A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-Dialectical by Frans H. van Eemeren, Rob Grootendorst

By Frans H. van Eemeren, Rob Grootendorst

Specialists in argumentation idea current a view of argumentation as a way of resolving modifications of opinion by means of checking out the acceptability of the disputed positions. Their version of a "critical discussion" serves as a theoretical instrument for reading, comparing and generating argumentative discourse. This significant contribution to the learn of argumentation can be of specific price to pros and graduate scholars in speech conversation, casual good judgment, rhetoric, serious considering, linguistics, and philosophy.

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They can be characterized with the help of the general framework we have just presented. 37 Doing so makes it easier to get an overall picture of the state of the art in the discipline, to distinguish the different approaches from each other, and to indicate where there are genuine opportunities for mutual cooperation. We have developed our dialectical variant of a research program of this kind by systematically combining a critical-rationalist philosophical position with a pragma-dialectical theoretical position, an analytical position that centers around the resolution of differences of opinion, an empirical position oriented toward the process of convincing, and a practical position directed at stimulating reflection.

Actually, there is a preceding stage during which the instructors themselves have to become familiar with the state of the art in the study of argumentation and the most recent developments, otherwise they cannot teach argumentation theory properly. In many countries, one problem is the lack of appropriate teaching material in which suitable methods are used. 29 A requirement that every argumentation course 29 See van Eemeren, Grootendorst, and Snoeck Henkemans (2002). 34 A systematic theory of argumentation should meet is that it be organized in such a way that it proceeds step-by-step toward the fulfillment of the teaching goals, taking due account of the interests, ages, and capacities of the pupils.

A fundamental difference between Greek and Roman rhetoric is that Aristotle’s general moves can be applied to any subject at all. In Roman rhetoric, the moves are primarily subject-bound. The Romans seem to have had a greater predilection for ethos and pathos than Aristotle displayed. By means of the system of loci or (special) rhetorical moves, the theory of inventio is an aid in choosing the premises that are to “fill out” the epicheireme. Model of a critical discussion 45 for a very long time there was little interest in the theoretical study of argumentation in ordinary language.

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