas?) rather than in the invalidity of the argument. Many examples of the argumentum ad hominem are not even presented as arguments that have the form of a premise-conclusion sequence. Granted, some of them could be reconstructed as such without difficulty, but others cannot. Take this example from Schopenhauer's "Eristische Dialektik;'written between 1818 and 1830:
Vertheidigt er [der GegnerJz.B. den Selbstmord, so schreit man gleich "warum hangst du dich nicht auf" [If the opponent defends suicide, one immediately yells
"Why don't you hang yourselR"J (p.685)

It is not immediately clear what the reconstruction should look like:

(a) Suicide is wrong, because you don't hang yourself (b) Your defense of suicide is worthless since you don't hang yourself (c) You are inconsistent becauseyou defend suicide but you don't hang yourself (d) You should hang yourself because you defend suicide ... until a general characterization of informal fallacies can be given which enables one to tell with respect to any argument whether or not it exhibits one of the informal fallacies, knowing how to label certain paradigm cases of this or that mistake in reasoning is not really useful for determining whether a given argument is acceptable (1980: 28).

It is difficult to make a well-founded choice between the alternatives because it is hard to determine what the speaker can be held to. Each reconstruction seems somewhat more absurd than the next.

As exemplified in Hans V. Hansen and Robert C. Pinto's collection of readings, Fallacies (eds. 1995), Hamblin's book has been a great source of inspiration to argumentation scholars. Post-Hamblin attempts to create a better al-



ternative to the standard treatment may differ considerably in their approaches, objectives, methods and emphases, but they invariably refer to his criticisms. Pace philosophers such as Augustus de Morgan (1806-1871) and Gerald Massey (born 1934), who do not believe that a theory of fallacies is possible, several new theoretical approaches have developed. Apart from their own involvement, Hansen and Pinto's book shows the active involvement in the study of the fallacies of other contemporary Canadian and American informal logicians, such as J. Anthony Blair, Ralph H. Johnson, Alan Brinton, Trudy Govier, James B. Freeman and David Hitchcock. They pay special attention to the conditions under which a specific argumentative I i move should count as a fallacy. ]:he ~~~Rhers JohnJ~!!Q~!!~:U::I~ "~I Siegel's (122.2), still embryoIlic, ep!~teIl1j~ ~r,!ch.ItJ>J"~~,juiifferenL ' view o~:he f~!La.~i~.as ~d~~l!1Q!s_,t:Q ~J(P~~~E.~<?~I.:..~. Besides' , Hambhns (197 0 ) own contrIbUtion to the theory of fallacies, which is cast in I I the mold of a system of rules called formal dialectics, other constructive proposals are made by the American philosopher Maurice Finocchiaro (1987) and the Finnish-American logician Taakko Hintikka (1987). Finocchiaro opts for a middle course between abstract theoretical considerations and data-oriented empirical observation. Hintikka argues, in a dialectical vein, that the Aristotelian fallacies should not be primarily viewed as wrong inferences, but as interrogative mistakes in question -dialogues. Various approaches to the fallacies have recently developed that involve an extensive research program. Among them are the formal approach chosen by , Woods and Walton, the formal-dialectical approach proposed by Barth and Krabbe, the pragma-dialectical approach initiated by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst and Walton's pragmatic approach. These distinct contributions to the study of fallacies will now be discussed separately.

their starting point. They conclude that deductive logic is not sufficient to deal with all the different types of fallacies. In their opinion, however, it does not follow that the theory of fallacies should necessarily be non-formal. As their collected papers, Fallacies: Selected Papers 1972-1982 (1989), makes clear, Woods and Walton take the view that the fallacy itself should determine how it might be dealt with theoretically. Common methodological starting points of their approach are that fallacies can be usefully analyzed with the help of the structures and theoretical vocabulary oflogical systems, including systems of dialectical logic, and that successful analyses of a great many fallacies will have features that qualify those analyses as formal in some sense. They tend to organize the fallacies into grades of formality. First, there are fallacies, such as the classical fallacy of "four terms", that are formal in the strict sense; they are analyzable with the help of concepts wholly or partly described in the technical vocabulary or the formal structures of a system oflogic or other formal theory (four terms, for example, with the help of the classical definition of a syllogism). At the second grade of formality, there are fallacies, such as the fallacies of ambiguity, which are not formal in the strict sense, but whose commission is partly made explicable by reference to logical forms. At the third grade of formality, there are fallacies, such as petitio principii, which are formally analyzable in an even weaker sense. This third grade of formality, which is most prominently realized in Woods and Walton's work, can be clarified by turning to a definition of formal analyzability they approve of:
A fallacy F is formally analyzableto the extent that its analysis introduces concepts which are described, in whole or part, by employing the technical vocabulary and! or the formal structures of a system oflogic or other sort of formal theory.


The Woods-Walton Approach The most continuous and extensive post-Hamblin contribution to the study of the fallacies is provided by the Canadian logicians and argumentation theorists, John Woods and Douglas N. Walton. In a series of co-authored articles and books and several independently authored publications, they substantiate their remedy for the standard treatment. They deal with the various kinds of fallacies by calling on more sophisticated modern logics than just syllogistic, propositional, and predicate logics. The Woods-Walton approach is exhibited in the textbook Argument: The Logic ofthe Fallacies (1982). Aiming for a better and more coherent treatment of the fallacies than the standard treatment provides, Woods and Walton take the theoretical framework of logic as

In English, "formality", it must be noted, is a multiple-ambiguous word. All sort of things and situations count as formal, from "formal evening" to "formal speech", all the way up to theories oflogical form. There is "good form" in tennis, and telling off-color jokes is considered "bad form" in polite society. The concept of formality that gives sense to the definition of formal analyzability is approximately this. Sometimes a definition is said to be "formal" when it is exact, explicit, general and rigorous. So, for example, the definition of the successor of any number n as the number n + 1 would qualify as "formal" in this present sense. Similarly, a theory could be said to be a "formal theory" to the extent that its definitions were formal, and its assertions were explicitly and rigorously demonstrated. Especially significant would be those theories, such as number theory, or set theory, whose sets of theorems are infinitely large, but which are nonetheless finitely axiomatizable. For such a





thing to be true, it is basically the case that axioms are given by way of finite numbers of axiom schemata. Two examples of the formal analyses typical of the Woods-Walton approach are mentioned here. They illustrate the general conception of formality that enters into the work of Woods and Walton at the third grade. In several chapters of Fallacies: Selected Papers, Woods and Walton analyze the logical structure of dialectical arguments that satisfy the "no-retraction rule" as arguments that have the property of cumulativity. Cumulativity is analyzed, in turn, as a certain kind of"Kripke-structure", introduced by Saul A. Kripke in his "Seman tical analysis of intuitionistic logic I" (1965). Woods and Walton show that the fallacy of petitio principii cannot be committed in such structures, that is, that the formally analyzable property of cumulativeness precludes the petitio. 2 In another example, Woods and Walton set out to show that the analysis of the fallacies of composition and division rests on a good theoretical account of the part-whole relation. This assumption seems a reasonable one, in as much as these fallacies involve incorrect inferences from properties of wholes to properties of their parts, and from properties of parts to properties of the wholes of which they are parts. In Fallacies: Selected Papers, the authors show that neither ordinary set theory nor a standard deviation from it known as "mereology" will suffice for the correct analysis of composition and division fallacies (1989: Ch. 8). The formal theory ofthe part -whole relation known as aggregate theory, as developed by Tyler Burge (1977: 97-118), is a more adequate theoretical toO!.3 In their analyses of fallacies, Woods and Walton draw upon Hamblin's concepts of commitment sets and retraction. Thus, their analyses are not only formally oriented, but also dialectical. Another typical feature of the WoodsWalton approach is that it is pluralistic. History has endowed a great many rather different phenomena with the name of fallacy. In Woods and Walton's view, it makes no more sense to suppose that they must all be given a common analysis than it does to suppose that all diseases should be given the same di\/ ,{J , ,; r 11 agnosis and treatment.

~ _ _ _ , , _ _ _ >~". __ _ _ _ _ ~ __ ~~~o- ~--'- . . '~ - . - - - - - - - - , - _ . _ '"~""." , .

of production rules for rational arguments. Only (and all) arguments that can be generated by these rules are rational arguments, and fallacies can be analyzed as argumentative moves that cannotbe generated by the rules. They provide a description of the sets of rules constituting such systems of formal dialectics in From Axiom to Dialogue (1982). Instead of being given ad hoc explanations, as in the standard treatment, the fallacies in formal dialectics can be systematically analyzed, which is illustrated in Barth and Martens (1977) with respect to the argumentum ad hominem. In fact, in Barth and Martens (1977), the argumentum ad hominem is not treated as a fallacy but as an admissible discussion move" ex concessis': According to Barth and Martens, each individual rule of the formal-dialectical rules for generating rational arguments states a sufficient condition for the rationality of a generated argument; all (and only) arguments that can be generated by one or more of these rules are rational arguments. Fallacies can thus be "unmasked" as argumentative moves that cannotbe generated by the production rules (1977: 96).
. . " . - - - ' -,------, .----. _ ----.' --


The Pragma-Dialectical Approach The "pragma-dialectical" approach, developed in Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions (1984) and Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies (199 2 ) by the Dutch argumentation theorists Frans H. van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst, links up with formal dialectics. It starts, however, from the conviction that the single-minded preoccupation with the logical aspects of arguments should be abandoned and that the fallacies can be better understood as wrong moves in the communication process of argumentative discourse. A fallacy is in the pragma-dialectical approach regarded as a hindrance or impediment for the resolution of a disagreement, and the specific nature of a particular fallacy depends on the way in which it interferes with the resolution process. In the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation, a critical-rationalist philosophy of reasonableness is given shape in an ideal model of critical discussion that specifies the stages that are to be distinguished analytically in the resolution process and the verbal moves that are constitutive of each of these stages. In all stages of a critical discussion, the protagonist and the antagonist of the standpoint at issue must observe all the rules for the performance of speech acts that are instrumental in resolving the dispute. These rules can be recapitulated in a series of basic principles, each of which expresses a separate standard or norm for critical discussion. Any infringement, whichever party commits it, and at whatever stage in the discussion, is a possible threat to the resolution of a difference of opinion and must therefore be regarded as an in-









"c. 'II

"Ny I,

A major methodical attempt to create a "formal-dialectical" theoretical framework, partly based on the dialogue logic of the Erlangen School, is undertaken by the Dutch philosophers and logicians Else M. Barth and Erik C. W. Krabbe. They envision a theory of rational argumentation as a finite set




correct discussion move or "fallacy." The term fallacy is thus systematically connected with the rules for critical discussion and defined as a speech act that prejudices or frustrates efforts to resolve a difference ofopinion. When it comes to the detection of fallacies, the pragma-dialectical analysis starts with interpreting an utterance in a discourse aimed at resolving a difference of opinion as a particular kind of speech act. Then it must be determined i whether the performance of this speech act agrees with the rules for critical It discussion. If the speech act violates any of these rules, it must be determined wha~ kind. of ~orm viol~tio.n it entails. Only after it has become clear which I' speClfi~ cntenon for satIsfying a norm pertaining to a particular stage of the resolutIOn process has not been met, can it be determined which fallacy has been committed.

in the protagonist retracting the standpoint and a successful defense in the antagonist retracting the doubt (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 2001).

6.3.6 Walton's Pragmatic Approach Written in a similar theoretical vein, Douglas N. Walton's Informal Fallacies (1987) marks a new stage in his development. To find a solution to the problems involved in analyzing fallacies, Walton now not only makes formal logic subservient to dialectic, but also turns to pragmatics, albeit in a very broad sense. Walton, a highly prolific author, now tends to _<::()_IE.1:~~~.!E~_s.!!:t_c!Y.2nn:dividual fallacies with exa~..!!!!!-life.~algngjh~Q!1!!i&Q~ ~Yses, he associates fallacies with illicit "dialectical shifts" from one type of dialogue to another. An argument that appears correct may actually be incorrect when it is used after a shift in a type of dialogue where it is no longer appropriate or even obstructive in view of the type of dialogue the participants were originally engaged in. An ad baculum involving a veiled threat, for example, can be appropriate in a negotiation dialogue but not in a persuasion dialogue. A systematic treatment of normative models of dialogue, which can serve as guidelines for a critical evaluation of fallacious dialogue shifts, is given in Walton and Krabbe (1995) Early signs of the new developments in Walton's approach to the fallacies can be found in Logical Dialogue-Games and Fallacies (1984). In this book, a new theoretical approach is chosen to provide an analysis of informal fallacies frequently encountered in ordinary argumentation. In Walton's opinion, the standard treatment lacks an analysis of this group of fallacies because this treatment starts from a limited definition of validity. The so-called logical dialogue games developed by Hamblin, Mackenzie, Hintikka and Rescher provide a more suitable theoretical framework for the analysis of fallacies such as the argumentum ad hominem, petitio principii, argumentu m ad ignorantiam, ignoratio elenchi, many questions, argumentum ad baculum, straw man and argumentum ad verecundiam. Another early sign of the direction Walton's work was going to take is Arguer's Position (1985). This book deals with the question under which conditions the circumstantial variant of the argumentum ad hominem is a sound form of argumentation. Starting from Grice's theory of conversation, the relevance logic of Davidson and Porn, and the theoretical proposals concerning formal dialogue games, an analysis is given of the ad hominem. Walton's conclusion is that ad hominem refutations are sometimes effective and sound, but ad hominem attacks are usually not. Among Walton's other individual books are Informal Fallacies (1987) and Informal Logic (1989). The first book we mentioned already; it deals with the



Rilth~!~haI1~?!l.id~I:ing the fall(l~ie,flS belonging1Mn unstructured list of

\nom~~al:":<lt~E()!:i~~iEherit~QJ:!Q1J1 th~PilS!, ~j!! !h~ st~ treatme%~ ~~S~d'::'IIl:g~ fallaci~_~!Q1~yj21ati01l1.QfgJl~<:!!!d the sa~~dity) norm,

a~ I~ ~he 10gIco-~en!!:ic approaches, t~:l?!:'!K...~gl.i!l.qjcal ap12rOOCh differ~ t:f.t~at~~~!~riety of ~ A comparison shows that fallacies hICh were tradItIOnally only nommally lumped together are now either ,hown to have something in common or clearly distinguished, whereas genuinely related fallacies that were separated are brought together. For instance, two variants of ad populum are distinguished, the one being a violation of the Relevance Rule that a party may defend its standpoint only by advancing argumentation related to that standpoint, the other being a violation of the Argument Scheme Rule that a standpoint may not be regarded as conclusively defended if the defense does not take place by means of a correctly applied appropriate argument scheme. This shows that these variants are, in fact, notof the same kind. And analyzing one particular variant of ad verecundiam and one particular variant of ad populum as violations of the same Argument Scheme Rule makes it clear that, seen from the perspective of resolving a difference of opinion, these variants areof the same kind. The pragma-dialectical approach also enables the analysis of thus far unrecognized and unnamed "new" obstacles to resolving a difference of opinion. Examples are declaring a standpoint sacrosanct, a violation of the Freedom Rule that parties must not prevent each other from putting forward standpoints or casting doubt on standpoints; evading or shifting the burden of proof, violations of the Burden of Proof Rule that a party who puts forward a standpoint is obliged to defend that standpoint if asked to; denying an unexpressed premise, a violation of the Unexpressed Premise Rule that a party may not falsely present something as a premise that has been left unexpressed, or deny a premise that has been left implicit; and making an absolute ofthe success of the defense, a violation of the Closure Rule that a failed defense must result






question how the reasonableness or unreasonableness of argumentation in everyday language can be assessed. How should argumentation be judged and when is criticism justified? Walton shows that many of the informal fallacies represent a valuable form of criticism. In some cases so-called fallacies can be regarded as reasonable argumentation. A functional and dialogical perspective is favored in Plausible Argument in Everyday Conversation (199 2b ). Walton distinguishes between various types of dialogues and different types of reasoning. He examines how arguments are used in the various types of dialogues and which fallacies can be committed. In The Place ofEmotion in Argument (1992a) it is argued that in persuasive dialogues it can be legitimate to try to convince the interlocutor by appealing to the emotions. In some cases, however, such an appeal is fallacious. A Pragmatic Theory ofFallacy (1995) describes how an argument is (mis)used in the context of conversation. I,U.~~!lli!~<L!h-'!L!h,~~~Qdd.!~~tbook f~1!g~asically reasQoahJ!! !,:e~llIIlPtivetypesof arguments~h.~!~~,Y,~Q'~ll1l:i,\:dinappxoptjateJyju a pat:ticular normative structure of dialogue, iI1y~lviI?:g'!:~hiftfr!?!ll on~~ of di::. alogue to anq!h~J. ""s~'ill'~"~rWalton's books are specifically devoted to a particular fallacy. In Begging the Question: Circular Reasoning as a Tactic ofArgumentation (1991), a pragmatic approach to dialogues leads to a theory of circular reasoning as an informal fallacy. Circular reasoning is analyzed as an attempt to evade the burden of proof by blocking the dialogue and depriving the opponent of the opportunity to ask critical questions. Slippery Slope Arguments (199 2c) discusses the assessment of slippery slope arguments. Walton differentiates four types of slippery slope and provides a dialectical analysis. Other books by Walton dealing with specific fallacies are Arguments from Ignorance (1996b),

Bibliography Aristotle (1928). Prior Analytics. Translation edited by W.D. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aristotle (1924). Rhetoric. Translation edited by W.D. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aristotle (1928). Sophistical Refutations. Translation edited by W.D. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aristotle (1928). Topics. Translation edited by W.D. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Arnauld, A. (1662/1964). The Art of Thinking (Port Royal Logic). Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. English translation of La logique, ou I'art de penser. Bacon, F. (1605/1975). The Advancement ofLearning. Edited by W.A. Armstrong. London: Athlone Press. Barth, E.M., and E.C.W. Krabbe (1982). From Axiom to Dialogue. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Barth, E.M., and J. L. Martens (1977). ''Argumentum ad Hominem: From Chaos to Formal Dialectic. The method of Dialogue Tableaus as a Tool in the Theory of Fallacy:' Logique etAnalyse, 20, 76-96. Beardsley, M.e. (1950). Thinking Straight: Principles ofReasoning for Readers and Writers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1950. Biro,J., and H. Siegel (1992). "Normativity,Argumentation and an Epistemic Theory of Fallacies." In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and C.A. Willard (Eds.), Argumentation Illuminated. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 85103.

