, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 73–96

The Revelation Argument. A 'Communicational Fallacy'

  • Marco Rühl


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 


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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

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