Standing Standpoints and Argumentative Associates: What is at Stake in a Public Political Argument?
In today’s ‘networked’ public sphere, arguers are faced with countless controversies roaming out there. Knowing what is at stake at any point in time, and keeping under control the contribution one’s arguments make to the different interrelated issues requires careful craft (e.g. Mohammed and Zarefsky, in Feteris, Garssen and Snoeck Henkemans (eds) Keeping in touch with Pragma-Dialectics. In honor of Frans H. van Eemeren. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2011). In this paper, I explore the difficulty of determining what is at stake at any moment of the argumentative situation and explore the challenge that that creates for examining the strategic shape of arguments. I argue that a meaningful examination of networked argumentative encounters requires that the boundaries of an encounter remain ‘fluid. In dealing with the fluid boundaries, I suggest to identify “argumentative associates” and “standing standpoints”.
KeywordsArgumentative associate Argumentative potential Commitments Multiple issues Public arguments Standing standpoint Strategic manoeuvring
I thank Mark Aakhus, the participants of the regular ArgLab research colloquium of the NOVA Institute of Philosophy, and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback on an earlier version of this paper. This research has been supported by funds from the Institute of Philosophy at the FCSH NOVA, Universidade Nove de Lisboa as well as from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) grant PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014.
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