FaliaciesArisingfromAmbiguity (1996a),Appeal to Pity: ArgumentumAd Misericordiam (1997), Ad Hominem Arguments (1998a), Appeal to Expert Opinion: Arguments from Authority (1998b ) and Appeal to Popular Opinion (1999).

Notes 1 For differences within the standard treatment of the argumentum ad hominem, see Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1993: 54-57. 2 See, in particular, Woods and Walton 1989: Ch.1O and 19. 3 See Woods (1980), Woods and Walton (1989: Ch. 8),and Burge (1977: 97-118).

Black, M. (1946). Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bueno, A. A. (1988). ''Aristotle, the Fallacy of Accident, and the Nature of Predication:' Journal of the History ofPhilosophy, 26, 5-24. Burge,T. (1977). "A Theory of Aggregates." Nousn,97-n8. Carney, J.D., and R.K. Scheer (1964). Fundamentals ofLogic. New York: Macmillan. Cohen, M.R., and E. Nagel (1934/1964). An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Copi, I. M. (195311972). Introduction to Logic. New York, 1953. 4th edition 1972. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1984). Speech Acts in Argumentative

Discussions: A Theoretical Model for the Analysis ofDiscussions Directed towards Solving Conflicts ofOpinion. Berlin/Dordrecht: Walter de Gruyterl
Foris. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1992). Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.




Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (1993). "The History of the Argumentum Ad Hominem since the Seventeenth Century." In: Krabbe, E.e.W., R.J. Dalitz, and P.A. Smit (Eds.), Empirical Logic and Public Debate: Essays in Honour ofElse M. Barth. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi, 49-68. Eemeren, EH. van, and R. Grootendorst (2001). Critical Discussion. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Fearnside, W.W., and W.B. Holther (1959). Fallacy: The Counterfeit ofArgument. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Finocchiaro, M.A. (1974). "The Concept of Ad Hominem Argument in Galileo and Locke:' The Philosophical Forum, 5, 394-404. Finocchiaro, M.A. (1987). "Six Types of Fallaciousness: Toward a Realistic Theory of Logical Criticism:' Argumentation, 1, 263-282. Grootendorst, R. (1987). "Some Fallacies about Fallacies:' In: Eemeren, EH. van, R. Grootendorst, J.A. Blair, and e.A. Willard (Eds.), Argumentation:

Across the Lines ofDiscipline. Proceedings of the Conference onArgumentation 1986. Dordrecht: Foris, 331-342. Gutenplan, S.D., and M. Tamny (1971). Logic. A Comprehensive Introduction.
New York: Basic Books. Hamblin, e.L. (1970). Fallacies. London: Methuen. Photographic reprint Newport News, VA: Vale Press. Hamilton, E., and H. Cairns (Eds.1994). The Collected Dialogues ofPlato, Including the Letters (Bollingen Series LXXI. Euthydemus translated by W. H. D. Rouse) (15th pr., 1st pr.1961). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Hansen, H.Y., and R.e. Pinto (Eds.1995). Fallacies: Classical and Contemporary Readings. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Hintikka, J. (1987). "The Fallacy of Fallacies." Argumentation 1, 211-238. Kahane, H. (1969). Logic and Philosophy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Kahane, H. (1971). Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use ofReasoning in Everyday Life. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Kripke, S.A. (1965). "SemanticalAnalysis ofIntuitionistic Logic 1:' In: Crossley, J.N. and M.A.E. Dummett (Eds.), Formal Systems and Recursive Functions. Amsterdam: NorthHolland, 92-130. Lambert, K., and W. Ulrich (1980). The Nature ofArgument. New York: Macmillan/ Collier-Macmillan. Locke, J. (1690/1961). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Edited and with an introduction by J.W. Yolton. London: Dent. Michalos, A. e. (1970). Improving your Reasoning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Mill, J.S. (1843/1970). A System ofLogic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Being a

Connected View of the Principles ofEvidence and the Methods ofScientific Investigation. London: Longman.

Nuchelmans, G. (1993). "On the Fourfold Root of the ArgumentumAd Hominem."In: Krabbe,E.e.W., R.J. Dalitz and P.A. Smit (Eds.), Empirical Logic and Public Debate: Essays in Honour ofElse M. Barth. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi,37-47. Oesterlee, J.A. (1952). Logic: The Art ofDefining and Reasoning. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Purtill, R.L. (1972). Logical Thinking. New York: Harper & Row. Rescher, N. (1964). Introduction to Logic. New York: St. Martin's Press. Rijk,L.M. de (1962). "On the Twelfth-Century Theories of Fallacy." Logica Modernorum: A Contribution to the History ofEarly Terminist Logic, 1. Assen: Van Gorcum. Salmon, w.e. (1963). Logic. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Schipper, E.W., and E. Schuh (1960). A First Course in Modern Logic. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Walton, D.N. (1984). Logical Dialogue Games and Fallacies. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Walton, D.N. (1985). Arguer's Position: A Pragmatic Study ofAd Hominem Attack, Criticism, Refutation, and Fallacy (Contributions in Philosophy 26). Westport/London: Greenwood Press. Walton, D.N. (1987). Informal Fallacies. Towards a Theory ofArgument Criticisms. Pragmatics and Beyond Companian Series 4. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Walton, D.N. (1989). Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Walton, D.N. (1991). Begging the Question. New York: Greenwood Press. Walton, D.N. (1992a). The Place ofEmotion in Argument. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Walton, D.N. (1992b). Plausible Argument in Everyday Conversation. Buffalo: SUNY Press. Walton, D.N. (1992C). Slippery SlopeArguments. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Walton, D.N. (1995). A Pragmatic Theory ofFallacy. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. Walton, D.N. (1996a). FallaciesArisingfromAmbiguity. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Walton, D.N. (1996b). Arguments from Ignorance. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Walton, D.N. (1997). Appeal to Pity. ArgumentumAd Misericordiam. New York: SUNY Press. Walton, D.N. (1998a). Ad Hominem Arguments. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. Walton, D.N. (1998b). Appeal to Expert Opinion: Arguments from Authority. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.


Walton, D. (1999). Appeal to Popular Opinion. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Walton, D.N., andE.C.W. Krabbe (1995). Commitment in Dialogue: Basic Concepts ofInterpersonal Reasoning. New York: SUNY Press. Whately, R. (1826/1975). Elements ofLogic. A facsimile reproduction with an introduction by Ray E. McKerrow. Delmar, N.Y: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints. Woods, 1. (1980). "What is Informal Logic?" In: Blair, J.A., and R.H. Johnson (Eds.), Informal Logic: The First International Symposium. Point Reyes, CA: Edgepress,57-68. Woods, J., and D.N. Walton (1982). Argument: The Logic ofthe Fallacies. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Woods, J., and D.N. Walton (1989). Fallacies: Selected Papers 1972 -1982. Berlin/Dordrecht: De Gruyter/Foris.

7 Argument Interpretation and Reconstruction

M. Agnes van Rees

7.1 Introduction Arguments occur in actual, ordinary discourse such as written texts of all kinds, speeches and other types of oral discourse including everyday conversation, negotiation, and discussion. The elements that make up an argument are usually not fully explicit in the discourse. Or if they are, they are often expressed in an indirect fashion; their argumentative character is not immediately evident. On top of that, argumentative elements are usually inextricably intertwined with other textual structures in the discourse. Yet, ordinary language users recognize arguments and respond to arguments, extracting implicit elements, getting at what is expressed indirectly, and unraveling the argument from the amalgam of details happening in the discourse. The interpretative activity that this involves is necessary for ordinary listeners or readers, because each utterance directed at them invites their reactions, and they need to gain an understanding of what it means in order to find a basis on which to react. In this chapter, the te!!!!_~r!:!1!!ent 0terpre~!!!i0'2 wi!!!?~.. ' refer the arguments III a Cliscourse.1 --I;; many iespects:;;g~~;;;tation scholars who want to describe, explain or evaluate the arguments occurring in a particular piece of discourse face the same problems as ordinary language users. However., u~IQ<.:_~9~t.Q!4in<l;ry language users, argumentation~c~?!.a.~~~ave the~r~ticallymotiYil!:d.~~;~~ ()f whatargumentatlonls:~nd what evaluation st':ll}<:t'!rgilI~ ~21'!iS.<1.j:>!e. ~d a~_ soon as meY'begirifo'apply these'~i~w~ to actual argumentative discourse, li:hey'rtiiCffii~.itiflL~@;,Adual d!scourse';'hyits n~t~:;:e;' tYPically d~es not conform to the conceptions of a theoretical model in a straightforward manner. On the one hand, the argumentative elements that occur in the model are hardly ever explicitly present in the discourse, or if they are, they are expressed in an indirect fashion. On the other hand, lots of things other than those specified in the model are present in the discourse. Th~~!!!~!l.~lhat'.il!K'!..~~-1 tion SChOlars. havet.~. :.~.'<::!lstr~~.!h.~_<!!~~._.0 .. U!~.I.~gy~~ . ,,! e>,f._!p . . e. .i.EP~. r . . tic.,!l . . .I.a ...r . . . !~e.(~. .retical interests and in terms of the categories of their particular theo!~!ical mCldeIs.Argumentreconstructlon;-then, inv~lves identifjring~~~ns~l~ting~ll


to.~~~i~ or~~rI~I!Z!li!gf~~r.~.5L<?l!!_9L<!~~.to.~!!~r~r/



those and only those elements that are relevant to the theoretical perspective and for the theoretical purpose of the analyst. Ordinary language users' understanding of discourse is studied in various areas of the social sciences, with different research methods and different conceptions of what it is to use language for communicating and interacting. 2 Notably, fields like discourse analysis, conversation analysis, linguistics and psycholinguistics are of relevance here. Understandably, argumentation as such is not the main focus of interest in these fields. Yet, there are many studies that address topics that are relevant for getting a clearer idea of how ordinary language users actually understand and interpret argumentative discourse. In 7.2 the research pertaining to argument interpretation will be reviewed. Surveying the research in argumentation theory, we find that the subject of argument reconstruction only rarely receives any attention as a topic for reflection in its own right. With the exception ofVan Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jackson and Jacobs (1993), no book-length publications on the subject have appeared. Usually, the literature deals with specific topics such as reconstructing unexpressed premises or argumentation structure. As Wayne Brockriede (1985), to mention just one classic source, has made amply clear, anything in any piece of discourse can be the focus of analysis, but it all depends on the emphasis and the perspective the analyst wishes to apply. This means that argument reconstruction can never be separated from the theoretical goals, the theoretical focus and the theoretical apparatus with which the discourse is approached. ~~S<?~~!~!:!fl!'Q!lJilw.\t)':s Rr~l!Rp'gSe,S.allartiJ:;ular,.p.Qin~ In 7.3 an overview is given of what the various theories ()f ~rgumen,t,~::,;!,9 say about the aims of reconstruction and the tqeoretical!'lpp~~!lli!J: should be brought to bear on it.

7.2.1 General Characteristics of Discourse Organization

Ordinary language users are guided in their interpretation of discourse by knowledge gathered from various sources. Foremost among these are knowledge about the type of speech event or the language activity the discourse is embedded in, and knowledge of conventional structures and strategies of discourse.

Imbedding Activity

,- .


, .


~ /,; i.

7.2 Argument Interpretation

This section first reviews some general characteristics of discourse organization that ordinary language users orient to when interpreting an argument (7.2.1). The exposition will then move on to research findings regarding particular features of argumentative discourse specifically relevant for argument interpretation: patterning and linguistic devices that serve as indicators of argumentative structures for ordinary language users (7.2.2). Finally, research into the everyday reasoning processes which ordinary-language users apply in argument interpretation will be discussed (7.2.3).

i,'., ; /


Hymes (1972) introduced the term speech evenEto refer to sOE~o~cl1.!tll~a.IIY~t!.~=~! -. -' ", 1 tablished !ypes gf verbal interacti0!l~which form part of the verbal repertoire j .,....,.... , .., ,,,,, "''''-''''''- " . ",,,.,,,,,,_.,,.,..''''''. 1 of the memb~I.:~j?fi!:,~E.~.~~~,~.I1l,!~ity. Each speech event is made up of a. p~~ticli"lar constellation of dimensions that define speech events. For exam pIe, the members of a particular speech community may distinguish a particular speech event such as the academic lecture. As a particular speech event, they will expect it to be situated in a particular physical setting, the lecture hall; they will expect it to be participated in by a particular constellation of speakers and listeners, that is, one speaker and a number oflisteners, who occupy these positions by virtue of the particular types of roles they enact; they will expect it to have particular functions; they will expect the participants to have particular goals; they will have particular expectations as to the type of topics, the type of speech acts, the overall arrangement or order of these, and the ~tyle of language use; and they will expect there to be a particular set of norms in effect that will determine who is supposed to do what and when. These expectations shape the interpretation that the members of this speech community assign to the behavior, both verbal and non-verbal, of the partici pants in this particular type of speech event. Levinson (1979) focuse~QJe closely on the relatio~hi~~w~~ech ev~hich he c~ivity types, and the verbal and nonverbal contribu tioiis"io theactivity, il1c1udmg ~terpretation which these receive. He contends that activity types - which he defines as goal-defined, socially constituted, bounded events, with particular constraints on participants, setting, etc.serve as a strong constraint on the kinds of allowable contributions, and the way these are interpreted. According to Levinson, the goal inherent to the activity type determines the parts that make up the activity as a whole, the prestructured sequences that make up each sub-part, and the functional adequacy of individual contributions therein. The given arrangement of a particular activity may be seen as a consequence of the rational organization of the activity around a dominant goal.




In this view, the structural properties of an activity constrain the function of the verbal contributions, as well as the interpretation these contributions may receiveY'It's five past twelve now" may, in the context of an academic lecture, and uttered by the lecturer at the beginning of the event, function as, and be interpreted as, announcing the beginning of the activity. In the same vein, Levinson shows how, in the context of court proceedings, more specifically cross-examination, questions by the cross-examiner function to extract from the witness answers that build up an argument for the jury, and are interpreted as such by the participants.

one does not want to know, and senseless to ask him something which one already knows, or which one does not believe he knows. So, if a speaker says
(1) Three 0' dock, right?

Rational Organization

The rational, goal-oriented organization of discourse is elaborated by Jacobs and Jackson (1983).4 They show how coherence in discourse can be accounted for by assuming that there is a fundamental system of rational principles for producing cooperative speech activity that underlies discourse. In their view, language use is a goal-oriented activity in which the participants try to reach goals through the verbal means conventionally associated with these goals, speech acts, while mutually aligning themselves to one another's actions. 5 What this means for the interpretation of utterances is that each utterance is interpreted in the light of some jointly pursued, socially defined goal that it can be assumed to be relevant to, as a particular speech act attempting to change particular beliefs and/or wants of the listener, implicating particular further intended consequences, or establishing particular sub-goals in the pursuit of a broader goal. 6 Jacobs and Jackson (1983), along with others (e.g., Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1984, 1992, Van Rees 1992a, 1992C), apply Searle's (1969,1975) felicity conditions for the performance of speech acts and Grice's (1975) Cooperative Principle as a theoretical framework for explaining the interpretation of speech acts in further detail. They present the view that conversationalists (like, in fact, participants in other forms of verbal interaction, both oral and written), barring evidence to the contrary, assume that a speaker will not perform senseless, superfluous, or insincere acts. Consequently, when a listener believes that a speaker knows (and knows that the listener knows he knows) that the preparatory or sincerity conditions for a particular speech act db not apply, he will assume that the speaker performed a different act. For example, the sincerity conditions for a question imply that the speaker wants the listener to provide him with certain information; the preparatory conditions, that the speaker does not himself already have the information required, but thinks the listener does? It would be insincere to ask someone something that

a listener can interpret this utterance as a question about the starting time for a meeting, provided he thinks the speaker may not be sure about the time of the meeting and wishes to obtain information on that score, and provided that he also thinks the speaker assumes that he (the listener) has access to that information. If, on the contrary, he believes that the speaker already knows what time the meeting is beginning and has no need for information regarding it, he can interpret the utterance as an attempt to remind him of it. The felicity conditions also play an important role in explaining the interpretation of cases in which a speech act is performed indirectly. In the indirect performance of a speech act, the literal force which the utterance carries in view of its syntactic and semantic characteristics differs from the force which the utterance actually obtains. An example is (2) Would you mind not ringing so late in future? in which the utterance has the literal force of a question asking about the willingness of the listener not to ring so late, whereas its actual force is that of a request to desist from ringing so late in future. In the indirect performance of a speech act, the speaker literally asks whether, or asserts that, one of the felicity conditions for that act is fulfilled. In the example above, the request is made by asking whether one of the preparatory conditions for requesting has been fulfilled, namely the condition of willingness on the part of the listener to accede to the request. Language users are aware of these regularities and have no trouble in interpreting indirect speech acts. 8 Another aspect of the rational, goal-oriented character of the organization of discourse is the use which speakers make of strategic devices. An important goal of participants in verbal interaction is to protect both their own social faces and that of their interlocutors (Goffrnan 1955). In order to do this, they apply various face-saving strategies in performing speech acts (Brown and Levinson 1987). Mitigating a face-threatening speech act by performing it indirectly is one such strategy. Another is to preface speech acts with preparatory moves in which the fulfillment of the felicity conditions of these speech acts is explored (Levinson 1983). Language users apply their knowledge ofthe strategic use of language in interpreting speech acts. This knowledge aids them in inferring what speech act a speaker may be performing in an indirect or implicit fashion, and in projecting intended speech act sequels.




