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Douglas Walton [37]Douglas N. Walton [2]
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Douglas Walton
Last affiliation: University of Windsor
  1. Emotive Language in Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2014 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    This book analyzes the uses of emotive language and redefinitions from pragmatic, dialectical, epistemic and rhetorical perspectives, investigating the relationship between emotions, persuasion and meaning, and focusing on the implicit dimension of the use of a word and its dialectical effects. It offers a method for evaluating the persuasive and manipulative uses of emotive language in ordinary and political discourse. Through the analysis of political speeches and legal arguments, the book offers a systematic study of emotive language in argumentation, rhetoric, (...)
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  2. Interpreting Straw Man Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2017 - Amsterdam: Springer.
    This book shows how research in linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric can be connected through argumentation to analyze a recognizably common strategy used in political and everyday conversation, namely the distortion of another’s words in an argumentative exchange. Straw man argumentation refers to the modification of a position by misquoting, misreporting or wrenching the original speaker’s statements from their context in order to attack them more easily or more effectively. Through 63 examples taken from different contexts (including political (...)
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  3.  49
    Statutory Interpretation: Pragmatics and Argumentation.Douglas Walton, Fabrizio Macagno & Giovanni Sartor - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Statutory interpretation involves the reconstruction of the meaning of a legal statement when it cannot be considered as accepted or granted. This phenomenon needs to be considered not only from the legal and linguistic perspective, but also from the argumentative one - which focuses on the strategies for defending a controversial or doubtful viewpoint. This book draws upon linguistics, legal theory, computing, and dialectics to present an argumentation-based approach to statutory interpretation. By translating and summarizing the existing legal interpretative canons (...)
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  4. Practical Reasoning Arguments: A Modular Approach.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (4):519-547.
    This paper compares current ways of modeling the inferential structure of practical reasoning arguments, and proposes a new approach in which it is regarded in a modular way. Practical reasoning is not simply seen as reasoning from a goal and a means to an action using the basic argumentation scheme. Instead, it is conceived as a complex structure of classificatory, evaluative, and practical inferences, which is formalized as a cluster of three types of distinct and interlocked argumentation schemes. Using two (...)
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  5. An Argumentation Framework for Contested Cases of Statutory Interpretation.Fabrizio Macagno, Giovanni Sartor & Douglas Walton - 2016 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 24 (1):51-91.
    This paper proposes an argumentation-based procedure for legal interpretation, by reinterpreting the traditional canons of textual interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes, which are then classified, formalized, and represented through argument visualization and evaluation tools. The problem of statutory interpretation is framed as one of weighing contested interpretations as pro and con arguments. The paper builds an interpretation procedure by formulating a set of argumentation schemes that can be used to comparatively evaluate the types of arguments used in cases of (...)
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  6. A Theory of Presumption for Everyday Argumentation.David M. Godden & Douglas N. Walton - 2007 - Pragmatics and Cognition 15 (2):313-346.
    The paper considers contemporary models of presumption in terms of their ability to contribute to a working theory of presumption for argumentation. Beginning with the Whatelian model, we consider its contemporary developments and alternatives, as proposed by Sidgwick, Kauffeld, Cronkhite, Rescher, Walton, Freeman, Ullmann-Margalit, and Hansen. Based on these accounts, we present a picture of presumptions characterized by their nature, function, foundation and force. On our account, presumption is a modal status that is attached to a claim and has the (...)
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  7. Analogical Arguments: Inferential Structures and Defeasibility Conditions.Fabrizio Macagno, Douglas Walton & Christopher Tindale - 2017 - Argumentation 31 (2):221-243.
    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the structure and the defeasibility conditions of argument from analogy, addressing the issues of determining the nature of the comparison underlying the analogy and the types of inferences justifying the conclusion. In the dialectical tradition, different forms of similarity were distinguished and related to the possible inferences that can be drawn from them. The kinds of similarity can be divided into four categories, depending on whether they represent fundamental semantic features of the (...)
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  8. Argument From Analogy in Law, the Classical Tradition, and Recent Theories.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2009 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 42 (2):154-182.
    Argument from analogy is a common and formidable form of reasoning in law and in everyday conversation. Although there is substantial literature on the subject, according to a recent survey ( Juthe 2005) there is little fundamental agreement on what form the argument should take, or on how it should be evaluated. Th e lack of conformity, no doubt, stems from the complexity and multiplicity of forms taken by arguments that fall under the umbrella of analogical reasoning in argumentation, dialectical (...)
