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Argumentation, the Visual, and the Possibility of Refutation: An Exploration

Abstract

Taking the possibility of visual argumentation seriously, this essay explores how refutation might proceed. We posit three ways in which images can refute and be refuted in a mixed-media environment: (1) dissection, in which an image is broken down discursively; (2) substitution, in which one image is replaced within a larger visual frame by a different image; and (3) transformation, in which an image is recontextualized in a new visual frame. These strategies are illustrated in an analysis of three American documentary films on abortion.

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Lake, R.A., Pickering, B.A. Argumentation, the Visual, and the Possibility of Refutation: An Exploration. Argumentation 12, 79–93 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007703425353

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  • abortion
  • image
  • negative
  • refutation
  • visual argumentation