These insights as to the rational, goal-oriented and strategic organization of discourse may be brought to bear in accounting for the interpretation of argumentative discourse, notably the interpretation of utterances as part of an argument. In the conception of language use which has been elaborated above, argumentation is viewed as a functional category - a speech act aimed at a particular goal, that of the regulation of disagreement (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1984, Jacobs and Jackson 1981). This implies that in a context of disagreement, argumentation is a relevant and foreseeable speech act. In such a context, an utterance which allows for interpretation as an argument can be interpreted accordingly. Moreover, argumentation is viewed as supporting the validity of a speech act, which depends upon the fulfilment of its felicity conditions. For that reason, argumentation can be expected to address the fulfilment of these same felicity conditions. So, if an utterance in a context of disagreement addresses issues that involve the fulfilment of the felicity conditions of a particular speech act which stands in need of support, that utterance can be interpreted as an argument for that speech act. 9 For example, in:
(3) Since you're standing there anyway, could you please close the door.

Sl; 2. an expression of disagreement by S2; 3. an utterance soliciting an account by Sl; 4. a counter-assertion by S2." For example:

Sl: well, he had all the chances and didn't make much of them

2 S2: that's not really true 3 Sl: oh? why not? 4 S2: for a start, you could hardly blame him for his wife's illness and that's when the rot started

Following the second speaker's counter-assertion, the first speaker may also produce a back-down, or a reassertion. Explicit back-downs are terminations for an argument sequence. Muntigl and Turnbull (1998) contend that arguments in every-day conversation contain a minimum of three turns: in Tt, Sl makes a claim, in T2, S2 disputes this claim, and in T3, S1 disagrees with T2 by either supporting the T1 claim or directly contesting the T2 disagreement. On the basis of structural characteristics and pragmatic functions of the contribution, the authors distinguish four types ofT2 disagreements: - Irrelevancy claims, in which S2 asserts that the previous claim is not relevant to the discussion at hand. These tend to follow T1 immediately or tend to overlap. - Challenges, in which S2 implicates that Sl cannot provide evidence for his claim and demands that he provides it. These are often preceded by reluctance markers and are typically in an interrogative form with question words (why, when, who). - Contradictions, in which S2 utters the negated proposition expressed by the previous claim.l2 - Counter-claims, in which S2 proposes an alternative claim that does neither directly contradict nor challenge Sl'S claim, allowing further negotiation of that claim. These tend to be preceded by pauses, prefaces, and mitigating devices. By showing that there are regularities in the sequential distribution of the acts that make up an argumentative exchange, the authors demonstrate that these categories are also something that the participants themselves orient to. They explain this distribution by pointing to the different degrees of face threat that are inherent in the different types of reactions. The degree of second turn's face aggravation determines third turn's orientation; the more damaging T 2, the more likely Sl will focus on restoring his face; second turns with a

the (indirect) request to close the door is preceded by a clause referring to the preparatory condition for requests specifying that the speaker assumes the listener is in a position to do that which is required. "Since you're standing there anyway" can be interpreted as an argument for the validity of the speaker's request.

7.2.2 Features of Argumentative Discourse Research into the way in which argument is "done" in everyday conversation may provide additional insight into the interpretation of argument. Language users' awareness of the patterns through which argument develops, and of the linguistic devices through which it is expressed, may guide them in interpreting argument.

Coulter (1990) describes the elementary pattern which argument, in a twoparty conversation, follows. lO Argument is basically produced through a twopart sequence: a declarative assertion by S1 followed by a counter-assertion by S2.1t can be expanded into a four-part structure: 1. a declarative assertion by





low degree of face threat are followed by equally low face-threatening third turns. Vuchinich (1990) describes patterns through which conversationalists may end an argument. The closing problem in verbal conflict is how to bring about the arrival of the opponent at a point where one speaker's oppositional turn will not elicit an oppositional turn from the other. A terminal exchange is used by participants to coordinate the closing of verbal conflicts. It takes two basic forms, both with a fundamental two-slot structure, which can close a verbal conflict immediately when applied. One consists of an oppositional move, followed by assent (either agreement or compliance). Assent marks acceptance of the validity of the oppositional attack, and signals submission. The other type of terminal exchange consists of a concession offering, followed by acceptance of the offering. It can be extended to include multiple concession offerings. This sequence displays consensus on the terms specified by the concession. Participants can also close a verbal conflict while avoiding the second slot in a terminal exchange. In those cases, oppositional turns continue with neither participant submitting until the topic is changed (standoff) or until the opponents withdraw from participation (withdrawal).

Linguistic Devices

Schiffrin (1985) examines various devices through which the opinion which is defended is indicated in everyday argument. A structural clue to that opinion is the boundary position it is given at the beginning of an extended turn, as well as at the end of the turn, and at internal boundary positions, between two pieces of support. Verbal indicators may point to the opinion as a concluding generalization: indefinite pronouns, stative verbs and present tense. Furthermore, there is a clue in the differential distribution of conjunctions: coordinative conjunctions often introduce the opinion; subordinative conjunctions, the support. Finally, disputability, an important characteristic of opinions, is often marked by devices to intensify or emphasize the content of the conversation. Vuchinich (1990) mentions various linguistic, paralinguistic or kinesic devices which can be used to express opposition. Cues conveying the oppositional character of a turn and its level of intensity include increased volume, rapid tempo, contrastive stress and exaggerated intonation contours. Turn taking becomes more competitive during verbal conflict. Overlaps and interruptions are frequent. Pomerantz (1984) has shown that opposition usually takes the marked form of dispreferred responses: disagreement is produced in delayed form

(e.g., preceded by silence or repair initiation, hesitation particles and fillers), prefaced by token agreement, mitigated, hedged or phrased indirectly. One way of indirectly expressing disagreement, as Tsui (1991) has shown, is through the use of "I don't know" by a second speaker following an assessment by a first speaker. When it forms the entire turn, it functions as a strong disagreement; when it is pushed further down into the turn and prefaced by token agreements, hesitations, particles, etc., it becomes a weak disagreement. The pragmatic motivation behind its production is often a concern with saving face of oneself or another. In prefacing a statement with a declaration of insufficient knowledge, speakers signal that they are not committed to the truth of the proposition expressed, leaving room to retreat from the original position, if challenged. Schiffrin (1987) describes pragmatic and interactional functions of connectives that turn up in argumentative discourse. She describes what sequential positions they take in the discourse, what elements they connect, and from this description she induces their pragmatic and interactional functions as discourse markers. Her description of "and", for example, is as follows. "And" coordinates idea units, establishing local connections within a particular action frame, such as presenting a position, or presenting support for that position. It signals the speaker's identification of an upcoming unit which is coordinate in structure to some prior unit. In addition, "and" signals that the speaker defines what is being said as a continuation of what preceded. 13 "But" is described by Schiffrin as marking a speaker's definition of an upcoming unit as a contrasting action. This includes marking a speaker's effort to return to the fulfilment of a prior expectation after intervening material. "But", in such a case, establishes a contrast with the interceding material immediately prior to it, and prefaces a repetition of the earlier, non-adjacent text. It thus becomes a point-making device which indicates the speaker's commitment to a particular assertion, when his point has been interrupted, misunderstood, and/or challenged, but also when the speaker is issuing a challenge of another speaker's point. "So" serves as a marker of main idea units, which are presented as resulting from something else, while "because" serves as a marker of subordinate idea units, which are presented as a cause of something else. The cause-result relationship can be located in different domains: fact based (cause-result); knowledge based (warrant-inference); action based (motive-action performed through talk, e.g., claiming) .'4 In addition, "so" serves to mark a transition such as turn ending, unit closure, and/or topic completion. The French linguists Anscombre and Ducrot have done extensive research into linguistic indicators of argumentative relations in natural discourse (Ducrot 1980, 1984, Anscombre and Ducrot 1983, 1989).'5 Initially, they





concentrated on connectives explicitly signaling argumentation through linguistic representation of causal relations between facts, such as "therefore", "consequently'; etc. But the main thrust of their approach as it developed subsequently, is much broader. It concerns the many and various linguistic devices which may serve to express the inherent argumentativity of all use of language. '6 The inherent argumentativity of the use of language rests on two foundations. In the first place, all utterances potentially point to particular classes of conclusions (this is called argumentative orientation). For example, calling something cheap, may point to a conclusion of it being less good, or, on another score, a better buy; saying that someone works hard, may point to her becoming more tired, or getting better results. This is so because the predicate of each uttered sentence implicitly refers to a top os, a generalization which all members of a linguistic community have in common in their cultural background, in which gradations of properties are related to gradations of other properties. In the second place, each utterance is part of an implicit dialogue (this is called polyphony), which means that different points of view may be represented in it, to only some of which the speaker commits himself. The role of connectors and other linguistic devices is to signal the direction of the argumentativity in an utterance and to signal to what viewpoints the speaker does or does not commit himself. For example, in:
(5) There is a small chance that they will succeed

(7) This restaurant is expensive, but good.

In Anscombre and Ducrot's view, in a context of discussing whether to go to a particular restaurant or not, "but" indicates an opposition between two conclusions authorized by the two different topoi inherent in the predicates "expensive" and "good"; the more expensive a restaurant, the less advisable it is to go there, and: the better a restaurant, the more advisable it is to go there. Moreover, "but" indicates that the second conclusion is the one the speaker wants to commit himself to, distancing himself from the first conclusion. Anscombre and Ducrot's basically linguistically oriented work has provided a starting point for research specifically aimed at gaining more insight into argument interpretation. Snoeck Henkemans (1995a), for example, has shown how it can be deduced from Anscombre and Ducrot's analysis of the French equivalents of "even" and "incidentally" that these expressions may function as indicators of argumentation structure in complex argumentation, "even" pointing to cumulatively or complementarily coordinated argumentation, "incidentally'; to multiple argumentation.

7.2.3 Cognitive Processes That textual indications can indeed help the language user to interpret argumentative discourse is demonstrated in experimental research into the way in which language users understand argumentation. Van Eemeren, Grootendorst and Meuffels (1984,1985,1989) found that verbal indicators of argumentation, like "because", but also indicators "in the broad sense", like "owing to" and "on the basis of", significantly facilitate recognition. If indicators like these are absent, the presence of standpoint markers such as "I am of the opinion that" also contributes to the ease of recognition of the argumentation accompanying the standpoint. Jungslager (1994) shows that the latter phenomenon is the result of a top-down processing strategy, in which the appearance of a standpoint raises expectations as to argumentation following. Her findings also support the findings of Van Eemeren, Grootendorst and Meuffels (1985) that ~B!sentatio:n.Qrd~L9f standpQ!!lb!Igl!!!l~!~~ilit<lt.es argl!ment recognItion, compared to .j!.l?!~~entation order of argurnent-standp((As to therecogii.hio~;;findirect ;giImentation, it was [(;und that the presence of a definite context in which a literal (non-argumentative) interpretation would be unsatisfactory, greatly facilitated recognition. Johnson-Laird (1983,1993) has studied reasoning processes of ordinary language users. He found that human reasoning does not proceed through formal, syntactic derivation on the basis of formal rules. Rather, premises func-

the speaker takes a (moderately) positive position towards their chance of succeeding, while in:
(6) There is little chance thatthey will succeed

the speaker takes a negative position towards this chance. In addition, the different formulations in these utterances activate different directions in which the topos that is implicitly referred to in the predicate is to be applied. The first utterance activates the direct application of the top os, for example: "the more chance of success there is in it, the more support an undertaking deserves". The second utterance activates the converse application of the top os, for example: "the less chance of success there is in it, the less support an undertaking deserves". Another example of the signaling role of linguistic devices is provided by the use of the connective "but", as in:





tion for natural-language users as the input for erecting a mental model of the perceived information, corresponding to the structure of the situation. In the inference process, semantic information from the premises is retained and combined with existing beliefs and knowledge in a parsimonious fashion to draw conclusions that express things not explicit in the premises. Semantic information is retained in the sense that the way the information is framed by the phrasing of the premises is crucial to the representation it receives in the mental model. Problems occur because only the minimal number of explicit models covering the premises that are stated, is erected. Implicit alternative models representing possibilities not explicitly stated are not fleshed out. This means that reasoners who are presented with the sentence "If she was running after the train then she was trying to catch it" do not initially think about an alternative situation in which the antecedent is false. Errors in reasoning, then, are conclusions that correspond only to some of the possible models of the premises. Typically, language users erect just a single model, representing the premises as stated: human beings are satisficers. A critical factor in the construction of the mental model is the availability of relevant knowledge. It is this knowledge which makes it possible to construct alternative models of the situation, and implicit models turn out to be fleshed out under the influence of knowledge of the contingencies. The mental model theory has been corroborated experimentally in all the main areas of deduction: propositional reasoning, relational reasoning and quantified reasoning. It applies to inductive reasoning as well. Johnson-Laird describes induction as a search for a model that is consistent with observation and background knowledge. In inductive reasoning, both descriptive and explanatory (abduction), language users start from a collection of propositions, assertions or perceptual observations, and then frame a hypothesis that leads to a better description or understanding of the information contained in these premises in relation to a background of general knowledge, going beyond the initial information. Inductions appear to be constrained in several ways: they take into account available knowledge; they formulate the most specific generalizations consistent with the data and background knowledge; and they seek the simplest possible hypothesis consistent with the evidence.'? In induction, as in deduction, people concentrate on what is explicit in their models, and so they seldom seek anything other than evidence that might corroborate their inductive hypotheses. They eschew negative instances, and encounter them only when these arise indirectly as a result of following up alternative hypotheses. As in deduction, there are equally marked effects of how a problem is framed. And, finally, knowledge appears to play exactly the same part as in deduction; it biases the process to yield more credible conclusions, and it makes it possible to construct alternative models of the situation.

Johnson-Laird's findings concur with those of Noordman (1979), who also observes that logical reasoning begins with and is influenced by the language in which a problem is stated. In his research into the psychological processing of conditional sentences, Noordman found that conditional conjunctions are interpreted predominantly as expressions of an equivalence relation.'s In explaining these results, Noordman mentions Grice's quantitative maxim: make your contribution as informative as required. The speaker has to supply all the relevant information. Accordingly, the speaker of a conditional sentence is cooperative only if the necessary conditions he does not mention are irrelevant or satisfied.'9 Noordman did find some differences between the particular conjunctions used. In addition, a difference in the nature of the communication in conditional sentences was demonstrated between sentences expressing a condition-consequence relation and sentences expressing an inference relation. Subjects feel there is a difference between conditional sentences, depending on whether the actual cognitive "cause" or condition is in the antecedent part of the sentence or in the consequent part. If the cognitive condition is in the antecedent part, the sentence expresses a condition-consequence relation, in which the condition is the "topic", or "known" information, and the consequence the "comment", or "new" information. This is, for example, the case in the following sentence:
(8) If John did not pay the examination fee, he did not get his driver's license.

If the condition is in the consequent part, the sentence expresses an inference relation, in which the cognitive consequence in the first part of the sentence is the topic, and the condition the comment. This is the case in the following sentence:

IfJohn got his driver's license, he paid the examination fee.

This latter type of sentence proved significantly more difficult to process.

7.3 ArgumentReconstruction

Any piece of discourse can be reconstructed in a multitude of ways, depending on the theoretical interests and the conceptual apparatus that the analyst brings to bear on it. This section will detail the way in which argumentation scholars from various theoretical schools approach argument reconstruction: logic (7.3.1), informal logic (7.3.2), rhetoric (7033), and pragma-dialectics (7.3-4)





731 Logic Logicians want to discover the formal structure of the reasoning underlying an argument, usually in order to be able to determine the validity of the reasoning, although sometimes their aim is to merely elucidate complex forms of reasoning. They will reconstruct the argument in terms of premises and conclusions, and the reconstruction will be guided by the type of formal system or logic (e.g., propositional, modal, deontic), and by the kind of validity criterion they choose to apply. Examples of reconstruction in logic can be found in logic textbooks, such as Copi and Cohen (1990), Kahane (1976) and Rescher (1975). In arguments in ordinary discourse, the formal structure of the reasoning underlying the argument, on which the validity of that reasoning depends, is rarely immediately evident. Both the logical form of the constituent propositions and the logical form of the reasoning as a whole have to be reconstructed. Nuchelmans (as cited in Van Eemeren et al.1996) has analyzed this process of logical reconstruction as encompassing a number of abstraction steps. First, an abstraction is made from the actual persons putting forward an argument at a particular time, in a particular place, in a particular context, and in a particular situation. This results in a list of propositions, constituting premises and conclusion. This step requires, among other things, indexical interpretation, disambiguation and explicitation of implicit elements. Second, the actual expressions in the original argument are disregarded. The propositions isolated in the first step are couched in the type of standard paraphrase that is required, by the type of logic applied., be it propositional, syllogistic, predicate or other. This step requires substituting expressions. Third, the logically relevant elements are isolated from the content elements. The latter are referred to in abbreviated form. Here too, reconstruction is required, guided by the logical system applied. Arguments in which the underlying reasoning turns on the class membership of terms, for example, will be reconstructed in terms of syllogistic logic, in which the logical particles consist of quantifier expressions, such as "all" or "some'; negation, and copula, which govern content elements consisting of general terms. Arguments in which the underlying reasoning turns on operations on propositions as a whole, will be reconstructed in terms of propositional logic, in which the logically relevant particles consist of the propositional operators "not'; "and'; "or': "if-then'; "if and only if", which operate on content elements consisting of propositions. Finally, the logically relevant elements are substituted by their formalized logical constant counterparts, which possess a precise meaning in the logic they belong to. Here, too, the terms actually used have to be interpreted a~d substituted by terms with a sometimes different, and in all cases, more prec~se meaning than the original. For example, the English "or" usually has exclUSIve meaning, while the V of propositional logic has inclusive meaning: the English "if then" usually is far more material than "material implicatIOn", and, moreover, often used interchangeably with "if and only if" (see 7.2.3). As can be gathered from the above, the reconstruction crucially depends on the system oflogic used and the concept oflogical validity applied in eval~at ing the argument. But, no matter what system guides the reconstructIOn, there is a large gap between ordinary-language discourse and form~l-l~n guage logic. There is a fairly recent movement in logic towards desIgnmg "stronger': non -monotonic logics which can account better for the characteristics of natural language (Van Benthem 1996). Yet, applying these stronger logics still requires the same reconstruction steps. The necessity of account. ing for each reconstruction step remains as urgent as before. Unfortunately, in the literature, the many problems of reconstructIOn which crop up at every stage of fitting the actual discourse to the logical model are largely ignored. Actually, it even stretches the point a bit to .talk a~out reconstruction at all here. Usually, what we find in logic textbooks IS fabncated examples, consisting of no more than a few sentences. Real-life disc~ur~e of any length is rarely encountered. Thi~ llleans, fir~ that no _attentIO!1Is given to the in!eq)re!_ation of ~iscou~s,~tl~aJ:s-~m~I}t, q_~tof of that, no ac-= count is gi~~-ofhow the analysis is arrived at. After ~resentatIOn of the exam-=:_ pIes, the logical analysis is supplied as self-evident.