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  9. Argumentation Schemes. History, Classifications, and Computational Applications.Fabrizio Macagno, Douglas Walton & Chris Reed - 2017 - IfCoLog Journal of Logics and Their Applications 8 (4):2493-2556.
    Argumentation schemes can be described as abstract structures representing the most generic types of argument, constituting the building blocks of the ones used in everyday reasoning. This paper investigates the structure, classification, and uses of such schemes. Three goals are pursued: 1) to describe the schemes, showing how they evolved and how they have been classified in the traditional and the modern theories; 2) to propose a method for classifying them based on ancient and modern developments; and 3) to outline (...)
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  10.  88
    Profiles of Dialogue for Relevance.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - Informal Logic 36 (4):523-562.
    This paper uses argument diagrams, argumentation schemes, and some tools from formal argumentation systems developed in artificial intelligence to build a graph-theoretic model of relevance shown to be applicable as a practical method for helping a third party judge issues of relevance or irrelevance of an argument in real examples. Examples used to illustrate how the method works are drawn from disputes about relevance in natural language discourse, including a criminal trial and a parliamentary debate.
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  11.  64
    Implicatures as Forms of Argument.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2013 - In Alessandro Capone (ed.), Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy. Berlin, Germany: pp. 203-224.
    In this paper, we use concepts, structure and tools from argumentation theory to show how conversational implicatures are triggered by conflicts of presumptions. Presumptive implicatures are shown to be based on defeasible forms of inference used in conditions of lack of knowledge, including analogical reasoning, inference to the best explanation, practical reasoning, appeal to pity, and argument from cause. Such inferences are modelled as communicative strategies to knowledge gaps that shift the burden of providing the missing contrary evidence to the (...)
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  12.  89
    Classifying the Patterns of Natural Arguments.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2015 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 48 (1): 26-53.
    The representation and classification of the structure of natural arguments has been one of the most important aspects of Aristotelian and medieval dialectical and rhetorical theories. This traditional approach is represented nowadays in models of argumentation schemes. The purpose of this article is to show how arguments are characterized by a complex combination of two levels of abstraction, namely, semantic relations and types of reasoning, and to provide an effective and comprehensive classification system for this matrix of semantic and quasilogical (...)
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  13.  44
    An Arugmentation Framework for Contested Cases of Statutory Interpertation.Douglas Walton, Giovanni Sartor & Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 24 (1):51-91.
    This paper proposes an argumentation-based procedure for legal interpretation, by reinterpreting the traditional canons of textual interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes, which are then classified, formalized, and represented through argument visualization and evaluation tools. The problem of statutory interpretation is framed as one of weighing contested interpretations as pro and con arguments. The paper builds an interpretation procedure by formulating a set of argumentation schemes that can be used to comparatively evaluate the types of arguments used in cases of (...)
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  14.  92
    Pragmatic Maxims and Presumptions in Legal Interpretation.Fabrizio Macagno, Douglas Walton & Giovanni Sartor - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (1):69-115.
    The fields of linguistic pragmatics and legal interpretation are deeply interrelated. The purpose of this paper is to show how pragmatics and the developments in argumentation theory can contribute to the debate on legal interpretation. The relation between the pragmatic maxims and the presumptions underlying the legal canons are brought to light, unveiling the principles that underlie the types of argument usually used to justify a construction. The Gricean maxims and the arguments of legal interpretation are regarded as presumptions subject (...)
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  15. A Classification System for Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2015 - Argument and Computation 6 (3):219-245.
    This paper explains the importance of classifying argumentation schemes, and outlines how schemes are being used in current research in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics on argument mining. It provides a survey of the literature on scheme classification. What are so far generally taken to represent a set of the most widely useful defeasible argumentation schemes are surveyed and explained systematically, including some that are difficult to classify. A new classification system covering these centrally important schemes is built.
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  16. Reasoning From Paradigms and Negative Evidence.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas N. Walton - 2011 - Pragmatics and Cognition 19 (1):92-116.
    Reasoning from negative evidence takes place where an expected outcome is tested for, and when it is not found, a conclusion is drawn based on the significance of the failure to find it. By using Gricean maxims and implicatures, we show how a set of alternatives, which we call a paradigm, provides the deep inferential structure on which reasoning from lack of evidence is based. We show that the strength of reasoning from negative evidence depends on how the arguer defines (...)
