Mark Battersby and Sharon Bailin
This volume reflects the development and theoretical foundation of a new paradigm for critical thinking based on inquiry. The field of critical thinking, as manifested in the Informal Logic movement, developed primarily as a response to the inadequacies of formalism to represent actual argumentative practice and to provide useful argumentative skills to students. Because of this, the primary focus of the field has been on informal arguments rather than formal reasoning. Yet the formalist history of the field is still evident in its emphasis, with respect to both theory and pedagogy, on the structure and evaluation of individual, de-contextualized arguments. It is our view that such a view of critical thinking is excessively narrow and limited, failing to provide an understanding of argumentation as largely a matter of comparative evaluation of a variety of contending positions and arguments with the goal of reaching a reasoned judgment on an issue. As a consequence, traditional critical thinking instruction is problematic in failing to provide the reasoning skills that students need in order to accomplish this goal. Instead, the goal of critical thinking instruction has been seen largely as a defensive one: of learning to not fall prey to invalid, inadequate, or fallacious arguments.
We are pleased to publish this WSIA edition of Trudy’s Govier’s seminal volume, Problems in Argument Analysis and Evaluation. Originally published in 1987 by Foris Publications, this was a pioneering work that played a major role in establishing argumentation theory as a discipline. Today, it is as relevant to the field as when it first appeared, with discussions of questions and issues that remain central to the study of argument. It has defined the main approaches to many of those issues and guided the ways in which we might respond to them. From this foundation, it sets the stage for further investigations and emerging research.
This is a second edition of the book that is corrected and updated by the author, with new prefaces to each chapter.
This tribute to the breadth and influence of Trudy Govier’s philosophical work begins with her early scholarship in argumentation theory, paying special attention to its pedagogical expression. Most people first encounter Trudy Govier’s work and many people only encounter it through her textbooks, especially A Practical Study of Argument, published in many editions. In addition to the work on argumentation that has continued throughout her career, much of Govier’s later work addresses social philosophy and the problems of trust and response to moral wrongs. The introduction by Catherine Hundleby situates Govier’s research along the path of her unusual academic life.
While following the timeline of Govier’s research publication, in this collection the authors build on her work and suggest certain new connections between her argumentation theory and social philosophy. A Practical Study of Argument, first published in 1985, situates Govier among a distinct segment of informal logicians whose concerns about teaching reasoning to post-secondary students orient their research, Takuzo Konishi argues. Moira Kloster evaluates Govier’s progress in the challenge of providing critical thinking education to diverse and changing social contexts. Shifting gears to social philosophy but still addressing education, Laura Elizabeth Pinto explores the significance of Govier’s work on trust for explaining the problem of “audit culture” for teaching. At the centre of this volume, social philosophy receives an abstract meta-ethical defense from Linda Radzik.
Moving solidly into the domain of normative social philosophy, Alice MacLachlan reconsiders Govier’s condemnation of revenge by viewing it as a form of moral address, but she notes how revenge as an act of communication contrasts with argumentation in lacking the respect that Govier maintains is intrinsic to argumentation. MacLachlan ultimately agrees that revenge is morally indefensible. The practical challenges of addressing others in the aftermath of wrongdoing, especially in public contexts, can make it difficult to distinguish between victims and combatants or wrongdoers, Alistair Little and Wilhelm Verwoerd explain, and Kathryn Norlock argues that forgiveness is psychologically vexed too. People may recognize transformation to be in principle possible for all people, Norlock argues, and yet we may find the evidence regarding some particular evildoer sufficient to count that person as an exception. Finally Govier responds to the various papers.
Christian Kock’s essays show the essential interconnectedness of practical reasoning, rhetoric and deliberative democracy. They constitute a unique contribution to argumentation theory that draws on – and criticizes – the work of philosophers, rhetoricians, political scientists and other argumentation theorists. It puts rhetoric in the service of modern democracies by drawing attention to the obligations of politicians to articulate arguments and objections that citizens can weigh against each other in their deliberations about possible courses of action.
Ron Von Burg
This volume focuses on dialogue and argumentation in contexts which are marked by truculence and discord. The contributors include well known argumentation scholars who discuss the issues this raises from the point of view of a variety of disciplines and points of view. The authors seek to address theoretically challenging issues in a way that is relevant to both the theory and the practice of argument. The collection brings together selected essays from the 2006 11th Wake Forest University Biennial Argumentation Conference held at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida and the 2012 14th Wake Forest University Biennial Argumentation Conference held at Casa Artom in Venice, Italy.
Ralph H. Johnson
We are pleased to release this edition of Ralph Johnson’s The Rise of Informal Logic as Volume 2 in the series Windsor Studies in Argumentation. This edition is a reprint of the previous Vale Press edition with some typographical errors and other minor mistakes corrected.
The prime motive for gathering Ralph H. Johnson’s essays under one cover is their clear articulation of the goals, concerns and problems of the discipline of informal logic. To my knowledge all of the published articles, even of the 1980s, are still in print. But some are obtainable only by special request of a journal back issue. Their availability, even their existence, is not nearly widely enough known, and this volume is dedicated to remedying that disservice to those currently working in the field of informal logic, critical thinking, argumentation, and practical reasoning.
Three of these sixteen pieces appear here in print for the first time. The previously published pieces have appeared from 1980 to 1992 as chapters in collective works or as articles in journals, and these in turn published in Canada, USA, The Netherlands and Belgium. It is hoped that gathering this hitherto scattered material under one cover will contribute to a greater understanding of what informal logic is, and to an enhanced sense of the impact of Johnson’s ideas. A discipline of informal logic might exist today without the writings of Johnson and his frequent co-author, J. Anthony Blair. But it would almost certainly be quite different from what it actually is.
Gabrijela Kišiček and Igor Ž. Žagar
This book consists of selected papers delivered at “First International Conference on Rhetoric in Croatia: the Days of Ivo Škarić” in May, 2012, and subsequently revised for publication. Through a variety of different routes, the papers explore the role of rhetoric and argumentation in various types of public discourse and present interdisciplinary work connecting linguists, phoneticians, philosophers, law experts and communication scientists in the common ground of rhetoric and argumentation.
Is restructuring an underhanded way to make the rich richer and the poor poorer? Or is it necessary, although bitter, medicine for an ailing economy?
In The Ethics of the New Economy: Restructuring and Beyond, professionals from the fields of philosophy, ethics, management, as well as those representing the groups affected by restructuring, tackle thorny ethical issues. Referring to concrete case studies, these timely essays discuss a variety of topics, including justified and unjustified restructuring; employers’ obligations during the restructuring process; equity issues; the rise of part-time employment; the effects of restructuring on communities; the internal risks faced by restructuring corporations; deprofessionalization in health care; the consequences of restructuring in the developing world; philanthropy and cause-related marketing; corporate “judo” and restructuring; and responsible and irresponsible restructuring.
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