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Topoi

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 659–668 | Cite as

Giving Reasons Does Not Always Amount to Arguing

  • Lilian Bermejo-LuqueEmail author
Article
  • 178 Downloads

Abstract

Both because of the vagueness of the word ‘give’ when speaking about giving reasons, and because we lack an adequate definition of ‘reasons’, there is a harmful ambiguity in the expression ‘giving reasons’. Particularly, straightforwardly identifying argumentation with reasons giving would make of virtually any interplay a piece of argumentation. Besides, if we adopt the mainstream definition of reasons as “considerations that count in favour of doing or believing something”, then only good argumentation would count as argumentation. In this paper, I defend a qualified characterization of argumentation as reasons giving that is shown to be fruitful for shedding light on the practice of giving reasons, and an inferentialist conception of reasons that makes room for speaking of “bad reasons” and, consequently, makes it possible to talk of argumentation as reasons giving even if we are talking about bad argumentation.

Keywords

Argumentation Reasons Giving reasons LNMA Inferring Argumentative speech-acts 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I wish to thank Javier Rodríguez Alcázar and the Topoi reviewers of this paper for their insightful comments and criticisms. The work presented in this paper has been financed by a Ramón y Cajal Research Fellowship and by the research Project FFI2014-54681-P of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy IUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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