Location

University of Windsor

Document Type

Paper

Keywords

Argument, domain, felicity, Latour, mode, objectivity, ontology, pluralism, relativism, veridiction

Start Date

18-5-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

21-5-2016 5:00 PM

Abstract

The idea of ontological/logical pluralism raises an interesting question about the objectivity of arguments and argument forms: Are all arguments and argument forms domain dependent? In his recent work Bruno Latour outlines a radical form of ontological pluralism in which each domain or “mode of existence” has its own set of “felicity conditions” that serve as “veridiction” conditions unique to that mode. To “speak well” requires that one speak in the “interpretive key” proper to each mode. Since there is no “meta-language” that crosses all modes, then all modes must be assessed using the felicity or veridiction conditions peculiar to that mode.

Included among the various modes of existence are: Science, Politics, Law, Fiction, Technology, and others, with each mode having its own felicity conditions. This raises interesting questions about the status of arguments across modes. Do arguments that work in Science or Law, for example, have equal applicability within Politics or Technology? I want to suggest that arguments and arguments forms can extend across multiple modes as long as they do not serve as infelicity conditions within those modes. This means that arguments must always be sensitive to the felicity conditions of the mode in which they are employed.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 21st, 5:00 PM

Argument Objectivity and Ontological/Logical Pluralism: Must Arguments be Domain Sensitive?

University of Windsor

The idea of ontological/logical pluralism raises an interesting question about the objectivity of arguments and argument forms: Are all arguments and argument forms domain dependent? In his recent work Bruno Latour outlines a radical form of ontological pluralism in which each domain or “mode of existence” has its own set of “felicity conditions” that serve as “veridiction” conditions unique to that mode. To “speak well” requires that one speak in the “interpretive key” proper to each mode. Since there is no “meta-language” that crosses all modes, then all modes must be assessed using the felicity or veridiction conditions peculiar to that mode.

Included among the various modes of existence are: Science, Politics, Law, Fiction, Technology, and others, with each mode having its own felicity conditions. This raises interesting questions about the status of arguments across modes. Do arguments that work in Science or Law, for example, have equal applicability within Politics or Technology? I want to suggest that arguments and arguments forms can extend across multiple modes as long as they do not serve as infelicity conditions within those modes. This means that arguments must always be sensitive to the felicity conditions of the mode in which they are employed.