Argument of reciprocity: a unique scheme or not? Pragma-dialectical investigation into quasi-logical arguments



Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Argumentor 4: Mens Sana: Rethinking the Role of Emotions
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords argument scheme; pragma-dialectics; reciprocity; the new rhetoric
Description In their famous The New rhetoric Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca presented a category of quasi-logical arguments as persuasive because of their similarity with mathematical and logical demonstrations. In this article, the persuasiveness of the quasi-logical argument is viewed from the perspective of pragma-dialectics. The first part of the article deals with the possibilities of transformation of the concept of quasi-logical arguments presented by the new rhetoric in accordance with meta-theoretical principles of pragma-dialectics. The crucial problem seems to be the identification of the function of quasi-logical arguments in solving a conflict of opinion. The second part compares the options of functionalization of quasi-logical arguments in a case study of their subtype, arguments of reciprocity. This paper presents a functionalization submitted by Bart Garssen that identifies quasi-logical reciprocity as one argument scheme appealing to the principle of “giving in return.” A competing functionalization is then presented based on the reconstruction of illustrations in The New rhetoric that correspond to the type of reciprocal relationships as “give-give” that are also considered by Garssen. It is shown that reciprocal arguments in The New rhetoric are not limited to one scheme in a pragma-dialectical sense, but the arguments with this type of reciprocal relationship can implement three different schemes.
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