Location

McMaster University

Document Type

Paper

Start Date

1-6-2005 9:00 AM

End Date

1-6-2005 5:00 PM

Abstract

If logic alone does not compel adherence to a thesis, must we conclude that the audience is irrational at worst or weak at best? I submit that a normative pragmatic perspective helps to explain cases of argumentation where logical or intellectual forcibleness alone is not sufficient for pressuring addressees to believe, consider, or do something. I argue (1) that a normative pragmatic perspective explains why argumentation foregrounding only logical forms may in some cases reasonably be expected to lack forcibleness and, in doing so, (2) that a normative pragmatic perspective offers a more complete account of norms of forcibleness than a logical perspective. To support these claims, I first overview a normative pragmatic account of forcibleness and then analyze and evaluate pragmatic forcibleness in Anna Howard Shaw's ‘The Fundamental Principle of a Republic’. I focus on humor as a strategy and as comprised of strategies that create reasons for attending to her argumentation and believing her thesis.

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Jun 1st, 9:00 AM Jun 1st, 5:00 PM

Norms of Forcibleness

McMaster University

If logic alone does not compel adherence to a thesis, must we conclude that the audience is irrational at worst or weak at best? I submit that a normative pragmatic perspective helps to explain cases of argumentation where logical or intellectual forcibleness alone is not sufficient for pressuring addressees to believe, consider, or do something. I argue (1) that a normative pragmatic perspective explains why argumentation foregrounding only logical forms may in some cases reasonably be expected to lack forcibleness and, in doing so, (2) that a normative pragmatic perspective offers a more complete account of norms of forcibleness than a logical perspective. To support these claims, I first overview a normative pragmatic account of forcibleness and then analyze and evaluate pragmatic forcibleness in Anna Howard Shaw's ‘The Fundamental Principle of a Republic’. I focus on humor as a strategy and as comprised of strategies that create reasons for attending to her argumentation and believing her thesis.