, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 473–487

Strategic Maneuvering with Dissociation


DOI: 10.1007/s10503-007-9024-4

Cite this article as:
van Rees, M.A. Argumentation (2006) 20: 473. doi:10.1007/s10503-007-9024-4


This paper explores the possibilities for strategic maneuvering of the argumentative technique that Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (The New Rhetoric. A Treatise on Argumentation, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame/London, 1969) called dissociation. After an exploration of the general possibilities that dissociation may have for enhancing critical reasonableness and rhetorical effectiveness, the use of dissociation in the successive stages of a critical discussion is examined. For each stage, first, the dialectical moves that dissociation can be employed in are specified, then, the specific ways in which dissociation contributes to fulfilling the dialectical tasks that are associated with these moves are delineated, and, finally, the rhetorical gain that␣dissociation can bring in the fulfillment of these tasks is discussed. Some general conclusions are drawn for research that aims at understanding the potential of an argumentative technique for strategic maneuvering.


critical discussion dialectic dissociation rhetoric strategic maneuvering 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and RhetoricUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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