, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 95-112

Negotiation, Persuasion and Argument

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Abstract

Argument is often taken to deal with conflicting opinion or belief, while negotiation deals with conflicting goals or interests. It is widely accepted that argument ought to comply with some principles or norms. On the other hand, negotiation and bargaining involve concession exchange and tactical use of power, which may be contrasted with attempts to convince others through argument. However, there are cases where it is difficult to draw a clear distinction between bargaining and argument: notably cases where negotiators persuade others through `framing' and cases where the aims of negotiation have to do with public assertion and acceptance. Those cases suggest that the distinction between negotiation and argument is not absolute, and this raises the question whether rules about what is acceptable in argument and rules about what is acceptable in negotiation can all be viewed as instances of more general common norms about human interaction.