7.3.2 InformaiLogic Among informal logicians, there are varying opinions as to the purpose of reconstruction. Some scholars want to discover whether the conclusion of an argument is true, while other scholars want to discover whether the conclusion of an argument is well-supported by what the arguer put forward, and yet other scholars want to discover what the arguer meant (Adler 19~2, Berg 1992, Govier 1987). Yet, most informal logicians will reconstruct the dl~course in such a way that they will be able to determine to what degree and m w~at way the premises of an argument support the conclusion. 20 In informal lOgIC, as in formal logic, as a critical reaction against which it originated, reconstruction aims to isolate the premises and conclusion of the reasoning underlying an argument. But there are at least two important d~~e:ences ~etween informal logicians and the formal logicians whom they cntiCIze, whlCh have implications for their treatment of argument reconstruction.



First, for informal logicians, deductive validity is no longer necessarily the prime or only standard for evaluating an argument. One of the important issues in informal logic concerns exactly this question of the validity standard to be applied. Most informal logicians hold that some arguments lend themselves to evaluation in terms of deductive validity, while others may be more appropriately evaluated in terms of other standards. This issue has important implications for reconstruction. It means that not all arguments must necessarily be reconstructed as deductively valid. This is especially relevant in the matter of reconstructing unexpressed premises. Second, informal logicians view arguments as elements of ordinary, contextually embedded language use, directed by one language user to another in an attempt to convince him of the plausibility (not necessarily the truth) of the conclusion. For reconstruction, this implies taking into account the situated character of the discourse to be reconstructed. There are two main issues pertaining to reconstruction that are dealt with in informal logic: unexpressed premises and argument structure. Even though Govier mentions other issues to be resolved in reconstruction, such as reconstructing a passage as an argument and reconstructing the type of argument, these hardly receive any attention at all in the literature. In what follows, only a brief outline of the discussion of these main issues will be presented. They receive more extensive treatment in other chapters in this volume.

Unexpressed Premises

Arguments often appear to be incomplete, in the sense that the premises as stated do not by themselves warrant inference of the conclusion as stated. Enthymematic arguments, as these arguments are called, may be reconstructed by the addition of one or more premises in such a wayas to make the inference possible. In such a case, a so-called unexpressed premise is added. The first issue regarding unexpressed premises is the question of exactly when an unexpressed premise is to be reconstructed at all. Govier (1987) presents the following guideline as a preliminary answer. An unexpressed premise should be reconstructed in cases in which an inference gap between the stated premises and stated conclusion is perceived. As Govier herself points out, this issue is intimately related to the further question of what kind of validity criterion is to guide the reconstruction, in other words, as what kind of inference structure is the argument to be reconstructed? This question forms part of a wider debate among informal logicians about the need to posit different forms of validity or justified inference.

On one side of this debate, there are the so-called deductivists (e.g., Scriven 1976 , Thomas 1986), who maintain that all arguments can be made deductively valid by the addition of an unexpressed premise. This premise must take the form of the associated conditional, "if premise(s), then conclusion", or variations thereof, involving generalizations of one or more content terms. On the other hand, there are those (e.g., Govier 1987, Hitchcock 1987) who contend that there are different types of argument to be distinguished, some of which can indeed be considered to pretend to deductive validity, while others cannot. As examples of this latter type, they mention arguments byanalogy, empirical induction, and abduction or inference as to the best explanation. In cases like these, the addition of a reconstructed unexpressed premise, which would make the reasoning deductively valid, would do no justice to the fundamentally different inference type underlying the argument. These critics of deductivism also point out that if the reconstructed premise takes the form of the associated conditional, no new information is added above what is already contained in the combination of premises and conclusion as stated. Moreover, such a reconstruction would lead to an infinite regression, because the whole extended set of premises requires a new associated conditional that links this new set of premises to the conclusion. And if the reconstruction takes the form of a universal generalization of one or more content expressions, there is no end to the number of possible premises that can be added. Groarke (1992,1999) has advanced a response to these objections. Groarke argues that reconstructing these "other types" of arguments by adding premises that make a deductively valid argument is perfectly possible without doing injustice to the "different character" of the argument. As a case in point, he cites empirical induction, in which the uncertain or inconclusive nature of the conclusion is perfectly preserved in a deductivistic reconstruction. As Groarke points out, it is not the nature of the inference in which the uncertainty resides. Instead, it must be located in the shape of either the premises or the conclusion. These may contain elements (such as the expression "probably") which account for this uncertainty or inconclusiveness. Also, while it certainly must be admitted that in adding premises to make the reasoning valid, there is a problem concerning the formulating of a correct reconstruction, these problems are not unique to deductivism. Non-deductivist analysis may also require the addition of unexpressed premises to account for the beliefs or intentions of the arguer who infers a particular conclusion from a particular premise. And in that case, there are unresolved problems in formulating a correct reconstruction as well. The only thing that is different is that these problems are made more difficult to solve by the absence of a clear criterion, such as the one formal validity offers. In any case, once it has been decided that a "gap" occurs between the




premises as stated and the conclusion, and a premise must be added, the second issue regarding unexpressed premises becomes what the analyst's strategy should be in deciding exactly which premise should be added. On the one hand, there are authors, like Scriven and Thomas, who recommend applying a principle of charity. This principle assumes that arguers try to put forward good reasons for their claims. That is, in reconstructing unexpressed premises, we should add premises that, apart from making the inference formally valid, have the quality of being true. At times, the application of this principle may even lead to charitable alterations of stated premises or, even of stated conclusions. On the other hand, critics of this view, notably Govier, maintain that this is too strong a strategy, since people sometimes make errors in reasoning and arrive at incorrect beliefs.21 Applying a principle of charity forces us to ignore indicators of implausible assertions or faulty reasoning in order to make a passage out as more rational than it appears to be. Also, it requires us to assume that others think exactly as we do. Govier pleads for the application of what she calls "moderate charity" (unless there is evidence indicating that even this is not applicable). When indicators in wording, context and background knowledge as to the beliefs, intentions and commitments of the arguer count equally in favor of several distinct interpretations, we must adopt the premise that generates the most plausible argument. Unfortunately, in spite of the professed attention to argument as a form of ordinary, contextually embedded language use or situ at ed discourse, in informal logic, as yet, no systematic study has been undertaken of what these indicators are and how exactly they should be used in reconstructing unexpressed premises. 22 A further complication is the fact that informal logicians tend to take a somewhat equivocal view of the object of reconstruction. They make no clear distinction between such different, if not plainly incompatible purposes such as reconstructing the beliefs the arguer had in mind, reconstructing the plausible beliefs the arguer must have had in mind, and reconstructing what the arguer is committed to by virtue of his words.

mentation. Basically, in convergent argumentation, each of the arguments supports the standpoint independently, while in linked argumentation the arguments, in one way or another, depend on each other to support the standpoint. Various definitions of the di.stinction between these two types of complexity have been given by informal logicians (e.g., Noh 1984, Thomas 1986, Govier 1988, Pinto and Blair 1989, and Freeman 1991).23 As for reconstructing argumentation structure, most authors admit that it is often difficult to determine in practice whether a given argumentation is linked or convergent, due to ambiguities and implicitness in its presentation. Sometimes, in the reconstruction of the structure of the argumentation, as in the reconstruction of unexpressed premises, the principle of charity is invoked. Nolt and Thomas do this, for example, when in unclear cases they advise a strategy of assuming that the arguments are linked. According to Noh, that would seem to be the strongest attribution. Thomas says that this will prevent the analyst in the evaluation stage from judging two arguments that he has reconstructed as independent, to be too weak to stand independently. Many authors emphasize that the presentation of arguments plays an important role in identifying the structure of the argumentation. Yet, in actual fact, not much attention is paid to the systematic exploration of the clues provided by the verbal presentation. Instead, informal logicians usually rely on their personal evaluation of whether or not the premises independently give enough support to the conclusion. In the first case, the argument should be reconstructed as convergent, in the second, as linked. For example, Govier (19 88 :143) gives the following guideline for determining the structure of a linked argument:
The way to determine the pattern is to imagine all premises except one in this group to be false, and to ask whether the remaining premise would still give any support to the conclusion in this case.


Rhetoric Rhetoricians will reconstruct the discourse in such a way as to be able to determine its persuasive effectiveness. The reconstruction will be in terms of the elements considered to contribute to the persuasive effect of the discourse on an audience. Contr~ to the approaches discussed so f~r.'..~~~_t~~i~al ) reconstruction,~rally speaking, is not gtil~~by~~est~<l~~~~!J ~ eYalli"illoll.1Ilesole purPOse of the reconstruction is to gain a descriptive in- i -~ight into the elements which contribute to the persuasive effect of the discourse.

Argumentation structure

When a conclusion is supported by more than one argument, it becomes crucial to reconstruct how these arguments hang together. The way in which argumentation structure is reconstructed has important consequences for the evaluation of an argument. The issue is particularly relevant in the distinction between independent (convergent) and interdependent (linked) argu-



There are various conceptions of rhetorical analysis, each isolating particular aspects of discourse for reconstruction. Foss (1989) distinguishes NeoAristotelian, generic, metaphoric, narrative, fantasy-theme and cluster analyses. 24 In Neo-Aristotelian analysis, the reconstruction focuses on the means of persuasion mentioned by Aristotle and further elaborated in Hellenistic and Roman schools of rhetoric. The reconstruction aims to abstract from the discourse, among other aspects: the parts of the discourse (exordium, narratio, confirmatio, refutatio, digressio, peroratio), the genre (deliberative, juridical, epideictic), the types of issue (e.g., conjectural, legal, juridical), the means of persuasion (logos, pathos, ethos), the topics, the figures of speech, and other elements of style. I_n generic analysis, rhetorical means are correlated with tres of situations. The reconstruction isolates elements such as metaphors, ima~!s! .. ,()~-~~~t~EC~~~rufi\ir~:;;'bIs.K~m~i'lill~t4.-i~r.xi~ati~ns. metaphoric analysis, the reconstruction focuses on the identification of the major metaphors underlying the discourse. The analysis is aimed at revealing how these metaphors create a particular reality. In narrative analysis, the reconstruction identifies elements of narrative structure such as events, characters, temporal relations, causal relations and themes. Other types of analysis try to identify the key terms in the discourse, constituting the rhetor's motive, or to reconstruct the worldview underlying a particular piece of discourse. An example of the latter type of analysis is provided by Michael Billig's (1987, 1988,1991) work which aims to uncover social, psychological and ideological assumptions underlying positions taken in argumentative discourse.

results of an analysis of a text in terms of the typology, without giving an account of his reconstruction. Warnick and Kline (1992) present a coding system, but without guidelines for applying the system to actual discourse. Their observation that three individuals could apply the system with an acceptable level of consistency is maybe reassuring, but certainly not very instructive. \ ~_~!2"_proble~~i12.~_.<lE_~_Il:1_e_~~o~. ~Ie(,:.on~trl:lgioQ_~~~ll_C:h!:.~c:~i~ I I very little a~~~t~~!1_!~ the~e. Yl!rLo.1lS.rhetQl:ical.app-roache.~. There is a general l idea that context, or rhetorical situation (Bitzer 196~~<?LP.ril!l~j!pjJ2..r~,~


) ~~;~}:~~~~;~~!:;~~~Y~~~~!t~~r~~i
structlon. How these elements can be identified, what clues can be made use of for their reconstruction, what strategies can be applied in their reconstruction - these are questions which are not even posed, let alone answered. 26
~~ ...



7.3-4 Pragma-Dialectics Pragma-dialectic analysts will reconstruct the discourse in such a way to enable them to determine the contribution it makes to the rational resolution of a conflict of opinion. 27 The reconstruction is pragmatic, in that it aims at elucidating the speech acts performed in the various stages of the discourse. It is dialectic, in that it is resolution-oriented, that is, it aims to identify the elements considered to be relevant to the rational solution of disagreement. The reconstruction results in an analytic overview of all aspects of the discourse crucial for the resolution of the difference of opinion:

One Neo-Aristotelian approach that has gained particular popularity among argumentation theorists, is Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's New Rhetoric. In Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1969), these authors undertake to give a systematic description of argumentative techniques that may be used in ordinary language to convince or to persuade an audience. This description basically amounts to a typology of argumentation schemes, that is, a typology of kinds of argumentation that can be used to increase the acceptability of a thesis. Although the authors do not pay specific attention to the matter of analysis or reconstruction, their system may be used as a guide for reconstructing the argumentative techniques that underlie a particular discourse. However, critics have pointed out that the categories are not clearly defined, that there is no single criterion underlying the taxonomy and that, accordingly, the categories in the taxonomy are not mutually exclusive. 25 This makes it difficult for an analyst to arrive at an unequivocal reconstruction. Although some authors have argued that an analysis in terms of Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's typology is feasible, their work does not reveal how an actual reconstruction is arrived at. Kienpointner (1993) merely presents the

"" (1)

the standpoints at issue in the difference of opinion

(2) the positions adopted by the parties, their starting points and conclusions (3) the arguments, both implicit and explicit, adduced by the parties (4) the argumentation structure of the arguments (," l: >-. (5) the argument schemes used in the arguments. 28

~ As can be seen from this list, pragma-dialectic reconstruction encompasses more than just the logical premise-conclusion relation: it also extends to the argument schema underlying the argument. Also, it pertains to more than just the argumentation stage; reconstruction occurs in all the stages of a critical discussion: it concerns type of conflict (confrontation stage), concessions and common starting points of the participants (opening stage), and the way in which the conflict is resolved (concluding stage).



\\ ha~~~()rIIlati:,,~ .~?l1sRl~!:.'!!!2!1A,R~r!i!!nillg.tQ.!h~J!2!~t;~ "'i \o~r!yon~l res~lut~o~,~~~ C?::Qic~.~L()r~j()I.1' An ideal model of criticaldisCUSSlOn, III which the stages of dispute resolution and the speech acts to be performed at each stage are delineated, serves ~h,~yristic.llnd a alytic tool .. l1 that guides the analysis. By pointing out which speech acts are relevant' in the . consecutive stages of the resolution process, the model has the heuristic function of indicating which speech acts have to be considered in the reconstruction. Speech acts that are immaterial to the resolution process are to be ignored, implicit elements are to be made explicit, indirect speech acts are to be restated as direct speech acts, and the steps of the resolution process are to be presented in their proper order. ) O~ the ~ther han~, in tllstifying th~n'!constru(tiQ.!1, Jh~.[c: . '!r!.~~~[is~_ lcol1slderatlOns ref~rrl~~.~.the !:.~~~:~~ 0Lth~p~rt!Sld!~E<ysC:Q~!:~~tg.!>~ reco~~tructed, ,viewed a~ail1st aoa~k~.ro~n~ of in~igh! ePQ\.!.t the oJ:.K<!!li?i!!.~~ . of9!j:.Q.u.r~~ V1general. Use is made of various sources of empirical evidence: ethnographic evidence about speech events and their purposes and organization; knowledge of conventional structures and strategies in discourse, such as rules and regularities for the performance of speech acts; and cues which indicate how the participants themselves understand the discourse. As Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jackson and Jacobs note:

In reconstructing the dialectically relevant speech acts, a selective idealization of the discourse is performed, which can be described in terms of four dialectical reconstruction transformations. These are: deletion, addition, substitution and permutation. In deletion, those elements that are not immediately relevant to the process of resolving the dispute are omitted. This amounts to the removal of elaborations, clarifications, digressions and repetitions.29 In addition, the discourse as given is supplemented with elements that are relevant to the resolution of the dispute, but which have been left unexpressed. Implicit elements are made explicit; unexpressed steps are filled in. In substitution, the elements which have a dialectical function in the discourse are presented clearly and explicitly. This involves replacing ambiguous or vague formulations with well-defined standard phrases, elucidating the function of indirectly phrased elements, and representing elements with the same function by the same standard phrase. In permutation, the elements in the original discourse are ordered or rearranged in such as way as to elucidate their function in the resolution of the dispute. The dialectically relevant elements are allocated to the various stages in the resolution process in their ideal order. , The basis for reconstruction in pragma-dialectics.is twofold. On the one

None of these sources works alone, and all work against the background of the analyst's own cultural knowledge and intuitive competence as a native speaker. .~ Ultimately, the acceptability of any reconstruction will rest on its overall coher::..

j~Jts~countability t~ the details o.f the te~t, and its consistency with o~her in -.
formation about how thiS case works 111 particular, h~w relateq cases of thiS ~ work in general and bow disCQ!lH'i!.m'~~9.~J199I.i'!L... " ...... -r-

In general, the empirical considerations justifying the reconstruction are shaped by the pragmatic perspective inherent in pragma-dialectics, which views language use as a rational enterprise in which speakers perform speech acts as a means for achieving communicative and interactional goals. The reconstruction takes into account all the rules, conventions and regularities pertinent to the performance of speech acts in ordinary discourse, as well as all textual and contextual indicators for the elements which playa part in the rational resolution of differences of opinion. Sometimes empirical features of the text suggest multiple meanings, and sometimes, empirical features do not provide decisive clues. In such cases, the discourse will be reconstructed in such a way that it is congruent with the distribution of speech acts in the ideal model of a critical discussion, thus using a strategy of ma:~J!!!:B1Zx"tjj.alecticaLaJJ.a.l.}!.s4. For example, for an analysis of speechacts~the argumentation stage, this means that if the communicative force is not completely clear, an argumentative interpretation will be tried, resulting in a reconstruction of these speech acts as argumentation. To be sure, a maximally dialectical analysis of this sort is chosen only where such an analysis is not ruled out by empirical considerations. A prime example of the application of pragmatic principles in pragma-dialectic reconstruction is the treatment of implicit or indirectly expressed elements of the resolution process. Implicitness and indirectness are ordinary phenomena of everyday language use, which generally cause little difficulty to ordinary language users. Searle (1975) and Grice (1975) have explained how it is that speech acts can be performed implicitly and indirectly and how it is possible for a listener to understand what a speaker who performs an implicit or indirect speech act means. This explanation is drawn upon by Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984,1990, and 1992) in accounting for the reconstruction of im plicit or indirect elements of the resolution process. As an example, let us examine the following closing sentences of an essay text advocating instant abolishment of nuclear arms:





Why hesitate any longer? After all, we have a world to lose.