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  17. Types of Dialogue, Dialectical Relevance and Textual Congruity.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2007 - Anthropology and Philosophy 8 (1-2):101-120.
    Using tools like argument diagrams and profiles of dialogue, this paper studies a number of examples of everyday conversational argumentation where determination of relevance and irrelevance can be assisted by means of adopting a new dialectical approach. According to the new dialectical theory, dialogue types are normative frameworks with specific goals and rules that can be applied to conversational argumentation. In this paper is shown how such dialectical models of reasonable argumentation can be applied to a determination of whether an (...)
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  18.  65
    A Classification System for Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2015 - Argument and Computation 6 (3):219-245.
    This paper explains the importance of classifying argumentation schemes, and outlines how schemes are being used in current research in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics on argument mining. It provides a survey of the literature on scheme classification. What are so far generally taken to represent a set of the most widely useful defeasible argumentation schemes are surveyed and explained systematically, including some that are difficult to classify. A new classification system covering these centrally important schemes is built.
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  19. Defeasible Classifications and Inferences From Definitions.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (1):34-61.
    We contend that it is possible to argue reasonably for and against arguments from classifications and definitions, provided they are seen as defeasible (subject to exceptions and critical questioning). Arguments from classification of the most common sorts are shown to be based on defeasible reasoning of various kinds represented by patterns of logical reasoning called defeasible argumentation schemes. We show how such schemes can be identified with heuristics, or short-cut solutions to a problem. We examine a variety of arguments of (...)
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  20. Wrenching From Context: The Manipulation of Commitments.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2010 - Argumentation 24 (3):283-317.
    This article analyses the fallacy of wrenching from context, using the dialectical notions of commitment and implicature as tools. The data, a set of key examples, is used to sharpen the conceptual borderlines around the related fallacies of straw man, accent, misquotation, and neglect of qualifications. According to the analysis, the main characteristics of wrenching from context are the manipulation of the meaning of the other’s statement through devices such as the use of misquotations, selective quotations, and quoting out of (...)
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  21. Emotive Meaning in Political Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2019 - Informal Logic 39 (3):229-261.
    Donald Trump’s speeches and messages are characterized by terms that are commonly referred to as “thick” or “emotive,” meaning that they are characterized by a tendency to be used to generate emotive reactions. This paper investigates how emotive meaning is related to emotions, and how it is generated or manipulated. Emotive meaning is analyzed as an evaluative conclusion that results from inferences triggered by the use of a term, which can be represented and assessed using argumentation schemes. The evaluative inferences (...)
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  22. The Argumentative Structure of Persuasive Definitions.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (5):525-549.
    In this paper we present an analysis of persuasive definition based on argumentation schemes. Using the medieval notion of differentia and the traditional approach to topics, we explain the persuasiveness of emotive terms in persuasive definitions by applying the argumentation schemes for argument from classification and argument from values. Persuasive definitions, we hold, are persuasive because their goal is to modify the emotive meaning denotation of a persuasive term in a way that contains an implicit argument from values. However, our (...)
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  23. Reasoning From Classifications and Definitions.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2009 - Argumentation 23 (1):81-107.
    In this paper we analyze the uses and misuses of argumentation schemes from verbal classification, and show how argument from definition supports argumentation based on argument from verbal classification. The inquiry has inevitably included the broader study of the concept of definition. The paper presents the schemes for argument from classification and for argument from definition, and shows how the latter type of argument so typically supports the former. The problem of analyzing arguments based on classification is framed in a (...)
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  24.  81
    Statutory Interpretation as Argumentation.Douglas Walton, Giovanni Sartor & Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - In Colin Aitken, Amalia Amaya, Kevin D. Ashley, Carla Bagnoli, Giorgio Bongiovanni, Bartosz Brożek, Cristiano Castelfranchi, Samuele Chilovi, Marcello Di Bello, Jaap Hage, Kenneth Einar Himma, Lewis A. Kornhauser, Emiliano Lorini, Fabrizio Macagno, Andrei Marmor, J. J. Moreso, Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, Antonino Rotolo, Giovanni Sartor, Burkhard Schafer, Chiara Valentini, Bart Verheij, Douglas Walton & Wojciech Załuski (eds.), Handbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 519-560.
