Location

University of Windsor

Document Type

Paper

Keywords

Aristotle, deliberation, meta-argumentation, political argumentation, practical argument, proposals, Rhetoric, weighing

Start Date

18-5-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

21-5-2016 5:00 PM

Abstract

In Rhetoric 1360b05-1365b21, Aristotle naturally assumes the debatable, exceptionable and multidimensional character of the kind of allegations, adduced as reasons for the proposals (Kock 2006, 2012; Vega 2013) which act as conclusions of the practical arguments typical of political debate. This is a problem which has been currently addressed in terms of the prima facie incommensurability caused by the multi-dimensionality of value-based argumentation, an approach that seems to lead us to an evaluative and dialectical dead-end. But in the Aristotelian text, we find a different tactic. Aristotle analyses in very explicit and revealing terms how the “continuum between argument and argument criticism” (Pinto 2001) and the meta-argumentative (Finocchiaro 2007, 2013) scaling takes place in deliberative discourse. Starting with a rather simple practical means-ends scheme, just effective in very exceptional situations, the text of the Rhetoric advances progressively towards the examination of additional arguments defending the (un)suitability of different ends, in case there is no agreement about them, and then towards the even more clearly meta-argumentative means of weighing and ordering different suitable ends. Aristotle shows us, thus, how we manage when facing prima facie incommensurability: we keep arguing and meta-arguing.

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

Meta-argumentation in deliberative discourse: Rhetoric 1360b05-1365b21

University of Windsor

In Rhetoric 1360b05-1365b21, Aristotle naturally assumes the debatable, exceptionable and multidimensional character of the kind of allegations, adduced as reasons for the proposals (Kock 2006, 2012; Vega 2013) which act as conclusions of the practical arguments typical of political debate. This is a problem which has been currently addressed in terms of the prima facie incommensurability caused by the multi-dimensionality of value-based argumentation, an approach that seems to lead us to an evaluative and dialectical dead-end. But in the Aristotelian text, we find a different tactic. Aristotle analyses in very explicit and revealing terms how the “continuum between argument and argument criticism” (Pinto 2001) and the meta-argumentative (Finocchiaro 2007, 2013) scaling takes place in deliberative discourse. Starting with a rather simple practical means-ends scheme, just effective in very exceptional situations, the text of the Rhetoric advances progressively towards the examination of additional arguments defending the (un)suitability of different ends, in case there is no agreement about them, and then towards the even more clearly meta-argumentative means of weighing and ordering different suitable ends. Aristotle shows us, thus, how we manage when facing prima facie incommensurability: we keep arguing and meta-arguing.