The first question the analyst has to answer is: is this an argumentative sequence? An affirmative answer could be justified along the following lines. The text is an essay in which a position is being advocated. These are the closing lines of the text. They may be expected to contain something like a summary conclusion to the argument. Such a conclusion would be relevant in such a position. Also, one of the meanings of the expression "after all" is that the clause following it states a reason for the statement preceding it, establishing a particular, argumentative relevance of the second sentence to the first. All this points to the conclusion that we do have an argumentative sequence here with the first sentence presenting a standpoint and the second an argument for that standpoint. However, at first sight, the first sentence does not look very much like a standpoint. It begins with a wh-pronoun and ends with a question mark. How can the analyst account for reconstructing it nevertheless as a standpoint? First of all, we note that a literal question as to what the reasons are for a prolongation of hesitation, seems rather out of place. The reader, not being present, cannot provide an answer. Nor does the writer himself proceed to answer the question in the text; rather, the sentence initiates the terminating sequence of the discourse. A non-literal analysis, then, seems to be indicated. Second, we note that the form of the question, with a missing copula, is of a particular kind conventionally used for performing speech acts other than those of a question. The presence of any points in the same direction. Both characteristics are conventional marks of a rhetorical question, an utterance with the form of a question but the function of a statement. The writer implicates, in other words, that there is no reason to continue hesitating. Last, we note that the propositional content of the question (and the implied statement) refers to the preparatory condition for the performance of another ' speech act, namely that of a proposal. A preparatory condition for putting forward a proposal is that there is good reason to do what the speaker propose to do. By implying that there is no good reason to keep on hesitating, the writer of this text proposes to quit hesitating any longer. And in the next sentence' he gives an argument for the position that this is a proposal meriting acceptance. Once we have established that we have an argumentative sequence here, a second question arises. Taken strictly by themselves, the statement that we should quit hesitating and the statement that we have a world to lose, seem at first sight to have nothing to do with each other. That would mean that we would have to charge the writer with irrelevancy here. But by virtue of the Communicative Principle we may assume that in actual fact he is being rele-

vant. In order to do justice to this assumption, we ascribe to the writer a commitment to an implicit premise connecting the two statements. So, on pragmatic grounds, the reconstruction must encompass a representation of this implicit premise as well. The reconstruction of this implicit premise is also accounted for along pragmatic lines. We can formulate a number of statements that would fulfill the requirement of connecting the two statements which make up the argument as presented. In choosing one that we may hold the writer to, once again we may appeal to the Communicative Principle. As this principle demands, it should be a premise by which the writer can be assumed to have performed the speech act of argumentation in a valid and sincere way. Since the felicity conditions for the valid and sincere performance of this speech act require that the speaker believe that his argument does strengthen the acceptability of the standpoint and that the listener believes this as well, the premise should be one that makes the connection between standpoint and argument valid according to some shared criterion of logical validity.3 D Yet, although it should be within the range of statements to which the writer, according to the above, could be held by virtue of what he has said, the premise should be one which is sufficiently informative for the speaker not to have violated the maxim of quantity. That is, the premise should be more general than the logical minimum or associated conditional. Knowledge of the world and of the context play an important part in the analyst's decision at this point. In this particular example, the analyst might reconstruct an implicit premise such as: if a particular line of conduct results in fatal damage to the world, one should relinquishit. Another resource for accounting for particular reconstructions is knowledge of the principles of conversational organization and awareness of the manifold purposes which conversationalists aim to achieve in their contributions to a conversation, as Van Rees (199sa, 1995b, and 1996) has demonstrated. Deviations from the ideal model can be accounted for in terms of these principles, such an account providing a justification for the application of particular dialectical transformations. In pragma-dialectics, the object of the reconstruction are not the beliefs or intentions of the arguer, or what the arguer ought to believe or intend, or what would make a conclusion true. It is no more and no less than what the arguer can be held to in view of his words. That is why a systematic justification of the reconstruction is considered of prime importance. Although in pragma-dialectics the importance of a systematic account of the reconstruction of argumentative discourse is acknowledged, much remains to be done to make such an account possible. On the one hand, the normative conceptual apparatus must be further developed and filled in. On the




other hand, more insight needs to be gained into the pragmatic conventions, the procedures, strategies and linguistic devices which ordinary language users employ in producing and interpreting argumentative discourse, and into the way in which normatively relevant elements show up in ordinary argumentative discourse. Recent research into argumentative indicators (Snoeck Henkemans 1995 a and b, 1999, and 2000) and into the way in which language users try to manipulate conflict resolution through rhetorical means (Van Eemeren and Houtlosser 1998, 1999 a, b, and c) represents a move in the right direction.

Notes 1 Jackson (1992) refers to this activity as "naive reconstruction:' 2 Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jacobs, and Jackson (1993: 50-6) distinguish various perspectives and approaches: etic!emic, a priori/a posteriori, sequential/conventional/rational. 3 A similar view is advocated by Gumperz (1992a,b). 4 The idea that discourse is organized around an over-all goal also has been elaborated by others, such as Rehbein (1977) and Ehlich and Rehbein (1986), but Jacobs and Jackson explicitly elaborate this view in order to clarify the organization and interpretation of argument. 5 The relationship between goals and speech acts is not as one-directional and static as this formulation suggests. Tracy (1991) presents a collection of articles emphasizing the complex, dynamic, multi-directional nature of this relationship. 6 This conception of the notion of relevance as relevance with regard to communicative and interactional goals is not only more encompassing, but also more adequate than that of Sperber and Wilson (1986), which only covers relevance with regard to propositions. 7 These conditions apply to the question per se, that is, as an attempt to get the listener to provide certain information. In asking a question, the speaker poses as someone for whom these conditions are fulfilled. This is not to deny that sometimes questions are asked in order to reach other objectives, and that in those cases these conditions may not be fulfilled in actual fact. Yet, in order to reach those other objectives, the speaker does something which has as its aim to elicit certain information, and asking a question, with all the implications attached to the performance of this speech act, is an efficient way of doing that. 8 Empirical backing for this claim can be found in Clark (1979) 9 The fulfillment of the felicity conditions in turn may be challenged by an interlocutor. When this occurs, the problematized element functions as a "virtual standpoint" in need of defense. The entire complex of reconstructible commitments associated with the performance of a speech act can be considered as a "disagreement space", a structured set of opportunities for argument (Jackson 1992, van Eemeren, Grootendorst,

7.4 Conclusion\.g:

r\'" '/' 0"'-'"'" .7 .




~T~~ti!!!~~I?!~!lt.iQD is the work that ordinary language users do to rec-


. :'/~~eciI~~-?-0~;:mai:l~~9iLOf~rgument~,~;i~di~~E-m:
~sClentlfic st~dy ot human !>~~~~_iiuiute.~~t i!l!l~tllr~:l~~: uage .llllii.~~~!anding of discourse.,

ognize and understand the arguments that a speaker or writer adduces to support his standpoints, even if these arguments are expressed indirectly or implicitly or if they are intertwined with other textual structures. A~!!!.~!!t rec9!1!'.!!.ll.<:t.ioJ1is what an argum.ent~!!Q!! s:;lwhu: do~~ ifhe wants to describe, exylain or e"ahlate argu~~~t~ti~~"irom a particuJar the9re!iS~R~~~~!~i5:Although in this chapter the two activities have been treated separately, there is an important connection between them. Interpretation is the basis of ~ :,~.~.!!.~lCtion. Before argumentation theorists can reconstruct a Riece of argumentative discourse, they need to have interpreted it. Moreover, recon -structT~;~q;riresth~~;;:d sy~~;;:;':rtic"i;;:teg;;tion of both a critical

t~r,<:~!j?", .~~g~~~!,,:,v,.~~.an,',~~de. scri!i.:v.~ E~Esp. e~!,~'Y~,. b.,a,s!!.A.Q!!.!h~22.::.

. The majority of th';~tair;~theories that have been discussed in this chapter do not make the grade in their approach to reconstruction exactly because they pay too little attention to the way in which argumentation is expressed in ordinary discourse and the way in which ordinary language users interpret argumentation. As a consequence, the reconstructions that are performed usually remain unaccounted for and the problems that occur when natural language use is molded to fit a theoretical model are neglected. That is an unfortunate situation, because only when these problems receive the attention that they deserve, work in the reconstructional component of argumentation theory can advance.

Jacobs and Jackson 1993). The term argument is used here in its procedural sense of having an argu-


ment. . Actually, what we have in 4 is an argument for the counter-assertlOn. 12 This type of disagreement is also mentioned by Co~ter (~990). . 13 As Schiffrin points out, the identification of the umts whIch are bemg





continued and their structural equivalents, depends on the use of textual information beyond "and" itself. 14 A similar distinction is made by Sweetser (1990), criticized by Snoeck Henkemans (1999). 15 Their work has been made accessible to the English-speaking world by publications of Lundquist (1987), Nolke (1992), Verbiest (1994), Snoeck Henkemans (1995a, 1995b). 16 As will become clear from what follows, these authors use the term argumentativityin a rather idiosyncratic sense. No argument need be present in cases in which Anscombre and Ducrot point to an inherent argumentativity. They merely use the term to refer to the fact that a speaker through his use oflanguage may express a particular perspective on the matter at hand, 17 This observation, I think, applies also to what ordinary language users do when making implicit premises explicit. 18 Noordman mentions in passing that people are not violating the rules of logic when they interpret a conditional sentence not as material implication but as equivalence. If in actual fact, due to all kinds of pragmatic factors, the relation between the antecedent and the consequent in the conversational context is a biconditional relation, then people are thinking lo~icallywhen they interpret a conditional sentence as a biconditional sentence. 19 A connection between this maxim and the mental models hypothesis is evident: they are each other's complement. If more processing than the satisficing minimum is necessary on the listener's part, more information should be given by the speaker. 20 Various criteria are applied for determining the support the premises lend to the conclusion, such as relevance, sufficiency, and acceptability (Johnson and Blair 1993 and more or less similar ones in Govier 1987, and Freeman 1988). 21 Adler (1996) argues that applying the principle of charity does not exclude the possibility that people make mistakes and commit fallacies. 22 A case in point is offered by Wreen (1989), who mentions a number of reconstruction principles (among others: interpret charitably, situate the argument in its context, and take all relevant background information into consideration), but subsequently carries out a reconstruction (of an ad baculum argument) without clarifying how the application of these principles leads to the reconstruction as performed. 23 A review is given in chapter 5 of this book by Snoeck Henkemans. 24 Cf. also Wenzel (1987), who mentions as topics for rhetorical analysis, among others: the main line of argument, narrative form, ethos as created

by style, humor, and other signs of good character and good will, audience adaptation, root metaphors, stylistic analysis of the order and relation of elements in the discourse. 25 For a concise exposition of the taxonomy and of its weaknesses, see Van Eemeren et al. (1996). 26 Examples of analyses in which a reconstruction of the ideological position of the author of a given text is accounted for byway of a detailed description of the textual features in which this position is manifested, can be found in a body ofliterature not specifically focused on argumentation as such, namely that of critical discourse analysis (for instance, Van Dijk 1988, Fairclough 1989, Kitis and Milapides 1997) 27 For an extensive discussion of pragma-dialectic reconstruction, see Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jacobs, and Jackson (1993) 28 Cf. Van Rees (1992b) and Walton (1992) on reconstructing discourse as a critical discussion; Houtlosser (1998), Koetsenruijter (1994), Slot (1993) on reconstructing standpoints; Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (19 82 ,19 83) on reconstructing unexpressed premises; Snoeck Henkemans (199 2) on reconstructing argumentation structure; and Garssen (1994) on reconstructing argument schemes. 29 On applying deletion in cases of repetition, cf. Van Rees (199 6 ). 30 According to Van Eemeren et al. (1996), no dogmatic commitmentto deductivism is intended.

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Proceedings ofthe Fourth International Conference ofthe International Society for the Study ofArgumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 757-760.





8 Argumentation in the Field of Law

Eveline T. Feteris


Introduction In law, argumentation plays an important role specifically when someone presents a legal claim and wishes others to accept this claim. A lawyer who pleads a case in court must justify his or her case with arguments.' The judge who makes a decision is expected to support it with arguments. In fact, in many legal systems the judge is obligated to justify his or her decision. When a legislator introduces a bill in Parliament, he or she is expected to support this proposal with reasons. Legal scholars are also expected to justify their opinions to colleagues. In fact, everybody who advances a legal standpoint and wishes this standpoint to be accepted by others, will have to present justifying arguments. This explains why, for argumentation theorists, legal argumentation is not only an important field for research, but also an important context for the application of ideas developed in argumentation theory. In the field of law, research questions can be how ideas developed in law and legal theory (jurisprudence) on criteria for the soundness oflegal argumentation are related to ideas developed in argumentation theory. What kinds of general and specific standards of rationality must be met when justifying a legal decision? Is it sufficient for the judge to only mention the facts of the case and the laws, or is he also expected to explain why legal statutes are applicable to a particular case? How can the interpretation of a law be justified in a rational way? What is the relation between legal rules, legal principles and general moral norms and values in the context oflegal justification? Are there any special norms for the decision of a judge when compared with the justification of other legal standpoints? As to the application of insights from argumentation theory to the field of law, research questions can be how insights from argumentation theory can be applied in a judicial context. How can a general argumentation model be used for analyzing and evaluating legal arguments? How can legal arguments be reconstructed in terms of a general model of argumentation? How can general standards of rationality be applied to legal arguments? In this chapter, a survey of research by argumentation theorists and legal theorists carried out in the past thirty years is presented. By giving an outline


of the various approaches and topics, a map will be drawn of the field of study and an overview will be given of the various developments in the field of research. In the past thirty years, scholars from both argumentation theory and legal theory have addressed various aspects of the legal argument. The interest in legal argumentation began with legal theory. In the 1970S and 1980s, a number of international legal theory conferences were dedicated to the topic of argumentation and law. 2 In argumentation theory, the interest in legal argumentation began to grow in the 1970S and 1980s. At the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA) conferences on argumentation and the Speech Communication Association (SCA) conferences, legal argumentation is always one of the conference themes. 3 Various authors began publishing research surveys in the field oflegal argumentation after 1970. The first of these were mainly concerned with logical approaches. Horovitz (1972) surveys the discussions between formalists and non-formalists concerning the role oflogic in legal argumentation. He concludes that the disagreement between the two sides depends largely on different uses of basic terms and that the non-formalistic thesis depends substantively on erroneous views. Kalinowski (1972) describes various approaches in legal logic and proposes a specific theory for legal argumentation in which a classification of the types of reasoning is presented. Later surveys concentrate on aspects which relate to argumentation theory and language philosophy. Struck (1977) discusses various argumentation models. He argues that none of the models including empirical description models (Toulmin, topics), normative evaluation models from epistemology (logic, critical rationalism, hermeneutics), society theory (Marxism, Habermas, Erlanger Schule) offer a suitable instrument for assessing the rationality of legal argumentation. He concludes that social topics and rhetoric can offer such an instrument. Alexy (1989) develops a theory oflegal argumentation based on insights from analytic moral philosophy (including Stevenson, Wittgenstein, Austin, Hare, Toulmin, and Baier), Habermas' consensus theory of truth, the Erlangen School's theory of practical deliberation, and Perelman's theory of argumentation. Rieke (1982) reviews various forms of research on argumentation in the legal process. He discusses contributions from such divergent fields as rhetorical analysis, judge's instructions, lawyer communication functions, television and trials. Rieke argues that an analysis of judicial reasoning in conflicts involving freedom of expression is an area for potential research. A number of journals in the field of argumentation theory, speech communication, informal logic, legal theory and legal philosophy also publish arti-

cles on legal argumentation on a regular basis. 4 Recently, a number of journals have published special issues on legal argumentation.s Research on legal argumentation over the past thirty years has exposed a rich variety of topics, approaches, ideas and principles. Legal argument is studied in various contexts such as legal theory (jurisprudence), the legislative process, the legal process and ilie process of judicial decision-making. Various methodological approaches can be distinguished in these writings. Some authors opt for a normative approach which emphasizes how a judge can justify his or her decision in a rational way, or how a legal discussion can be conducted reasonably. Others prefer a descriptive approach, concentrating on reallife processes of argument, for instance by investigating argumentative techniques which are effective in convincing a certain legal audience. There are also various aspects which can be the object of study. Some authors concentrate on the philosophical and methodological aspects; some develop theoretical models and attempt to establish the norms for rational justification; some concentrate on the description of legal practice; still others specify methods for developing practical skills in analyzing, evaluating and writing legal texts. To give a clear picture of the similarities and differences between the various contributions, the research in this chapter is treated from two angles. In 8.2 the research is first divided into three main approaches oflegal argumentation: the logical, the rhetorical, and the dialogical approach. In 8.3, the research is discussed with respect to the various topics which are the objects of study that can be distinguished in these approaches. To make the survey as complete and representative as possible, the discussion of the various contributions has been kept necessarily brief. A more elaborate and detailed discussion of the various theories can be found in Fundamentals ofLegalArgum entation (Feteris 1999a).

