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2011

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Symbolic Violence As Subtle Virulence: The Philosophy Of Terrorism, Jonathan Beever Sep 2011

Symbolic Violence As Subtle Virulence: The Philosophy Of Terrorism, Jonathan Beever

Re-visioning Terrorism

Jean Baudrillard’s semiotic analysis of violence leads us to understand the form of violence as three-fold: aggressive, historical, and semiotically virulent. Violence of the third form is the violence endemic to terrorism. If violence has been typically understood as of the first two types, terrorism should be understood as the virulence of simulacra. The conflation of these types of violence explains the failure of militaristic responses to terrorism. This paper will explore Baudrillard’s conception of symbolic violence as the virulence of signs and help us come to terms with the semiotic foundation of terrorism.


Tele-Visioning Terror, Caroline Zekri Sep 2011

Tele-Visioning Terror, Caroline Zekri

Re-visioning Terrorism

This paper is devoted to the relationship between terrorism and media, with a special focus on the theoretical notions of “icon”, “mass” and “distance”. It aims to show how the phenomenon of modern terrorism calls into question the essence of modern democracies and their systems of information, based on the distance between vision and event.


Fallacy Identification In A Dialectical Approach To Teaching Critical Thinking, Mark Battersby, Sharon Bailin, Jan Albert Van Laar May 2011

Fallacy Identification In A Dialectical Approach To Teaching Critical Thinking, Mark Battersby, Sharon Bailin, Jan Albert Van Laar

OSSA Conference Archive

The dialectical approach to teaching critical thinking is centred on a comparative evaluation of contending arguments, so that generally the strength of an argument for a position can only be assessed in the context of this dialectic. The identification of fallacies, though important, plays only a preliminary role in the evaluation to individual arguments. Our approach to fallacy identification and analysis sees fal-lacies as argument patterns whose persuasive power is disproportionate to their probative value.


Defining Functions Of Danish Political Commentary, Mette Bengtsson, Mary L. Kahl May 2011

Defining Functions Of Danish Political Commentary, Mette Bengtsson, Mary L. Kahl

OSSA Conference Archive

In Denmark political commentary is still a relatively new phenomenon. This paper analyzes the metadiscourse in relation to political commentary to identify the different understandings that have coalesced around political commentary as a genre. I argue that people in different positions (e.g. citizens, politicians, journalists, political editors, chief editors and political commentators themselves) emphasize different explanations for the rise of the genre and thereby functions of political commentary as part of an argumentative strategy favouring their own interests.


Critical Thinking And Informal Logic: Neuropsychological Perspectives, Paul Thagard May 2011

Critical Thinking And Informal Logic: Neuropsychological Perspectives, Paul Thagard

OSSA Conference Archive

This article challenges the common view that improvements in critical thinking are best pursued by investigations in informal logic. From the perspective of research in psychology and neuroscience, human inference is a process that is multimodal, parallel, and often emotional, which makes it unlike the linguistic, serial, and narrowly cognitive structure of arguments. Attempts to improve inferential practice need to consider psychological error tendencies, which are patterns of thinking that are natural for people but frequently lead to mistakes in judgment. This article discusses two important but neglected error tendencies: motivated inference and fear-driven inference.


A Gendered Analysis Of The Role Of Authority In Argumentation, Khameiel Al Tamimi, John E. Fields May 2011

A Gendered Analysis Of The Role Of Authority In Argumentation, Khameiel Al Tamimi, John E. Fields

OSSA Conference Archive

The first part of this paper will look at how essential features of power and authority affect the credibility of arguments. Empirical evidence from communication studies and feminist writings, such Sue Campbell, and Robin Lakoff, shows that there is inherent disparity in the reception of arguments when presented by men and women. The second part will aim to elucidate how this problem of lack of authority is not addressed by the ad verecundiam fallacy.


“Reasonable Hostility”: Its Usefulness And Limitation As A Norm For Public Hearings, Karen Tracy May 2011

“Reasonable Hostility”: Its Usefulness And Limitation As A Norm For Public Hearings, Karen Tracy

OSSA Conference Archive

“Reasonable hostility” is a norm of communicative conduct initially developed by studying public exchanges in education governance meetings in local U.S. communities. In this paper I consider the norm’s usefulness for and applicability to a U.S. state-level public hearing about a bill to legalize civil unions. Following an explication of reasonable hostility and grounded practical theory, the approach to inquiry that guides my work, I describe Hawaii’s 2009, 18-hour public hearing and analyze selected seg-ments of it. I show that this particular public hearing raised demands for testifiers on the anti-civil union side of the argument ...


