Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Speech Communication.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This essay attempts to investigate the prospects for a certain model of rational argumentation, what we call a dialectical model. More specifically, we assess the utility of this model for the purposes of inquiry. Dialectical inquiry consists in a rule-governed discussion between two or more interlocutors in which the acceptability of a claim is determined by laying out and criticizing the support available for it. Models of dialectical argumentative discussion have been proposed before, and part of this work consists in a critical outline of three relatively recent models, those of Rescher (in Dialectics 1977), Toulmin (in The Uses of Argument 1958), and van Eemeren and Grootendorst (in Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions 1983). The remainder of the essay evaluates and defends a set of standards of dialectical adequacy. We defend cogency standards of acceptability, relevance, and sufficiency and pragmatic standards embodied in a set of rules of discussion. The impetus of the work is a desire to have a model through which we may rationally assess the acceptability of claims.Dept. of Philosophy. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1990 .J674. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 30-03, page: 0419. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1990.