8.2 Different Approaches to Legal Argumentation 8.2.1 The Logical Approach The approach in the study oflegal argumentation with the longest tradition is the logical approach. In a logical approach, the role of formal validity is emphasized as a criterion of rationality for legal argumentation and logical Ian guages are used for reconstructing legal arguments. From a logical perspective, it is a necessary condition of the acceptability of a legal justification that the argument underlying the justification be reconstructible as a logically





valid argument. Another condition would include that the reasons put forth as a justification are acceptable according to legal standards; the decision (the conclusion) only follows from the legal rule and the facts (the premises) if an argument is logically valid. Some authors view the requirement of logical validity as a standard of soundness of legal argumentation that must be related to the requirement that a legal decision should be based on a general rule. When someone claims that a legal decision is based on a general rule, he or she claims that the same solution should be chosen in similar cases. The authors who take the logical approach have different opinions as to whether an analysis of legal arguments requires a deontic logic. Following KIug (1951), some authors argue that normative concepts such as "obliged" and "prohibited" can be defined by means of normative predicates, and without needing to postulate a special class of operators, such as "it is obliging that" and "it is permissible that." And accordingly, they add, that legal arguments can be reconstructed adequately in terms of a predicate logic. 6 Others, like Soeteman (1989), are of the opinion that a deontic logic, in which normative concepts are analyzed as separate logical constants, is more suitable for analyzing legal arguments? A deontic logic involves a further elaboration of propositional logic and predicate logic, and can thus be used not only for the same types of arguments, but also for other types that these more elementary systems are not capable of formulating. 8 Recently, various authors working in the field of artificial intelligence and law offered a different kind of elaboration of standard logic for the analysis of legal reasoning. Hage et al. give a logic for reasoning with legal rules; in such a reason based logic, arguments for and against a legal standpoint can be weighed with greater assurance than is possible in standard logic. 9 In another development, Prakken developed a logical system for a dialogical analysis of legal argument. Because existing logical systems reconstruct only monologues, he developed logical systems in which it is possible to compare arguments for and against conflicting conclusions put forward in the context of a dialogue. 1O

might consist of individuals, such as a magistrate in Traffic Court, or collections of people, such as a criminal trial jury, the lawyers-subscribers of a legal journal or the legal community as a whole. Prominent contributions to the rhetorical approach are Perelman's "new rhetoric", Toulmin's argumentation model and Viehweg's topical approach. All three authors have written about the legal argument, and their ideas have been further developed by others. In Logique juridique. Nouvelle rhetorique (1976) Perelman describes the starting points and argumentative techniques used in law to convince an audience of the acceptability of a particular legal decision. He describes how judges use certain generally accepted starting points in justifying their decisions. Exampies of such starting points are legal principles such as those of fairness, equity, good faith, freedom, etc. Argument schemes, such as analogy and a contrario, enable a judge to win the assent of others. By using analogical reasoning, a judge can show that a certain rule which is applicable to certain cases is also applicable to a case similar in relevant respects. By using a contrario reasoning he or she can show that a rule is not applicable to an actual case which may seem similar at first sight. In legal argumentation literature, Perelman's ideas are frequently cited. In Practical Reasoning in Human Affairs: Studies in Honor of Chaim Perelman (edited by Golden and Pilotta 1986), various authors discuss the application of Perelman's ideas in the field of law. Haarscher focuses on Perelman's ideas about justice, Makau discusses his legal model and Rieke describes various approaches of the process oflegal decision-making and describes the advantages of Perelman's rhetorical approach for the argumentative analysis of legal decision-making. In Chaim Perelman et la pensee contemporaine (edited by Haarscher 1993) various authors concentrate on the legal aspects of Perelman's ideas. Christie delves into the role of the universal audience in law, Ankaku discusses the influence of Perelman's ideas on legal thinking in Japan, Maneli discusses the importance of Perelman's new rhetoric as legal philosophy and methodology, Kamenka and Erh-Soon Tay apply Perelman's ideas to common law and continental European law and Terre discusses the role of the judge in Perelman's new rhetoric. The AnIerican legal philosopher Maneh (1993) argues that Perelman's rhetorical criterion of soundness offers an attractive alternative to formal logical criteria. The AnIerican Speech Communication theorists, Makau (1984) and Schuetz, (1991) have adjusted Perelman's theory for the analysis of certain examples of legal argument. Schuetz shows how precedent is used in a Mexican criminal court to give an effective defense of a particular legal position. Makau shows how the US Supreme Court addresses a composite audience, an


The Rhetorical Approach As a reaction to the logical approach and the emphasis it places on formal aspects oflegal argumentation, the rhetorical approach emphasizes the content of arguments and the context-dependent aspects of acceptability. In this approach, the acceptability of argumentation is dependent on the effectiveness of the argumentation for the audience to which it is addressed. The audience





audience consisting of a number of different addressees: justices (both present and future), lower court justices, legal administrators, legislators, lawyers, participating litigants, legal scholars and other educated members of the political world. Each of these groups reflects unique, often conflicting sets of interests, values and beliefs. Wiethoff (1985) discusses Perelman's philosophy oflegal argument. In The Uses ofArgument, Toulmin (1958) employs examples drawn from the legal process to establish that argument-adequacy is not determined by formal logical validity. He shows that argument is field-dependent. The acceptability of the content of the argument, however, depends on its subject matter and on the audience to which it is addressed. In An Introduction to Reasoning (1984) Toulmin, together with Rieke and Janik, further elaborates his model for the analysis of arguments in various contexts. In a chapter on legal argumentation, they adapt the procedure specifically to the analysis of legal argument. In the literature on legal argumentation, various authors have used Toulmin's model. Some authors only use his terms, others use the model as an analytical tool for reconstructing relevant elements oflegal arguments. Peczenik (19 83: 4-5) employs Toulmin's terminology for his claim that a legal decision is always derived from a statement about the facts in combination with a warrant as an inference rule. Rieke and Stutman (1990: 95-98) use Toulmin's terminology in distinguishing various elements in the argument of an attorney. They specify which parts of an argument playa role in convincing a jury. Newell and Rieke (1986) consider legal doctrine as a set of warrants for legal decisions. Using decisions handed down by the US Supreme Court, they show how legal principles function as a warrant for legal decisions. If an argument by the Supreme Court attains the status of a generally accepted principle, according to Newell and Rieke, such an argument does not require further justification. Snedaker (1987) employs the Toulmin model for an analysis and evaluation of the famous Sam Sheppard trial. There are also authors who draw upon classical rhetorical theory. In a topical approach to legal argumentation, Aristotle's Topics is the starting point for theories involved in finding relevant arguments. In a legal context, arguments must be based on general viewpoints (topoi) which can convince a legal audience. Examples of such legal topoi are general legal principles such as those of fairness, of equity, etc. A prominent representative who employs the topical approach is the German legal theorist, Viehweg (1954).Il By using topoi, in his view, arguments can be found and formulated which can be used for justifying a legal decision.12

Others use the classical status theory, a theory on the various standard questions that should be answered with regard to a certain issue. Hohmann (1989) and McEvoy (1991, 1995) apply classical status theory to the analysis of legal argument. A modern version of status theory is the theory of so-called stock issues applied by Dicks (1976), in the analysis of the famous Angela Davis trial. There are also authors who pay attention to important aspects of medieval rhetorical theories for legal argumentation. Hohmann, for one, describes medieval (1995, 1998) and renaissance (1999) perspectives on logic and rhetoric in legal argumentation. In American speech communication, various authors describe legal argumentation from a rhetorical perspective. Rieke (1986,1991) uses a rhetoricaldialogical perspective. He argues that the analysis of legal decisions must occur in the context of the broader process' oflegal decision-making. According to him, this process is a dialogue in which judges, together with others, try to structure their normative convictions by using dialectical and rhetorical structures. Dicks (1981) describes the rhetorical strategies in a legal process. Hample (1979) discusses the role of choices in the legal decision-making process. From the perspective of legal realism he describes the rhetorical techniques used by judges to hide their personal motives. Olson and Olson (1991) describe rhetorical techniques in a criminal process in which the illegal import of foreigners is discussed. Modern versions of a rhetorical approach can also be found among the authors who belong to the Critical Legal Studies movement or the Law and Literature movement. These authors consider a legal text to be a social, cultural and political phenomenon and analyze the way in which linguistic and textual techniques are used to express (or hide) a particular ideology.'3 Herbeck (1995a) explains the contribution of the Critical Legal Studies approach to argumentation theory. He discusses the role of legal reasoning in the American legal system and considers the implications tlIis conception of jurisprudence has for argumentation theory. Scallen (1995) discusses the most recent manifestations of the debate in the Law and Literature movement. She traces the evolution of the Law and Literature schools and shows how these schools have influenced the conceptual development and teaching of American law. She also points out connections between the Critical Legal Studies and Law and Economics movements in the US and raises questions about the Law and Literature movement. An important representative of this kind of approach in American law is Posner (1988,1990, and 1992). Various authors such as Herbeck (1995), Janas




(1995) and Panetta and Hasian (1995) discuss the importance of Posner's ideas for legal argumentation. Other representatives of such a critical approach are Cornell (1992), Delgado (1995) and Fish (1989). Various authors have published cases studies from the perspective of la~/rhetoric/literature. Klinger (1989) argues that the literary approach offers an Im~ortant p~rspective for the study oflegal decisions. Twigg (1989) gives a narrative analYSIS of US Supreme Court decisions which interpret the United States Constitution and shows which political ideology upholds this interpretation. Recently, several argumentation journals have dedicated special issues to the rhetorical approach oflegal argumentation. In one such special issue of Argumentation, edited by Lempereur et al. (1991), the importance of (classical) rhetorical ideas for legal argumentation is discussed. In a special issue of Argumentation and Advocacy, Makau, Lawrence, Srader, Bruschke and Klinger discuss legal communication and argumentation.

8.23 The Dialogical Approach Recently, a new approach to legal argumentation has emerged in which legal ~rgu~entation is considered from the perspective of a discussion procedure In whICh a legal position is defended according to certain rules for rational ~iscuss.ion. In such approaches, which can be called dialogical, legal argument IS ~onsidered as part of a dialogue about the acceptability of a legal standpomt. The rationality of the argument depends on whether the procedure meets certain formal and material standards of acceptability. Prominent representatives of a dialogical approach to legal theory are Aarnio (1977,19 87), Alexy (1989). and Peczenik (1983,1989 ).14 Just as Habermas, they consider legal argumentatIOn a form of rational communication for reaching a rational consensus by means of discussion. With respect to the analysis and evaluation of arguments, these authors draw a distinction between formal, material and procedural aspects of justification. With regard to the product of an argument, Aarnio (19 87), Alexy (1989), MacCormick (1978), Peczenik (1983) and Wr6blewski (1974) distinguish two levels in the reconstruction of the justification of legal decisions. On the level of the internal justification, the formal aspects are deployed where the argument is reconstructed as a logically valid argument with laws and facts as premises, and the decision as conclusion. The external justification utilizes the material aspects, which asks the question: can the facts and the law or norm used in the internal justification be considered acceptable? A dialogical approach requires discussions to accord with certain procedural criteria of rationality. For a legal decision to be acceptable, it is impor-

tant that the participants observe certain rules. The basic principles of such systems (e.g., that of Alexy) are the principles of consistency, efficiency, testability, coherence, generalizability and sincerity. Aarnio (1987) and Peczenik (1983,1989) depart from these rules and make several additions. In the Netherlands, Feteris, and Kloosterhuis and Plug, approach legal argumentation from a dialogical perspective. They use a pragma-dialectical approach in which the process oflegal argumentation is considered a contribution to a rational discussion. From this viewpoint, the legal process is analyzed in terms of an ideal model for rational dispute-resolution. Feteris (1987, 1990, 1991, 1993a, 1993b, and 1995) notes various similarities and differences between legal and non-legal discussions. Kloosterhuis (1994,1995, and 1999) deVelops an analytical framework for the reconstruction of argumentation based on analogy and a contrario reasoning. Plug (1994,1995, and 1999) proposes how the justification of a legal decision can be analyzed from the perspective of a critical discussion and describes the various argumentation structures used in the justification.

8.3 Topics in the Research of Legal Argumentation 8.3.1 The Philosophical Component In the previous section, the theoretical approaches prominent in the research of legal argumentation have been described. Now various topics that are the object of study in these approaches will be reviewed. In order to give a systematic survey of the topics, they are related to the various components of a research program oflegal argumentation. In a research program, a distinction can be made between the philosophical, theoretical, analytical, empirical and practical components. 15 The philosophical component pertains to the normative foundation of a theory of legal argumentation. The philosophical component raises questions regarding the rationality criteria for legal argumentation and the differences between legal norms of rationality and other (moral) norms of rationality. Two important questions raised in the philosophical component are which general (moral) and which specific legal criteria of rationality should be used in evaluating legal argument. Habermas (1988) examines the question of which criteria legal argumentation should meet in order to be morally acceptable. He notes the special institutionalized procedures that should guarantee that morally acceptable decisions are reached in a legal system. Alexy (1989) develops a theory oflegal argument that combines claims about the ra-





tionality of general practical argumentation with specific insights on legal norms of rationality. Following Alexy, Gun ther (1989) takes legal argumentation to be a special form of general moral argumentation, which takes place under certain restrictions.

8.3.3 The Analytical Component The analytical component shows how to reconstruct legal argumentation in terms of an analytical model. The object of a rational reconstruction is to get a clear view of the stages of the argumentation process, the explicit and implicit arguments, and the argumentation structure. In turn, rational reconstruction forms a basis for the evaluation of arguments. The type of approach and the criteria of rationality presupposed in the approach depend on a specific kind of reconstruction being performed. In a logical approach, a reconstruction is applied in which the argument is analyzed as a chain of logically valid arguments. Various authors, such as Alexy (1989), Koch (1980) and MacCormick (1978), specify the way in which a reconstruction oflegal argumentation should be performed from this perspective. Authors such as Makau (1984), Schuetz (1986, 1991) and Snedaker (1987) describe how a reconstruction can be carried out in a rhetorical analysis. Feteris (1991) discusses the transformations which should be carried out in a dialogical approach to legal argumentation. One of the central subjects in the analysis oflegal argumentation is how the justification of the interpretation of a legal rule should be carried out. In reconstructing legal arguments, a distinction is often made between so-called 'clear' cases in which there is no doubt about the applicability of the law to the case, and 'hard' cases in which the law must be interpreted to make it applicable to the case. Various authors such as Aarnio (1977, 1987), Alexy (1989), MacCormick (1978) and Peczenik (1983,1989) specify various distinct levels in the justification oflegal interpretations. Summers (1978) develops a model for the rational reconstruction oflegal decisions and describes the methods and elements for constructing and evaluating legal decisions. In Interpreting Statutes (edited by MacCormick and Summers 1991), an account is presented of a research project on the interpretation of statutes in various countries (Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Great Britain, the United Stated and Argentina). The conclusion is that different countries employ different interpretation methods in the argumentation of their higher courts. Another important reconstruction question is how arguments based on reasoning from analogy and a contrario should be analyzed and evaluated.Arguments from analogy are used to show that a new situation which is not covered explicitly by the law can fall under a law which may be intended for other cases that are relevant to the studied case. Arguments based on a contrario reasoning reveal that a new case may not fall under an applicable law. The first question in this context is how these argument schemes can be re-

8.3.2 The Theoretical Component In the theoretical component, theoretical models for legal argumentation are developed in which the structure of legal argument and the norms and rules for argument-acceptability are formulated. Wroblewski (1974) has developed a model which isolates the elements that enter into the justification of a legal decision. An adapted version of this model is elaborated by Aarnio (1987) and Alexy (1989 ).A distinction is made between two levels of justification - the internal and the external. Aarnio (1987), Alexy (1989), MacCormick (197 8) and Peczenik (1983, 1989) attempt to specify applicable norms for these two levels. Apart from these general theoretical developments, there are also accounts which pay attention to specific aspects of rational legal argument. Aarnio (1987),Alexy and Peczenik (1990), Gunther (1989), MacCormick (1978) MacCormick and Summers (1991), and Peczenik (1983, 1989) emphasize coherence as one of the most important of these criteria. Other authors emphasize the fallacies found in law. Hohmann (1991) discusses the role of fallacies in legal argument. Prott (1991) discusses International Court decisions in which various fallacies occur such as the argumentum ad hominem, the argumentum ad absurdum, the argumentum ad consequentiam and the argumentum a fortiori. In American speech communication, an important question is how legal argumentation can be described as a specific field of argumentation to which special soundness criteria should be applied. Rieke (1981) introduces a proposal for a research project for legal argumentation as a specific field, and discusses its distinctive features. Asbell Sheppard and Rieke (1983) offer an analytical model for representing legal argumentation. Schuetz (1981) draws attention to problems arising from the assumption that legal argumentation is a distinct field. Others raise the question of which specific fields of argumentation can be distinguished inside the Law. Hollihan et al. (1986) describe the characteristics of the argumentation process in a small claims court. Schuetz (1986) also discusses the legislative process.





constructed as logically valid arguments. Kaptein (1994,1999), Klug (1951) and Soeteman (1989) believe that such argument schemes can be reconstructed as logically valid arguments. According to them, the main question is which logical system is the most suitable for this purpose. Kaptein argues that analogical and a contrario arguments can be analyzed in a propositional logic. Henket (1992) argues that a contrario argumentation should not be analyzed as a material implication, but, depending on the interpretation of the law, as a replication or an equivalence. Benoit and France (1980) discuss examples of analogical argumentation in American law. Henket (1991) examines analogy and the use of rules in practical reasoning. Using a pragma-dialectical framework, Kloosterhuis (1994,1995, and 1999) develops an instrument for analyzing and evaluating arguments based on analogy. He distinguishes various forms of analogy, describes which explicit and implicit elements are represented, and how the argumentation can be evaluated in a rational way. Feteris (1999b) and Plug (1994, 1995, and 1999) discuss methods for reconstructing the structure of the justifications oflegal decisions.

sions in Canada. Neumann et al. (1976) give an account of an investigation into the argumentative practice of the German Bundesgerichtshofin criminal cases. Schuetz (1991) provides an analysis of a Mexican criminal process in terms of Perelman's theorical concepts. Snedaker and Schuetz (1985) describe the argumentative structure of opening statements in an American trial. Walker and Daniels (1995) describe alternative systems to the litigation framework and compare these alternative systems, which include arbitration, mediation and multi-party facilitation. Wasby et al. (1976) describe the role of oral argument in court.