“Those States … Will Hardly Adopt Them”: On A Fallacy In Political Discourse In The Summer Of 1789, Juhani Rudanko, Stephen Pender May 2011

“Those States … Will Hardly Adopt Them”: On A Fallacy In Political Discourse In The Summer Of 1789, Juhani Rudanko, Stephen Pender

OSSA Conference Archive

A type of ad socordiam is identified in its context, with data from debates on the Bill of Rights in 1789. The fallacy involves a hidden intention as a salient feature. The study examines the ques-tion of how inferences can be made about hidden intentions. Further, it examines the relation of the fallacy identified to another type of ad socordiam.


A Critical Examination And Development Of Wellman’S Theory Of Conductive Argument, J Blair, Dale Hample May 2011

A Critical Examination And Development Of Wellman’S Theory Of Conductive Argument, J Blair, Dale Hample

OSSA Conference Archive

The paper aims to provide an analysis and critique of Carl Wellman’s account of conduction presented in Challenge and Response and Morals and Ethics. It considers several issues, including: reason-ing vs. argument, the definition vs. the three patterns of conduction, pro and con arguments as dialogues, their assessment, the concept of validity, applications beyond moral arguments, argument type vs. as crite-rion of evaluation.


A Test Of The Argument Engagement Model In Romania, Ioana Cionea, Dale Hample, Fabio Paglieri, Lilian Bermejo-Luque May 2011

A Test Of The Argument Engagement Model In Romania, Ioana Cionea, Dale Hample, Fabio Paglieri, Lilian Bermejo-Luque

OSSA Conference Archive

Hample, Paglieri, and Na’s (2010) model of argument engagement proposes that people en-gage in arguments when they perceive the benefits of arguing to be greater than the costs of doing so. This paper tests the model in Romania, a different culture than the one in which the model was developed, by using a 2 (other arguer: friend or romantic partner) x 2 (topic of argument: private or public issue) design.


Arguments As Abstract Objects, Paul Simard Smith, Andrei Moldovan, G C. Goddu May 2011

Arguments As Abstract Objects, Paul Simard Smith, Andrei Moldovan, G C. Goddu

OSSA Conference Archive

In recent discussions concerning the definition of argument, it has been maintained that the word ‘argument’ exhibits the process-product ambiguity, or (as in Goddu forthcoming) an act/object ambi-guity. Drawing on literature on lexical ambiguity we argue that ‘argument’ is not ambiguous. The term ‘argument’ refers to an object, not to a speech act. We also examine some of the important implications of our argument by considering the question: what sort of abstract objects are arguments?


‘Cognitive Systemic Dichotomization’ In Public Argumentation And Controversies, Marcelo Dascal, Amnon Knoll, Daniel Cohen May 2011

‘Cognitive Systemic Dichotomization’ In Public Argumentation And Controversies, Marcelo Dascal, Amnon Knoll, Daniel Cohen

OSSA Conference Archive

We describe and analyze an important cognitive obstacle in inter- and intra-community ar-gumentation processes, which we propose to call 'Cognitive Systemic Dichotomization' (CSD). This social phenomenon consists in the collective use of shared cognitive patterns based upon dichotomous schemati-zation of knowledge, values, and affection. We discuss the formative role of CSD on a community’s collec-tive cognition, identity, and public discourse, as well as the challenges it raises to reasoned argumentation, and how different approaches to argumentation undertake to face this obstacle to the reasonable debate of issues of public concern.


Practical Reasoning As Creative Social Imagination, Radu Neculau, James Bradley May 2011

Practical Reasoning As Creative Social Imagination, Radu Neculau, James Bradley

OSSA Conference Archive

According to Charles Taylor, practical reasoning helps us overcome cultural conflicts of val-ue when we are able to show that the passage from one value to another represents an epistemic gain. This paper argues that practical reasoning can be effective in pathological cases of cultural convergence but only if it is understood as a species of the creative social imagination.


Presumptions In Argument: Epistemic Versus Social Approaches, David Godden, Harvey Siegel May 2011

Presumptions In Argument: Epistemic Versus Social Approaches, David Godden, Harvey Siegel

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper responds to Kauffeld’s 2009 OSSA paper, considering the adequacy of his “commitment-based” approach to “ordinary presumptive practices” (which explains the communicative force of presumptions socially, through the moral motivation agents have to meet their obligations) to sup-ply an account of presumption fit for general application in normative theories of argument. The central issue here is whether socially-grounded presumptions are defeasible in the right sorts of ways so as to pro-duce “truth-tropic” presumptive inferences.


Is Data The Plural Of Anecdote? Inductive Arguments In Composition, Patrick Clauss, Laura Pinto May 2011

Is Data The Plural Of Anecdote? Inductive Arguments In Composition, Patrick Clauss, Laura Pinto

OSSA Conference Archive

College writing classes are the ideal site for teaching argument. Writing students develop arguments with a frequency and insistence not present in other disciplines. Typically, however, when their curricula include reasoning instruction, composition courses over-emphasize deductive syllogisms and en-thymemes. Inductive logic, the recognition of a pattern within a data set or an ampliative inference, is more useful in composition, and an effective composition curriculum makes ample room for the study and prac-tice of inductive arguments.