    This chapter proposes a dialectical approach to legal interpretation, consisting of three dimensions: a formalization of the canons of interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes; a dialectical classification of interpretive schemes; and a logical and computational model for comparing the arguments pro and contra an interpretation. The traditional interpretive maxims or canons used in both common and civil law are translated into defeasible patterns of arguments, which can be evaluated through sets of corresponding critical questions. These interpretive argumentation schemes are (...)
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  25. Presumptions in Legal Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2012 - Ratio Juris 25 (3):271-300.
    In this paper a theoretical definition that helps to explain how the logical structure of legal presumptions is constructed by applying the Carneades model of argumentation developed in artificial intelligence. Using this model, it is shown how presumptions work as devices used in evidentiary reasoning in law in the event of a lack of evidence to assist a chain of reasoning to move forward to prove or disprove a claim. It is shown how presumptions work as practical devices that may (...)
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  26. The Argumentative Uses of Emotive Language.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2010 - Revista Iberoamericana de Argumentación 1:1-37.
    This paper analyzes selected examples of uses of argumentation tactics that exploit emotive language, many of them criticized as deceptive and even fallacious by classical and recent sources, including current informal logic textbooks. The analysis is based on six argumentation schemes, and an account of the dialectical setting in which these schemes are used. The three conclusions are (1) that such uses of emotive language are often reasonable and necessary in argumentation based on values, (2) but that they are defeasible, (...)
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  27. Argumentative Reasoning Patterns.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2006 - In Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno (eds.), Proceedings of 6th CMNA (Computational Models of Natural Argument) Workshop, ECAI-European Conference on Artificial Intelligence. University of Trento. pp. 48-51.
    The aim of the paper is to present a typology of argument schemes. In first place, we found it helpful to define what an argument scheme is. Since many argument schemes found in contemporary theories stem from the ancient tradition, we took in consideration classical and medieval dialectical studies and their relation with argumentation theory. This overview on the main works on topics and schemes provides a summary of the main principles of classification. In the second section, Walton’s theory is (...)
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  28. Persuasive Definitions: Values, Meanings and Implicit Disagreements.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2008 - Informal Logic 28 (3):203-228.
    The purpose of this paper is to inquire into the relationship between persuasive definition and common knowledge (propositions generally accepted and not subject to dispute in a discussion). We interpret the gap between common knowledge and persuasive definition (PD) in terms of potential disagreements: PDs are conceived as implicit arguments to win a potential conflict. Persuasive definitions are analyzed as arguments instantiating two argumentation schemes, argument from classification and argument from values, and presupposing a potential disagreement. The argumentative structure of (...)
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  29. What We Hide in Words: Value-Based Reasoning and Emotive Language.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2010 - Journal of Pragmatics 42:1997-2013.
    There are emotively powerful words that can modify our judgment, arouse our emotions and influence our decisions. This paper shows how the use of emotive meaning in argumentation can be explained by showing how their logical dimension, which can be analysed using argumentation schemes, combines with heuristic processes triggered by emotions. Arguing with emotive words is shown to use value-based practical reasoning grounded on hierarchies of values and maxims of experience for evaluative classification.
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  30. Argument Diagramming in Logic, Artificial Intelligence, and Law.Chris Reed, Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2007 - Artificial Intelligence, and Law 22 (1):87-109.
    In this paper, we present a survey of the development of the technique of argument diagramming covering not only the fields in which it originated - informal logic, argumentation theory, evidence law and legal reasoning – but also more recent work in applying and developing it in computer science and artificial intelligence. Beginning with a simple example of an everyday argument, we present an analysis of it visualised as an argument diagram constructed using a software tool. In the context of (...)
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  31.  65
    Quotations and Presumptions: Dialogical Effects of Misquotations.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2011 - Informal Logic 31 (1):27-55.
    Manipulation of quotation, shown to be a common tactic of argumentation in this paper, is associated with fallacies like wrenching from context, hasty generalization, equivocation, accent, the straw man fallacy, and ad hominem arguments. Several examples are presented from everyday speech, legislative debates and trials. Analysis using dialog models explains the critical defects of argumentation illustrated in each of the examples. In the formal dialog system CB, a proponent and respondent take turns in making moves in an orderly goal-directed sequence (...)
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  32.  66
    Arguments of Statutory Interpretation and Argumentation Schemes.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2017 - International Journal of Legal Discourse 1 (21):47–83.
