Argumentation

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 73–96

The Revelation Argument. A 'Communicational Fallacy'

  • Marco Rühl
Article

Abstract

In this paper it is argued that much can be gained for the analysis and evaluation of arguing when fallacies are not, or not only, conceived of as flawed premise–conclusion complexes but rather as argumentative moves which distort harmfully an interaction aiming at resolving communication problems argumentatively. Starting from Normative Pragmatics and the pragma-dialectical concept of fallacy, a case study is presented to illustrate a fallacy which is termed the 'revelation argument' because it is characterized by an interactor's revealing her thoughts and/or emotions to the addressees and claiming that these would have justificatory or refutatory potential with respect to the problem discussed. Although the revelation argument may not be a paradigm case of resolution- hindering moves, it is an extreme case of flawed reasoning that illustrates plainly the advantages of a communicational perspective on arguing and fallacies.

Argument-as-process fallacies Normative Pragmatics observer perspective participant perspective Pragma-Dialectics rules for critical discussants strategies for immunization of contested standpoints 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Albert, H.: 1968, Traktat über kritische Vernunft, Dritte, erweiterte Auflage, Mohr, Tübingen, 1975 [11968].Google Scholar
  2. Deppermann, A.: 1996, Berufung auf geteiltes Wissen als Persuasionsstrategie im interaktiven Handeln, Paper 4 des Forschungsschwerpunkts 'Familien-, Jugend-und Kommunikationssoziologie' der J.W.-von-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Mimeo.Google Scholar
  3. van Eemeren, F. H. and R. Grootendorst: 1984, Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions, A Theoretical Model for the Analysis of Discussions Directed towards Solving Conflicts of Opinion, Foris, Dordrecht (Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis 1).Google Scholar
  4. van Eemeren, F. H. and R. Grootendorst: 1991, 'Les sophismes dans une perspective pragmatico-dialectique', in L'argumentation. Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, 22–29/08/1987. Textes édités par A. Lempereur, Mardaga, Liège (collection Philosophie et Langage), pp. 173–194.Google Scholar
  5. van Eemeren, F. H. and R. Grootendorst: 1992a, Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies, A Pragma-Dialectical Perspective, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  6. van Eemeren, F. H. and R. Grootendorst: 1992b, 'Relevance Reviewed: The Case of Argumentum ad Hominem', Argumentation 6, 141–159.Google Scholar
  7. van Eemeren, F. H. and R. Grootendorst: 1995, 'The Pragma-Dialectical Approach to Fallacies', in Hansen and Pinto (eds), pp. 130–144.Google Scholar
  8. van Eemeren, F. H., R. Grootendorst, S. Jackson and S. Jacobs: 1993, Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa (Studies on Rhetoric and Communication).Google Scholar
  9. van Eemeren, F. H., R. Grootendorst and T. Kruiger: 1987, Handbook of Argumentation Theory, A Critical Survey of Classical Backgrounds and Modern Studies, Foris, Dordrecht (Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis 7).Google Scholar
  10. van Eemeren, F. H., R. Grootendorst, F. Snoeck Henkemans et al.: 1996, Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory. A Handbook of Historical Backgrounds and Contemporary Developments, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ.Google Scholar
  11. Grice, H. P.: 1975, 'Logic and Conversation', in P. Cole and J. L. Morgan (eds.), Syntax and Semantics, Vol. III: Speech Acts, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Haft-van Rees, M. A.: 1989, 'Conversation, Relevance, and Argumentation', Argumentation 3, 385–393.Google Scholar
  13. Hamblin, C. L.: 1970, Fallacies, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  14. Hansen, H. V. and R. C. Pinto (eds.): 1995, Fallacies, Classical and Contemporary Readings, The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.Google Scholar
  15. Houtlosser, P.: 1995, Standpunten in een kritische discussie, Een pragma-dialectisch perspectief op de indentificatie en reconstructie van standpunten, IFOTT, Amsterdam (Studies in Language and Language Use 22).Google Scholar
  16. Jackson, S.: 1983, 'The Arguer in Interpersonal Argument: Pros and Cons of Individual-level Analysis', in D. Zarefsky, M. O. Sillars and J. Rhodes (eds.), Argument in Transition, Proceedings of the Third Summer Conference on Argumentation, SCA, Annandale, VA.Google Scholar