Deep Disagreements: A Meta-Argumentation Approach, Maurice Finocchiaro, David M. Godden May 2011

Deep Disagreements: A Meta-Argumentation Approach, Maurice Finocchiaro, David M. Godden

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper examines the views of Fogelin, Woods, Johnstone, etc., concerning deep disa-greements, force-five standoffs, philosophical controversies, etc. My approach is to reconstruct their views and critiques of them as meta-arguments, and to elaborate the meta-argumentative aspects of radical disa-greements. It turns out that deep disagreements are resolvable to a greater degree than usually thought, but only by using special principles and practices, such as meta-argumentation, ad hominem argumentation (in Johnstone’s sense), Ramsey’s principle, etc.


Evolution, Cognition And Argumentation, Cristian Santibanez Yanez, Michael A. Gilbert May 2011

Evolution, Cognition And Argumentation, Cristian Santibanez Yanez, Michael A. Gilbert

OSSA Conference Archive

Sperber and Mercier (2009, 2010) maintain that argumentation is a meta-representational module. In their evolutionary view of argumentation, the function of this module would be to regulate the flow of information between interlocutors through persuasiveness on the side of the communicator and epistemic vigilance on the side of the audience. The aim of this paper is to discuss this definition of argumen-tation by analyzing what they mean by “communicator’s persuasiveness” and “audience epistemic vigilance”


Correlation And Causality, Michael Hoppmann, Robert H. Ennis May 2011

Correlation And Causality, Michael Hoppmann, Robert H. Ennis

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper provides an analysis of the argument from cause and effect and a comparison of its various types with the argument from correlation. It will be claimed that arguments from causality and from correlation should be treated as equivalent for argumentative purposes. The main advantages of this approach (theoretical economy and impact on the taxonomy of critical questions) as well as possible theo-retical objections will be discussed.


Ernest Sosa And Virtuously Begging The Question, Michael Walschots, Scott F. Aikin May 2011

Ernest Sosa And Virtuously Begging The Question, Michael Walschots, Scott F. Aikin

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper discusses the notion of epistemic circularity, supposedly different from logical circu-larity, and evaluates Ernest Sosa’s claim that this specific kind of circular reasoning is virtuous rather than vicious. I attempt to determine whether or not the conditions said to make epistemic circularity a permissible instance of begging the question could make other instances of circular reasoning equally permissible.


Community, Argumentation, And The Legitimacy Of Reasons For Action, Charles Blatz, Mano Daniel May 2011

Community, Argumentation, And The Legitimacy Of Reasons For Action, Charles Blatz, Mano Daniel

OSSA Conference Archive

Communities gather persons sharing saliencies, the meaning of events, and accountability based in shared values and practices. These shared features ensure community wide legitimacy for moral agents and their reasons for acting. But they also might ensure personal reasons for action are not universally legitimate. This discussion considers Hannah Arendt’s and an alternative view of judgment seeking an ac-count of community-limited legitimacy for reasons in both moral and closely related political thought.


Conductive Arguments And The ‘Inference To The Best Explanation’, Dean Goorden, Thomas Fischer May 2011

Conductive Arguments And The ‘Inference To The Best Explanation’, Dean Goorden, Thomas Fischer

OSSA Conference Archive

I will demonstrate that conductive arguments are found in the inference to the best explana-tion as it is used in science. Conductive arguments, I argue, operate on two levels: the first is in the con-struction of hypotheses; the second is through the competition of hypotheses. By constructing arguments based on observations of facts, all possible (conceivable) factors are taken into account and a judgment is made based on our weighing of considerations: conductive argumentation.


Cognitive Effects Of Argument Visualization Tools, Michael Hoffmann, Fabio Paglieri May 2011

Cognitive Effects Of Argument Visualization Tools, Michael Hoffmann, Fabio Paglieri

OSSA Conference Archive

External representations play a crucial role in learning. At the same time, cognitive load theory suggests that the possibility of learning depends on limited resources of the working memory and on cognitive load imposed by instructional design and representation tools. Both these observations motivate a critical look at Computer-Supported Argument Visualization (CSAV) tools that are supposed to facilitate learning. This paper uses cognitive load theory to compare the cognitive efficacy of RationaleTM 2 and AGORA.


Convergent Causal Arguments In Conversation, Dale Hample, Katarzyna Budzynska May 2011

Convergent Causal Arguments In Conversation, Dale Hample, Katarzyna Budzynska

OSSA Conference Archive

In theory, flawed arguments are not individually sufficient to justify a conclusion, but several may converge to do so. This is an empirical study of how arguers respond to a series of imperfect causal arguments during a serious conversation. People became less critical of the flawed arguments as more of the arguments appeared. The study gives empirical evidence that ordinary arguers permit sufficiency to accumulate during an extended discussion.


