Gefühl als Argument?

In Andreas Dorschel, Matthias Kettner, Wolfgang Kuhlmann & Marcel Niquet (eds.), Transzendentalpragmatik. Ein Symposion für Karl-Otto Apel. Suhrkamp. pp. 167-186 (1993)
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Does having some feeling or other ever count as an argument – and, should it? As a matter of fact, not just do persons sometimes refer to their feelings to make a point in debate. Often, they even treat them as irrefutable arguments; for they are, of course, certain of their own feelings. To make a point in debate by reference to one’s feelings, one has got to articulate them. As language is the core medium of debate (though it can be supported by images etc.), feelings, then, have to be articulated in words. These words, to function in communication, must participate in what is general (though not necessarily universal). On that level of generality, other speakers of the same language can contest the feelings – not that they have occured within the first speaker’s subjectivity, but that they are reasonable reactions to circumstances. Hence if feeling is sometimes to be taken seriously as an argument, it is not irrefutable, but rather refutable; and to the extent that somebody insists that it is irrefutable, it cannot count as an argument.

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Andreas Dorschel
Goethe University Frankfurt


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