    In this paper it is shown how certain defeasible argumentation schemes can be used to represent the logical structure of the most common types of argument used for statutory interpretation both in civil and common law. The method is based on an argumentation structure in which the conclusion, namely, the meaning attributed to a legal source, is modeled as a claim that needs that is be supported by pro and con defeasible arguments. The defeasible nature of each scheme is shown (...)
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  33. Enthymemes, Argumentation Schemes, and Topics.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2009 - Logique Et Analyse 52 (205):39-56.
    This paper argues for a reinterpretation of Aristotle's concept of an enthymeme and also his wider informal logic in terms of arguments that are defeasible. They are represented by forms of argument that are called argumentation schemes, considered to be similar to forms of argument found in deductive logic, but different from the foregoing in virtue of their being defeasible. Indeed, the most interesting schemes have been put forward as a helpful way of characterizing structures of human reasoning that have (...)
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  34. Dichotomies and Oppositions in Legal Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2010 - Ratio Juris 23 (2):229-257.
    In this paper we use a series of examples to show how oppositions and dichotomies are fundamental in legal argumentation, and vitally important to be aware of, because of their twofold nature. On the one hand, they are argument structures underlying various kinds of rational argumentation commonly used in law as a means of getting to the truth in a conflict of opinion under critical discussion by two opposing sides before a tryer of fact. On the other hand, they are (...)
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  35.  33
    Classification and Ambiguity: The Role of Definition in a Conceptual System.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2009 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 16 (29).
    With the advent of the semantic web, the problem of ambiguity is becoming more and more urging. Semantic analysis is necessary for explaining and resolving some sorts of ambiguity by inquiring into the relation between possibilities of predication and definition of a concept in order to solve problems such as interpretation and ambiguity. If computing is now approaching such problems of linguistic analysis, what is worth inquiring into is how the development of linguistic studies can be useful for developing the (...)
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  36. Common Knowledge and Argumentation Schemes .Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2005 - Studies in Communication Sciences 5 (2):1-22.
    We argue that common knowledge, of the kind used in reasoning in law and computing is best analyzed using a dialogue model of argumentation (Walton & Krabbe 1995). In this model, implicit premises resting on common knowledge are analyzed as endoxa or widely accepted opinions and generalizations (Tardini 2005). We argue that, in this sense, common knowledge is not really knowledge of the kind represent by belief and/or knowledge of the epistemic kind studied in current epistemology. This paper takes a (...)
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  37.  93
    Diagnosing Misattribution of Commitments: A Normative and Pragmatic Model of for Assessing Straw Man.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2019 - In Alessandro Capone, Marco Carapezza & Franco Lo Piparo (eds.), Further Advances in Pragmatics and Philosophy: Part 2 Theories and Applications. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 111-136.
    This paper builds a nine-step method for determining whether a straw man fallacy has been committed in a given case or not, by starting with some relatively easy textbook cases and moving to more realistic and harder cases. The paper shows how the type of argument associated with the fallacy can be proved to be a fallacy in a normative argumentation model, and then moves on to the practical task of building a hands-on method for applying the model to real (...)
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  38. Can an Ancient Argument of Carneades on Cardinal Virtues and Divine Attributes Be Used to Disprove the Existence of God?Douglas Walton - 1999 - Philo 2 (2):5-13.
    An ancient argument attributed to the philosopher Carneades is presented that raises critical questions about the concept of an all-virtuous Divine being. The argument is based on the premises that virtue involves overcoming pains and dangers, and that only a being that can suffer or be destroyed is one for whom there are pains and dangers. The conclusion is that an all-virtuous Divine (perfect) being cannot exist. After presenting this argument, reconstructed from sources in Sextus Empiricus and Cicero, this paper (...)
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  39. Alternatives to Suspicion and Trust as Conditions for Challenge in Argumentative Dialogues.Douglas Walton & David Godden - 2006 - In P. Riley (ed.), Engaging argument: Selected papers from the 2005 NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation. National Communication Association. pp. 438-444.
    A problem for dialogue models of argumentation is to specify a set of conditions under which an opponent’s claims, offered in support of a standpoint under dispute, ought to be challenged. This project is related to the issue of providing a set of acceptability conditions for claims made in a dialogue. In this paper, we consider the conditions of suspicion and trust articulated by Jacobs (Alta, 2003), arguing that neither are acceptable as general conditions for challenge. We propose a third (...)
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