8.3.5 The Practical Component The practical component considers how the various results gained in the philosophical, theoretical, analytical and empirical components of the research might be used in legal practice. Practical applications can be found in methods for improving skills in analyzing, evaluating and writing legal argumentation. These methods are often used for teaching in universities and in law schools. In the United States, the improvement of argumentative skills in legal education is treated in the broader context of logic or legal theory. In An Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning, Burton (1985) discusses various forms of legal reasoning such as analogical reasoning and deductive reasoning. In his Introduction to Logic, Copi (1990) adds a chapter on logic and the law, dealing with such matters as fallacies in the law and inductive and deductive reasoning in law. In Legal Reasoning, Golding (1984) considers different aspects oflegal reasoning such as various types oflegal argument, precedent and analogy. In a chapter on legal reasoning in Principles of Reasoning, Russow and Curd (1988) discuss the role of argument in legal reasoning, the structure of legal reasoning, analogy and precedent. In a chapter on legal reasoning in An Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning, Toulmin, Rieke, and Janik (1984) review the layout oflegal arguments. In Germany, Haft (1981) discusses the problems oflegal reasoning from a rhetorical perspective. In Great Britain, Twining and Miers (1991) discuss problems encountered in the application oflaws in legal interpretation and legal reasoning. Luebke (1995) and Plumer (1995) discuss the application of ideas taken from informal logic for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), a standardized, multiple-choice examination required for admission to nearly all law schools in the United States and Canada. This test measures, among other things, the reading and comprehension of complex texts, the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable infer-

834 The Empirical Component In the empirical component, the construction and evaluation of arguments

in actual legal practice is investigated to determine how the legal practice correspondes to or conflicts with theoretical models. The empirical component also examines how possible discrepancies might be explained. In various case studies, specific characteristics of the legal argumentation process are described. Benoit (1981) gives an account of an empirical investigation into the argumentative strategies of the US Supreme Court. Benoit (1989) emphasizes court reactions to lawyers' arguments. Benoit and D'Agostine (1994) discuss the way a multiple audience discourse functions in law. Benoit and France (1983) examine the effect of opening statements and closing arguments on jury verdicts. Dickens and Schwartz (1970,1971) discuss the role of oral argumentation before the Supreme Court. Dunbar and Cooper (1981) describe various kinds of statements made by a judge in the consecutive stages of a legal process. Hagan (1976) gives an argumentative description of the Roe v. Wade case. Hollihan et al. (1986) and Riley et al. (1987) consider the arguments of litigating parties in a small claims court. Hunsaker (1978) considers the case of Brown v. Board of Education as an example of social protest. Hie (1995) describes the pragmatic and discursive roles of rhetorical questions in English legal discourse. Kominar (1985) discusses the role the demand for argumentative accountability plays in the justification oflegal deci-





ences from the information, the ability to reason critically and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

arguments, the external aspects are related to the material aspects, of how the arguments used can be justified in light of certain legal standards of soundness. The analytical component performs reconstructions of various forms oflegal argumentation. Examples include logical, rhetorical and dialectical analysis of aspects oflegal argumentation. In the analysis, the emphasis is on the reconstruction of various forms of argument used in the interpretation oflegal rules. The empirical component performs various case studies of (aspects of) the legal process, which clarify how various theoretical models can be used in describing a legal argument. The case studies range from an analysis of US Supreme Court arguments to an analysis of arguments in a small claims court. The practical component offers recommendations for the analysis, evaluation and construction oflegal argumentation. We can see that theoretical, analytical and empirical ideas may be combined to develop methods for i~ proving argumentative skills in legal education. It is hoped that cooperatIOn among representatives of the various disciplines will result in a legal argumentation theory that will have both theoretical and practical value for the progress of contemporary research and the successful application of theoretical insights by the legal system and law schools.

8.4 Conclusion This chapter has presented a survey of the various approaches and topics found in legal argumentation research during the past thirty years. With regard to the various approaches, it can be said that the attention has shifted from purely logical and rhetorical approaches to an approach in which logical, rhetorical and communicative aspects are combined to form what is called the dialogical approach. In the 1970S and 1980s, a number of comprehensive theories oflegal argumentation were developed in which legal argumentation was approached from a dialogical perspective (Aarnio, Alexy, Peczenik; see also Feteris, Kloosterhuis and Plug). What these approaches have in common is that the argumentation rationality is related to the quality of the procedure utilized in the discussion. It is also related to the question of whether certain rules for rational discussion have been met. In these theories, the focus is on the starting points and rules for rational legal discussions, on methods for analyzing and evaluating legal arguments and on methods for the construction of rational legal justifications. As far as the various topics of study are concerned, various components of a research project can be found. In the philosophical component, general ideas developed in argumentation theory about the rationality of argumentation are linked with ideas about the rationality oflegal argumentation and interpretation developed in legal theory. Authors like Aarnio, Alexy and Peczenik have developed theories in which they apply ideas of argumentation theories to the legal arena. They determine the general and specific legal criteria of rationality that apply to particular legal discussions. Various rationality criteria can be distinguished such as procedural and material criteria. The procedural criteria relate to the discussion procedure and the justification process. The material criteria concern the standards of rationality that apply to the evaluation of legal arguments in specific legal fields and legal communities. The theoretical component has developed various models for legal argumentation and discussions. With respect to the formal aspects of legal argumentation, these models contain rules for rational legal discussions and a description of the structure of legal arguments. With respect to the structure of legal arguments, a distinction is made between internal and external aspects. The internal aspects are related to the formal logical structure oflegal

Notes 1 In some legal systems, there are statutory provisions that define the required elements of a publicly justified decision. For instance, u~der section 121 of the Dutch Constitution, a legal judgement must speClfythe grounds underlying the decision. In Germany, s. 313 (1) of.the Code of ~iv il Procedure (ZPO) states that a legal decision must contam the operative provisions of the decision, the facts, and the reasons on which th~ decision is based. In Sweden, according to the Code of Procedure, a court Judgement must contain a statement of claim and defense, the issues as presented to the court, the reasons given by the court for its order or decree, and the order or decree itself. For a description of conventions and styles of justifying legal decisions in various countries, see MacCormick and Summers (1991). 2 See, for instance, Die juristischeArgumentation (197 2 ), Krawietz et al. (eds. 1979), Hassemer et al. (eds.1980),Aarnio et al. (eds.1981), Krawietz and Alexy (eds.19 83) 3 See,for instance, Eemeren, van et al. (eds.199 1, 1995), Wenzel (ed.19 87), Zarefsky et al. (eds. 1983), Ziegelmueller and Rhodes ( eds. 19 81 ).




4 See, for instance, the journals Archiv filr Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, Argumentation, Argumentation and Advocacy (formerly the Journal ofthe

American ForensicAssociation) , Informal Logic, International Journal for the Semiotics ofLaw, and Rechtstheorie.
5 See, for instance, Feteris and Schuetz (1996), Lempereur (1991), and MatIon (1994). 6 See, for instance, Tammelo et al. (1981), MacCormick (199 2:195-199), Rodig (1971), Yoshino (1981). 7 See,for instance, Alexy (1980:198-199), Kalinowski (1972), Koch (1980), Soeteman (1989), and Weinberger (197 0 ). 8 For a more extensive treatment of the arguments for and against a deontic logic with respect to legal argumentation see, for instance, Rodig (1971), Soeteman (1989). 9 See Hage et al. (1994). 10 SeePrakken(1993). 11 For a critique of Viehweg's theory, see Alexy (1989: 20- 24). 12 Other authors working in a topical-rhetorical tradition based on Viehweg's ideas, are Ballweg (1982), Esser (1979), Horn (1967), Schreckenberger (1978), Seibert (1980), and Struck (1977). 13 For a survey of a literary approach ofthe law see Posner (1988), and White (19 84,1989, and 1990). 14 For a description of a combination of the insights of these authors, see Aarnio, Alexy, and Peczenik (1981), in which an outline is given of a theory oflegal argumentation and legal discussions. 15 For the introduction of the various components of a general research programme of argumentation, see Van Eemeren (1987). See also Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992).

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225 224

Index of Names

Aarnio, A. 208,209,210,211,214 Adler, J. 179,192 Alexy,R. 208,209,210,211,214 Anscombre, J.-e. 14,46,49,173,175 Aristode 24,28-29,46,53,70,73,82-83,
94, 129,13 6 - 139,140,141,143,145,149, 184,206 Arnauld,A. 141 Atelsek, J. 46,49

Bacon, E 135,141 Barth, E.M. 15,3,46,154, 156-157 Beardsley, M.e. 107-108,149 Benoit, W.L. 212 Benthem, J. van 179 Berg, J. 78,179 Berkenbosch, R. 69 Billig, M. 184 Bird,O. 83 Biro,J. 154 Bitzer,L.E 185 Black, M. 149 Blair, I.A. 13>37,43,46,47,54,73,112-113,
115-117,132,154, 183

Cairns,H. 137,138 Campbell,G. 102,105-106 Carney, J.D. 149,153 Caudill, S. 70 Cicero 52,78,82-83,94,97,103,130 Clark, H.H. 191 Cohen, e. 114-117,131,178 Cohen,L.J. 46,49 Cohen, M.R. 52,140,141,149 Condit, M.e. 70 Conway, D.A. 130,131 Cooper, M. 212 Copi, I.M. 52,54,68,114-117,131,140,141,

Cornell, P. 208 Coulter, J. 170,191 Crawshay-Williams, R. 15,46,49 Crutchfield, R.S. 33,42,47 Davidson, D. 159 Delgado, R. 208 Dickens, M. 212 Dicks, V.I. 207 Dijk, T.A. van 193 Donnellan, K. 79 Ducrot, O. 14,46,49,173,175 Dunbar, N. 212 Eemeren, EH. van 11,12,14,15-16,30,3133,46,48,49,54,57,58,66,7,72,78,79, 81,91,98-99,117-119,121,123,124,126, 132,133,144,151,154,157-158,164,166, 168,170,175,178,186-187,190 Ehlich, K. 191 Ehninger, D. 98 Ennis, R.H. 57,62,64,67,79

Boethius 52,78,82-83 Braet,A.e. 129 Brinton, A.A. 154 Brockriede, W. 98,166 Brown, P. 169 Bueno, A.A. 139,164 Burge, T. 156 Burke, K. 64,79 Burnyeat, M.E 78 Burton, S.J. 213 Bybee, M.D. 78


Fearnside, W.W. 139,149 Feteris, E. T. 24,25,69,203,209,212,213,


Finocchiaro, M.A. 142,154 Fisher, A. 46,49,79,131 Fisher,1. 114,116,117,124 Foss, S.K. 184 Freadhoff, K. Freeley,A.J. 38,44,46,86-87,94 Freeman, J.B. 24,119,122,132,154,183 Garssen, B.J. 24,51,72,73,78,79,95,193 Gass, R.H. 95 Geest,1. van der 69 Gerritsen, S. 23,52,53,57,59,78,79 Goffman, E. 169 Golden, J.1. 205 Golding, M.P. 213 Goodwin, P.D. 95 Govier, T. 13,37,43,46,52,55,56,57,58,
61,62,67,78,79,113-114,116-117,131,154, 179-183

Harman, G. 34,47,49 Hasian, M. 208 Hastings, A.C 24,87-90,94,98,109-110 Henket, M. 212 Herbeck, D.A. 207 Hintikka,J. 154,159 Hitchcock, D. 54,56,57, 78,154,181 Hohmann, H. 207,210 Hollihan, T.A. 210,212 Holther, W.B. 139,149 Horovitz, J. 202 Horwitz, L. 70 Houtlosser, P. 16,23,32,44-45,46,190 Hunsaker, D.M. 212 Hymes, D. 167

Kominar, R.A. 212 Kopperschmidt, J. 16,40-41,44,47 Krabbe, E.CW. 15,30,46 ,154,15 6 -157,

Oesteriee, j .A. 149 O'Keefe, D. 33,4 2,47 Olbrechts-Tyteca, 1. 12-13,16,24,84-85,

94,9 8 -99, 184

Krech, D. 33,4 2,47 Kripke, S.A. 15 6 Kruger, A.N. 98 Lambert, K. 153 Laycock. C 98 Lempereur,A. 208 Levinson, S.C 167,169 Locke, J. 135,142 -144 Lorenz, K. 15,30,47 Lorenzen, P. 15,3 0 ,47 Lucaites, J.1. 70 Luebke,S.W. 213 Lundquist,1. 192 MacCormick, N. 208,210,211 Mackenzie, J. 159 Makau, j.M. 205,208,211 Maneli, M. 205 Martens,j.1. 157 Massey,G. 153 McBurney,j.H. 9 8 , 109 McEvoy, S.T. 207 Meuffels, B. 175 Michalos,A.C 149 Miers, D. 213 Milapides, M. 193 Mill,j.S. 144-145,15 1 Mills, G.E. 98,108, 109,13 0 Morgan, A. de 141,153 Muntigl, P. 171 Naess,A. 15,30 ,47 Nagel, E. 140,141,149 Neumann, U. 213 Newell, S.E. 206 Nicole, P. 141 N0lke, H. 14,19 8 Nolt, J.E. 125,126,131, 183 Noordman,1.G.M. 17 6 -177,19 2 Nuchelmans, G. 142 ,143,178

O'Neill,j.M. 109 Panetta, E. 208 Pascal, B. 141 Peczenik,A. 206,208,209,210,211, 21 4 Peirce, C.S. 7 8 Perelman, Ch. 12-13,47,49,16,23,24,81,

Peter of Spain 52,78 Piazza, F. 60,79 Pinto, R.C. 112-113,116-117,132,153,154,


Hie, C 212
Jackson, S. 46,48,60,79,166,168,170,

Jacobs,S. 46,48,60,69,70,78,79,166,

Grice, H.P. 132,159,168,177,187 Grimaldi, W.M.A. 98 Groarke,1. 57,66,78,79,114,116-117,124,


Janas,M. 207-208 Janik, A. 48,49,206,213 Johnson, R.H. 13,37,43,47,54,58,79,115117,154,192

Plato 136 Plug, j. 209,212, 214 Plumer,G. 213 Pomerantz,A. 172 Popper, K. 15 Posner, R.A. 207, 208 Prakken, H. 204 Prott,1.V. 210 purtill, L.1. 149 Quintilian 103-104, 129 Ramus, P. 141 Ray, J. 109,13 0 Reboul, O. 16 Rees, M.A. van 24,168, 189,199 Rehbein,j. 191 Rescher, N. 29-30,47,53,58 ,13 2,149,153,

Grootendorst, R. 15-16,31-33,46,48,49,
54,57,5 8,66,72,78,79,91,99,111,117119,121,123,124,126,132,133,144,151, 153,154,157-158,164,166,168,170,175, 178,186-187

Johnson-Laird,Ph.N. 175-176 Johnstone Jr., H. 144 Jungslager, ES. 175 Kahane, H. 149,178 Kalinowski, G. 202,216 Kamiah, W. 30,47 Kaptein, H. 212 Keenan, E.L. 79 Kelley, D. 78,131 Kennedy, G.A. 103 Kienpointner, M. 93-95,185 Kitis, E. 193 Kline, S.L. 94,185 Klinger, G. 208 Kloosterhuis, H. 209,212,214 Klug, U. 204,212 Koch, H.J. 211 Koetsenruijter, W. 193

Gumperz, J.J. 191 Gunther, K. 210 Gutenplan, S.D. 149 Haack,S. 78 Habermas, J. 40,202,208,209 Haft, E 213 Hagan,M.R 212. Hage, J.C 204,225 Hamblin, CL. 15,21,24,47,48,135,139,
140 ,142,143,149-153,154,156,159

Rieke, R.D. 48,49,202,206,207,210,213 Rijk, 1.M. de 141 Riley, P. 212 Salmon, W.e. 149 Sanders, J.A. 95 Scales, R.L. 98 Scali en, E.A. 207 Scheer, R.K. 149,153

