, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 325-339

The Limits of the Dialogue Model of Argument

  • J. Anthony BlairAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Windsor

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The paper's thesis is that dialogue is not an adequate model for all types of argument. The position of Walton is taken as the contrary view. The paper provides a set of descriptions of dialogues in which arguments feature in the order of the increasing complexity of the argument presentation at each turn of the dialogue, and argues that when arguments of great complexity are traded, the exchanges between arguers are turns of a dialogue only in an extended or metaphorical sense. It argues that many of the properties of engaged back-and-forth exchanges of paradigmatic argument dialogues are not found in ‘solo’ arguments, and that at least some of the norms appropriate to the former type of argument, such as some of the pragma-dialectical rules of van Eemeren and Grootendorst's model, do not apply to the latter.

Dialogue model argument Walton pragma-dialectical rules