  17. Jackson, S.: 1995, 'Fallacies and Heuristics', in F. H. van Eemeren, R. Grootendorst, J. A. Blair and C. A. Willard (eds.), Proceedings of the Third ISSA Conference; 4 vol., International Centre for the Study of Argumentation (SicSat), Amsterdam; vol. II, pp. 257–269.Google Scholar
  18. Kienpointner, M.: 1992, Alltagslogik, Struktur und Funktion von Argumentationsmustern, Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstadt (problemata 126).Google Scholar
  19. Kopperschmidt, J.: 1989, Methodik der Argumentationsanalyse, Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt (problemata 119).Google Scholar
  20. Kruiger, T.: 1995, 'Die pragma-dialektische Analyse von Suppositionsargumenten', in H. Wohlrapp (Hg.), Wege der Argumentationsforschung, Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstadt (problemata 135), pp. 230–247.Google Scholar
  21. Lallemant, J.-P.: Entretiens de madame la prieure *** au sujet des affaires présentes par rapport à la religion. s.l., s.d. [1737]. Collegii S.J. Friburgiensis Brisgoviae, Freiburg, UB, N 4579.Google Scholar
  22. Leff, M.: 1978, 'Boethius' De differentiis topicis, Book IV', in J. J. Murphy (ed), Medieval Eloquence, Studies in the Theory and Practice of Medieval Rhetoric, University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles/London, pp. 3–24.Google Scholar
  23. Locke, J.: 1975, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [1690]. Edited with an Introduction, critical apparatus and glossary by Peter H. Nidditch, Clarendon, Oxford.Google Scholar
  24. Næss, A.: 1975, Kommunikation und Argumentation, Eine Einführung in die angewandte Semantik. Aus dem Norwegischen übersetzt von Arnim von Stechow, Scriptor, Kronberg/Ts. (Scriptor TB, Serie Linguistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft, Nr. 59) [norweg. Original: En del elementœre logiske emner, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo, 111975 [11941]].Google Scholar
  25. Perelman, C. and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca: 31976, Traité de l'argumentation. La nouvelle rhétorique, Éditions de l'Université de Bruxelles, Bruxelles [anciennement: Éditions de l'Institut de sociologie] [première publication: La nouvelle rhétorique, Presses universitaires de France, Paris, 1958].Google Scholar
  26. Rühl, M.: 1997a, Argumentieren und Autorität, Untersuchungen zu argumentativer Sprachverwendung in asymmetrischen Kommunikationssituationen. Dissertation, Freiburg i.Br.Google Scholar
  27. Rühl, M.: 1997b, Argument and Authority, On the Pragmatic Bases of Accepting an Appeal to Authority as Rational. Paper presented at the 'Argumentation and Rhetoric' Conference, held by the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation at St Catharines, ON, May 1997.Google Scholar
  28. Ryan, E. E.: 1984, Aristotle's Theory of Rhetorical Argumentation, Bellarmin, Montreal.Google Scholar
  29. Ryan, E. E.: 1993, 'L'argumentation rhétorique d'Aristote: séquence prédicative-interconceptuelle?', in C. Plantin (éd), Lieux communs, topoi, stéréotypes, clichés, Kimé, Paris (coll. Argumentation — Sciences du langage), pp. 464–479.Google Scholar
  30. Schellens, P. J.: 1985, Redelijke Argumenten, Een onderzoek naar normen voor kritische lezers, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  31. Searle, J. R.: 1969, Speech Acts, An Essay in the Philosophy of Language, Cambrige University Press, Cambridge (Engl.).Google Scholar
  32. Snoeck Henkemans A. F.: 1992, Analysing Complex Argumentation, The Reconstruction of Multiple and Coordinatively Compound Argumentation in a Critical Discussion, SicSat, Amsterdam (Amsterdamse Studies over Taalgebruik 2).Google Scholar
  33. Toulmin, S. E.: 1958, The Uses of Argument, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (Engl.).Google Scholar
  34. Toulmin, S. E., R. Rieke and A. Janik: 1979, An Introduction to Reasoning, MacMillan, New York.Google Scholar
  35. Walton, D. and E. C. W. Krabbe: 1995, Commitment in Dialogue, Basic Concepts of Interpersonal Reasoning, SUNY, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Warnick, B.: 1997, Comparing Aristotle's and Perelman's Classification of Topoi, Lecture delivered at the University of Amsteram, 26/03/1997.Google Scholar
  37. Warnick, B. and S. L. Kline: 1992, 'The New Rhetoric's Argument Schemes. A Rhetorical View of Practical Reasoning', Argumentation and Advocacy 29, 1–15.Google Scholar
  38. Willard, C. A.: 1972, The Conception of the Auditor in Aristotle's Rhetorical Theory, Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Google Scholar
  39. Willard, C. A.: 1983, Argumentation and the Social Grounds of Knowledge, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Rühl
    • 1
  1. 1.E.N.S. de Fontenay/St-Cloud (Paris)Fontenay-aux-Roses CedexFrance E-mail

Personalised recommendations