Hamilton, E. 137,138 Hample, D. 78 Hansen, H.Y. 153,154

229 228

Schellens, P.J. 24,89-91,94,9 8 -99 Schiffer, S. 47,48 Schiffrin, D. 34-35,42-42,47,48,172-173 Schipper, E.W. 149 Schopenhauer,A. 144,152 Schuetz, J. 205,210,211,213,216 Schuh, E. 149 Schwartz, R. 212 Scriven, M. 79,181-182 Searle, J.R. 48,168,187 Siegel, H. 154 Slot,p. 199 Snedaker, K. 206,211, 213 Snoeck Henkemans,A.F. 24,119,120,
121-122, 123, 124, 125,132,133,134,175, 190

Twigg, R. 208 Twining, W. 213 Ulrich, W. 153 Verbiest,A.E.M. 192 Viehweg, Th. 206 Vorobej, M. 131,133,134 Vuchinich, S. 172 Walker, G.B. 213 Walton, D.N. 24,51,52,55,5 6 ,67,68,71,
73,78,79,98,119,122,123,124,125,133, 134,135,154-156,159-160,164 Warnick, B. 94 Weddle, P. 48,49 Weinberger, O. 216

Index of Terms

abusive variant of argumentum ad hominem 143,152 accent 136 acceptability 13,31,32,33,36,37,38,39,

41,44-45,4 6 ,49


Socrates 137-139 Soeteman, A. 204, 212 Solmsen, F. 78 Sperber, D. 191 Stalnaker, RC. 79 Starmans, R. 78 Strawson, P.E 79 Stutman, R.K. 206 Summers, R.S. 210,211 Sweetser, E. 192 Tammelo, L 216 Tamny, M. 149 Thomas, S.N. 37,43,48, 49, 108, 111-112,

Wenzel, J.W. 16,95 Whately, R 24,48,49,83-84,94,98,102,

106-107,130,132,135,144,87 Wilson, D. 191 Windes, RR 109-110 Wiseman, RL. 95

acceptable see acceptability acceptance see acceptability accidens (fallacy) 83,136,139,140,141,


argumentation based on regularity 90 argumentation based on a rule of conduct 90 argumentation based on the structure of reality 85 argumentation by analogy see analogical argument(ation) argumentation by authority 84,86,89,

accident, topos of a contrario argument/reasoning 205,

209, 211, 212

Woods, J. 24,55,56,58,78,135,154-156,

Wreen, M. 199 Wroblewski, J. 208,210 Yanal, R.J. 130 Zavos, H. 109,130

activity type 167 ad fallacies 142-144,146 addition (transformation) 186 affirmative side in a debate 39 affirming the consequent 136,150 ambiguity see fallacy of ambiguity amphiboly 136 analogical argument( ation)/reasoning
83,86,89,91,92,97, 205,209,211,212, 213

Thomson, A. 60,62,63,64,65 Tindale, C. 114,116-117, 124 Toulmin, S.E. 12,23,24,38-39,43-44,48 ,

50 ,60,78,79,88,99,202,206, 213 Tracy, K. 191

Tsui,A.B.M. 173 Turnbull, W. 171

analogy see analogical argument analytic overview 185 analytical component 211,225 antagonist 15,31,38 a priori argumentation 83 argument 27,41,44 argumentation 11,34-35,37 argumentation based on a coexistential relation see argumentation based on the structure of reality argumentation based on a sequential relation see argumentation based on the structure of reality argumentation based on comparison

argumentation from circumstantial evidence to hypothesis 89 argumentation from criteria to a verbal classification 88 argumentation from definition to characteristics 88 argumentation from example 83,88,91 argumentation from example to descriptive generalisation see argumentation from example argumentation from sign to unobserved event 88 argumentation from time to causality

90 argumentation in law 22-23,201-225 argumentation scheme see argument scheme argumentation stage 15-16 argument(ation) structure 20-21,101134,166,175,182-183, 185,199

argumentation that structures/establishes the structure of reality 13,86 argumentative direction 14 argumentative discourse analysis 35-36 argumentative force 14 argumentative orientation 174



argument from analogy see analogical argument(ation) argument interpretation 22, 165-166,
170 ,175,190

argument reconstruction 22, 165-166,


argument scheme 13,19-20,72 -73,81-99,


argument scheme rule 158 argument scheme that structures reality


ad hominem 143,159 claim 12,37,38-39,43-44 classical dialectic 28- 29 closing 172 closure rule 158 clue for identifying standpoint 44-45 clue in the verbal presentation 124 cognitive research on reasoning 28,3435,42,175-177

data 12 debate proposition (of fact, value, policy) 39 declaring a standpoint sacrosanct 158 deductive argument(ation)/reasoning
109,112,113,116,176, 213

argumentum ad baculum 142,147,159 argumentum ad consequentiam 148 argumentum ad hominem 21,142,143,


coherence 209 combination of words 136 commit(ment) 30 ,31,32,34,35,49,7172,156

argumentum ad ignorantiam 142,143,

144, 146, 159

communicative action, theory of 40-41 comparison argumentation 91 complementary argumentation 121,132133

deductive-inductive distinction 55 deductivism 181,199 defend (obligation to) 30,32-33,44-45 definition, topos of 83 deletion 186 denying an unexpressed premise 158 denying the antecedent 150 deonticlogic 178,203 diagram 107,113,123,133 dialectic(al)/dialogical (approach) 1417,82, 203,208,209, 211

face 169,171-173 fallacy 21-22,135-164,210,213 fallacy dependent on language 136-140 fallacy extra dictionem see fallacy independent oflanguage fallacy in dictione see fallacy dependent on language fallacy independent oflanguage 136,

argumentum ad judicium 142,144 argumentum ad misericordiam 147-148 argumentum ad populum 21, 148, 151,

complex argument(ation) 101, 103,117,

126, 127, 129

argumentum ad verecundiam 21,142,


artificial intelligence 203 assertion/assertive 30 ,32,33,3 8,39,40 4 1,43,45

associated conditional see logical minimum association 84 assumption see unexpressed premise attitude (positive, negative) 33-34.42 attitude indicating verb 43 audience 12, 204, 20 5,206 backing 12, 60 back-up 64,65 begging the question see petitio principii belief 34-35,42,48,49 burden of proof 36,39-40 ,48,102,107,
109- 110, 129, 158

composite audience 20 5,206 composition, see fallacy of composition concession 15,30 concluding stage 16 conclusion 37-38,43 conditional 177,181, 189,198 conflict of opinions (pure, mixed) 30 confrontation stage 15 connective 173-174 consistency 209 context 68-72 conventionally sound/valid 15 convergent argumentation/reasoning
101,102,108,111-112,113,114,115,116,119, 120,121,122,124,125,127,130,131,133, 134, 183

dialectical problem 28-29 dialectical proposition 29 dialectical shift 159 dialectification, principle of 31 difference of opinion 30-31,39,43 disagreement 170-173,185,198 dispreferred response 172 dispute see difference of opinion division of words 136 division see fallacy of division doubt (identification of) 29,32,34,39,45 doxa 70 drawing a general conclusion from an incomplete induction 142 empirical component 212,215 enthymeme 52, 180 epicheirema/epicheireme 103 equivocation 136 ethical fallacy 146 evading the burden of proof 158 exconcessis 15,157 explanation 37,45 expressed opinion 32,36,44 external justification 208,210,214 externalization, principle of 31 extra dictionem see fallacy independent oflanguage

fallacy of ambiguity 146,155 fallacy of clearness 146 fallacy of composition 148-149,156 fallacy of division 148-149,156 fallacy offour terms 144,155 fallacy of relevance 146 false analogy 144,146 false premise 144 felicity condition 168-170,189,197 felicity condition for standpoint 32,45 field-(in)dependent 12,206,210 figurative analogy 91 form of expression 136 formal analysis 155 formal dialectic(s) 15,29-30,154,156-157 formal disputation 29 formal validity 178-181,189,203,206 four terms see fallacy of four terms freedom rule 158 free-floating form of reasoning 89,90,

functionalization, principle of 31 gap-filler 62,64,65-67 general topics 82 generic analysis 184 genus, topos of 83 graph method 123,133 group of premises see set of premises hasty generalization 136,141,146 hypothetical statement 63,79 identification of standpoint 42-45 idia see specific topics 82 idol 141-142

co-operation/co-operative principle
168, 189

burden of proof rule 158 causal reasoning 83,85,87,88,92,93 circular reasoning seepetitiio principii circumstantial variant of argumentum

coordinative(ly compound) argumentation 101, Il7, 118, 121, 124, 132, 133 critical discussion 30-31,157, 185- 187,
199, 209

Critical Legal Studies 207 cumulative argumentation 121,132,134



ignoratio elenchi 136,144,147,159 implicature 45,62 implicit premise/reason see unexpressed premise in dictione see fallacy dependent on language indicator 166,172-173,175,182,187,190 indirect speech act 169-170,173,175,186187

logical analysis 211,215 logical approach 202,203,210 logical fallacy 144 logical form 178 logical minimum 56, 66, 79, 189 logical validity see formal validity making an absolute of the success of the defense 158 many questions 21,65,136,145-147,150,

opening stage 15 opinion 32,35-36,43,44 opponent 15,29-30 opposition 172,175 paralogism 136 pathetic fallacy 146 patterning 170-172 permutation 186 persuasion see socio-psychological persuasion research petitio principii 21,136,144,146-147,150-151,

inductive argument( ation)/reasoning

84, 109,112,131,176

rational reconstruction 210 rationality 201,203,208,209,210,214 reaction to an assertive 45 reason see premise reasoning see argument( ation) reconstruction 31,41,165-199 relevance 13,188,197-198 relevance rule 158 rhetoric 82,183-185 rhetorical analysis 211,215 rhetorical approach 16-17,203,204,206, 207,
208, 213

inductive fallacy 144-145,159 informal logic 13,179-183 informal logic, procedural 38-39,43-44 informal logic, structuralist 37-38,43 inherent argumentativity 174 instrumental argumentation 91 interaction principle 33,44 intermediate conclusion 64 internal justification 208,210,214 interpretation 165-199 interpretation oflegal rule 211,213 invention 82 irrelevancy 13,144 jurisprudence 201,207 koina see general topics law see argumentation in law Law and Literature movement 207 legal argumentation see argumentation in law legal philosophy 202 legal principle 205,206,209 legal theory 201,202 line of argumentlreasoning 112,115, ll6,

marker of standpoint 43-45 material fallacy see nonlogical fallacy maxinIe 83 measurement technique (direct, indirect) 42 mental attitude 34 mental model 175-176 metaphoric analysis 184 missing premise see unexpressed premise mob appeal see argumentum ad populum modal linkage 120 modern deductivism 57-59 moral argument/reasoning 105,106 multiple argumentation 101, ll7, ll7, 121,
122, 124,126,133,212

narrative analysis 184 needed premise 67-68 negative side in a debate 39 Neo-Aristotelean analysis 184 new dialectic 14-16 new rhetoric 84 non-assertive speech act as standpoint

linguistic device 172-175 linked argumentation/reasoning 101,

102, 103,106,108, 1l0, Ill-I12, ll3, ll6, 119,120,121,122, 123, 124, 125,127,130, 131,133,134

non-cause as cause 136 nonlogical fallacy 144 non-monotoniclogic 179 non sequitur 147 normative pragmatics 70 obligation (to argue, defend, justify) 30,
32 ,33,34,35,38,41,44,45

philosophical component 209,214 pluralism 55-57 point of view 17-18,27-50 policy for doubtful cases 125-126 polyphony 174 position 31,32,34,35,36,40,42 post hoc ergo propter hoc 136,147 practical component 213,215 pragma-dialectical approach/pragma -dialectics 15-16,157-158,185-190,199,209 pragmatic analysis offallacies 159-160 pragmatic argumentation 85,9 0 ,9 2 predicate logic 178,204 premise set see set of premises premise structure 117,126,131 preparatory condition for standpoint 32,45 presentation of an assertive 45 presupposition 61,62,63,79 principle of charity 182-183,199 principle of cooperation see cooperative principle problem-sound/valid 15 proponent 15,29-30 proposition 39-40,44 protagonist 15 quasi-logical argument scheme 13,85 quasi-logical argumentation 85 radical argumentativism 14 rational discussion 209, 21 4 rational organisation 168-170

rhetorical situation 185 rightness claim 40-41 secundum quid see hasty generalization serial argument/reasoning 101,103,108 setofpremises 112-ll3,115,131 shifting the burden of proof 158 sign argumentation 83,87 sincerity 36 sincerity condition for standpoint 32 slippery slope 148,160 snob appeal see argumentum ad populum socialization, principle of 31 socio-psychological persuasion research 3334,42

sophism 136,141-142 speech act 167-170,185-189,197-198 speech act of advancing a standpoint 31-33,

speech event 167 stage of critical discussion 185-187 standard treatment of the fallacies 149- 153 standpoint (positive, negative) 11,27-50 ,175,
185,188-189,198- 199

status theory 207 stock issue 39 strategic device 169 strategy of maximally argumentative analysis 126 strategy of maximally dialectical analysis
18 7

literal analogy 91 logic 178-179,203,204,211,213

straw man 148,159 subordinate/subordinatively compound ar-





gumentation lOl,lO3 substitution 186 sufficiency 13 supposition see unexpressed premise syllogistic fallacy 144-145 syllogisticlogic 178 symptomatic argumentation 91 theoretical component 209,214 thesis 15,40-41 topica/topic(s) 82,206 topical potential 17 topos/topoi 14,20,73,174-175,206 Toulmin's model of analysis 12,78-79,

(un)bound argumentation see freefloating argumentation unexpressed premise 18-19,51-79,151153,166,180-182,199

The Contributors

unexpressed premise rule 158 unexpressed standpoint 18 universal audience 12 used premise 67-68 using the force of threats see argumentum ad baculum validity claim 40-41,44 verbal reasoning 88 warrant 12,60 warrant -establishing argument(ation) scheme 93 warrant -using argument( ation) scheme

traditional logical approach to unexpressed premises 52-53 traditional rhetorical approach to unexpressed premises 53-54 transformation 211 tu quoque variant of argumentum ad hominem 143

wrongly-assumed premise 144

Frans H. van Eemeren is Professor of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory, and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam, chair of the Department, and director of the research program "Argumentation in Discourse" at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. With Rob Grootendorst, he founded the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation; together they co-authored Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions (1984), Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies (1992), Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse (1993, with Sally Jackson and Scott Jacobs), Studies in PragmaDialectics (eds. 1994), Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory (1996, with Francisca Snoeck Henkemans and an international group of argumentation scholars), the textbook Argumentation (2001, with Francisca Snoeck Henkemans), and Critical Discussion (2001). Van Eemeren is a member qf the board of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA), and senior editor of the journal Argumentation and the book series "Argumentation Library:' Eveline T. Feteris is Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory, and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam. She studied Dutch Language and Literature, specialising in Speech Communication. In 1989, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis on discussion rules in law (written in Dutch) provides a pragma-dialectical analysis of the civil and criminal process. Feteris is coordinator of the research project "Institutional Argumentation" that is part of the research program "Argumentation in Discourse" at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. Her specializations include argumentation theory, legal argumentation, and legal communication. Among her most recent publications is Fundamentals ofLegal Argumentation (1999) Bart Garssen studied Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in Speech Communication. In 1997, he defended his doctoral thesis (in Dutch) in which he presents a theoretical and empirical investigation of argument schemes from a pragma-dialectical perspective. Garssen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communica-




tion, Argumentation Theory, and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam and is a participant in the research project "Conceptions of Reasonableness" that is part of the research program "Argumentation in Discourse" at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. He is coordinator of the argumentative writing skills program in the Humanities department. Susanne Gerritsen studied Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in Speech Communication. In 1999, she published her doctoral thesis (in Dutch) on unexpressed premises and the effects they can have on the understanding of a text. At present, Gerritsen is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the University ofAmsterdam, where she is coordinator of the composition skills program. She is also active as a communication trainer and communication coach. Peter Houtlosser received his doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam in 1995. His dissertation (in Dutch) on standpoints in a critical discussion provides a pragma-dialectical perspective on the identification and reconstruction of standpoints. Upon his completion of a research project concerning indicators of argumentative language use as a postdoctoral researcher sponsored by the National Science Foundation of the Netherlands (NWO), he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory, and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam, and a participant in the research project "Rhetorical and Dialectical Analysis" that is part of the research program "Argumentation in Discourse" at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. His research on rhetorical and dialectical analysis is done in collaboration with Frans H. van Eemeren. Houtlosser is book review editor for the journal Argumentation. M. Agnes van Rees is Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory, and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam. She studied General Linguistics and Dutch Language and Literature. In 1982, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Leiden. Her thesis (written in Dutch) deals with the interpretation of illocutionary acts. Van Rees is coordinator of the research project "Characteristics of Argumentative Discourse" that is part of the research program "Argumentation in discourse" at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. Her specializations include speech act theory, conversation analysis, and the study of argumentation in everyday conversation. One of her publications in English is The Use of Language in Conversation: An Introduction to Research in Conversational Analysis
(1992). .

A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans is Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory, and Rhetoric at the University of Amsterdam and a participant in the research project "Characteristics of Argumentative Discourse" that is part of the research program "Argumentation in discourse" of tlIe Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam in 1992. Her thesis is entitled Analysing Complex Argumentation: The Reconstruction of Multiple and Coordinatively Compound Argumentation in a Critical Discussion. TogetlIer with Frans H. van Eemeren,Rob Grootendorst,and an international group of other argumentation theorists, she wrote Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory (199 6 ), a comprehensive survey of the various theoretical contributions to the study of argumentation. Again with Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst, she co-authored the introductory textbook Argumentation (2001). She has furtlIer published on complex argumentation and the pragma-linguistic aspects of argumentation.