Defending Sole Singular Causal Claims, Robert Ennis, Maurice A. Finocchiaro May 2011

Defending Sole Singular Causal Claims, Robert Ennis, Maurice A. Finocchiaro

OSSA Conference Archive

Even given agreement on the totality of conditions that brought about an effect, there often is disagreement about the cause of the effect, for example, the disagreement about the cause of the Gulf oil spill. Different conditions’ being deemed responsible accounts for such disagreements. The defense of the act of deeming a condition responsible often depends on showing that the condition was the appropriate target of interference in order to have avoided the effect.


Conflict And Consultation: Strategic Manoeuvring In Response To An Antibiotic Request, Nanon Labrie, Douglas Walton May 2011

Conflict And Consultation: Strategic Manoeuvring In Response To An Antibiotic Request, Nanon Labrie, Douglas Walton

OSSA Conference Archive

In recent years, the model of shared decision-making has become increasingly promoted as the preferred standard in doctor-patient communication. As the model considers doctor and patient as coe-qual partners that negotiate their preferred treatment options in order to reach a shared decision, shared de-cision-making notably leaves room for the usage of argumentation in the context of medical consultation. A paradigm example of argumentative conflict in consultation is the discussion that emerges between doctors and their patients concerning antibiotics as a method of treatment for what is presumed to be a viral infec-tion. In this paper, a case of such argumentative ...


Deliberating Collective Action And Identity: The Dialectic Of Institutional And Vernacular Rhetoric In Political Debates On Nytimes.Com, Rasmus Ronlev May 2011

Deliberating Collective Action And Identity: The Dialectic Of Institutional And Vernacular Rhetoric In Political Debates On Nytimes.Com, Rasmus Ronlev

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper presents the results of an explorative pilot study of political debates among users on NYTimes.com, the online newspaper of The New York Times. The study shows how a number of insti-tutional and vernacular subject positions are constituted and challenged in the debates. This happens in a process characterized by a dialectic between, on the one hand, an institutional call in the technical framing and rhetorical initiation of the debates and, on the other hand, a vernacular response in the users’ com-ments. This process reflects a community deliberating not only collective action but also collective identity and, moreover ...


Cognitive Communities And Argument Communities, Manfred Kraus, David Zarefsky May 2011

Cognitive Communities And Argument Communities, Manfred Kraus, David Zarefsky

OSSA Conference Archive

Since Toulmin’s discovery of the field-dependency of arguments, and Perelman’s emphasis on audiences, argumentation theorists have developed the notion of “spheres of arguments” or “argument communities”. Since argument communities are communities of discourse guided by the participants’ cog-nitive experiences, they are also cognitive communities. “Cognitive breaks” between different argument communities will produce misunderstanding and futile argument. The paper will investigate “cognitive breaks” and describe in which ways they may obstruct reasonable argumentation between communities.


Credibility And Commitment In The Making Of Truly Astonishing First-Person Reports, John E. Fields, Gilbert Plumer May 2011

Credibility And Commitment In The Making Of Truly Astonishing First-Person Reports, John E. Fields, Gilbert Plumer

OSSA Conference Archive

Truly astonishing reports are an inveterate feature of the practice of making claims based on personal experience. In this paper, the author focuses on reports of apparent experiences of God in order to develop a proper understanding of the nature of such reports and to suggest a model of the strategies re-quired of those who wish to use them in arguments supporting truly astonishing existential claims.


Cognition And Literary Ethical Criticism, Gilbert Plumer, Louis Groarke May 2011

Cognition And Literary Ethical Criticism, Gilbert Plumer, Louis Groarke

OSSA Conference Archive

“Ethical criticism” is an approach to literary studies that holds that reading certain carefully selected novels can make us ethically better people, e.g., by stimulating our sympathetic imagination (Nussbaum). I will try to show that this nonargumentative approach cheapens the persuasive force of novels and that its inherent bias and censorship undercuts what is perhaps the principal value and defense of the novel—that reading novels can be critical to one’s learning how to think.


Rationality, Reasonableness And Informal Logic: A Case Study Of Chaim Perelman, Rongdong Jin, Christopher W. Tindale May 2011

Rationality, Reasonableness And Informal Logic: A Case Study Of Chaim Perelman, Rongdong Jin, Christopher W. Tindale

OSSA Conference Archive

Perelman’s discussion about the distinction and relation between the rational and the reason-able could be seen as an attempt to bring forward a new understanding of rationality. In light of the concep-tion of situated reason, this paper argues that Perelman’s explication of the dialectic of the rational and the reasonable highlights the balance of universality and contexuality, and could contribute a fuller conception of rationality to establishing a solid philosophical foundation for Johnson’s informal logic.