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Creative reasoning in formal discussion

By E.C.W. Krabbe


Systems of formal dialectics articulate methods of conflict resolution. To this end they\ud provide norms to regulate verbal exchanges between the Proponent of a thesis and an Opponent. These\ud regulated exchanges constitute what are known as formal discussions.\ud One may ask what moves,if any, in formal discussions correspond to arguing for or against the\ud thesis. It is claimed that certain moves of the Proponent's are properly designated as arguing for the thesis,\ud and that certain moves of the Opponent purport to criticize the tenability or the relevance of the reasons\ud advanced. Thus the usefulness of formal dialectic systems as models for reasonable argument is vindicated.\ud It is then proposed to make these systems more realistic by incorporating in them a norm of Creative\ud Reasoning that removes the severe restrictions\ud to which\ud the Proponent's arguing was hitherto subject. As a\ud consequence, a certain type of irrelevant reason is no longer automatically excluded. Therefore, it is\ud proposed to extend the Opponent's rights to exert relevance criticism. The new dialectic systems are shown\ud to be strategically equivalent to the original ones Finally, it is stressed that the Opponent's criticism\ud should not be designated as arguing against the thesis. The Opponent criticizes, but does not argue

Topics: Wijsbegeerte
Year: 1987
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