Another Dimension to Deep Disagreements: Trust in Argumentation
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It has typically been assumed that affective and social components of disagreement, such as trust and fair treatment, can be handled separately from substantive components, such as beliefs and logical principles. This has freed us to count as “deep” disagreements only those which persist even between people who have no animosity towards each other, feel equal to one another, and are willing to argue indefinitely in search of truth. A reliance on such ideal participants diverts us from the question of whether we have swept away the opportunity for some real arguers to have their voices heard, and for those voices to determine the real substance of the disagreement. If affective and social issues need to be assessed side by side with belief differences and reasoning paradigms, investigating trust may assist us to understand and make progress on the affective and social components that are involved in disagreement.
KeywordsArgumentation Conflict management Deep disagreement Objectivity Safety Trust
I am indebted to Suzanne McMurphy for opening up to me the world of trust analysis and its connection to argumentation. I would also like to express gratitude to the consultant who trusted me with details of his disagreement with business leaders and gave me permission to use it as an example here. He handled the challenging situation with grace and courage, and continued to campaign for social justice.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The author, Moira Kloster, declares she has no conflict of interest.
This work was completed without external sources of funding. No research on human or animal subjects was performed by the author.
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