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Circularity in ethotic structures

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide a model that allows the representation and analysis of circularity in ethotic structures, i.e. in communication structures related to the speaker’s character and in particular, his credibility. The paper studies three types of cycles: in self-referential sentences, embedded testimony and ethotic begging the question. It is shown that standard models allow the reconstruction of the circularities only if those circular utterances are interpreted as ethotic arguments. Their alternative, assertive interpretation requires enriching the existing models with a purely ethotic component related to the credibility of the performer of any (not necessarily argumentative) speech act.

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Acknowledgments

The author gratefully acknowledges the support from Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under grant NN101 009338. The author would also like to thank Chris Reed for discussion and inspiring comments, and would like to express thanks to the reviewers for detailed, constructive and thoroughly helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Any errors that may remain are, of course, entirely the responsibility of the author.

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Correspondence to Katarzyna Budzynska.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Budzynska, K. Circularity in ethotic structures. Synthese 190, 3185–3207 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-012-0135-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-012-0135-6

Keywords

  • Argumentation theory
  • Argumentation schemes
  • Ethotic argument
  • Dialogue
  • Circular reasoning
  • Circular reference
  • Ethos
  • Credibility of speaker