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Arguing with People Arguing With People By Michael A. Gilbert Professor of Philosophy York University Canada Broadview Press 2014
Arguing with People Part 1 All About Arguments
Arguing with People 3 Product and Process Argument as product when an argument is a thing, an object. As a product it is something that you can examine, take apart; an object has components such as reasons (or premisses) and a claim (or conclusion). Argument as process When argument is an interaction, a dynamic exchange between two or more people. Means, for example, that people were “having an argument.” Argument is a process that takes place between people who are concerned with a disagreement. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 4 Argument 1 & Argument 2 An argument 1 is a single thing that can be examined and analyzed by itself, in other words, a product. An argument 2 happens between two people and is a process. An argument 2 usually contains arguments 1 as objects: people who are in the process of arguing offer each other arguments. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 5 Three Perspectives Argument as product relies on logic, argument diagrams, and relations between premises and conclusions. Argument as process is essentially rhetorical and involves everything that is intended to make an argument more attractive and persuasive. Argument as procedure refers to the dialectical models geared to finding truth by relying on rules and models designed to encourage fairness and discovery of the truth. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 6 Truth How can we know if we have the truth? It doesn’t shine a special light. There’s no book of truths. The truth is not manifest: i.e., we can never be sure if we do or do not have the truth. This makes argument and Critical Thinking extremely important. © M.A. Gilbert 2014 Arguing with People
7 Rhetoric Rhetoric has had bad press for years and years. The problem been that it appears to be focused on results, namely persuasion, rather than on getting at the truth of the matter. But a great deal is rhetorical: including context, word choice, intonation, and background; this means we can never get away from it. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 8 Emotion Emotion is an integral part of every argument. If not, then why argue? Important for decision making. Extreme emotion is what scares people. Leads to quarrels and fights Some Critical Thinking scholars eschew emotion. This is the critical-logical model, and is both extremely ritualised and extremely rare. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 9 Clinical to Emotional Clinical arguments, are low in emotion, very orderly. Have careful turn-taking and no interrupting. People mean what they say, are as literal as possible, and what they say has no hidden meaning. Emotional arguments, may be excited, involve interruptions, and can involve the expression of feelings. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 10 Orderly to Chaotic Orderly arguments, Involve turn-taking, listening, staying on topic, and being considerate. Chaotic arguments, Often involve interruptions, side arguments, and may go so far as mocking and name-calling. Chaotic arguments can sometimes be brought under control by requesting a summary of the positions involved. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 11 The Stages of Argument Introduced by the Amsterdam School of pragma-dialectics First stage – confrontation Second stage – opening Third stage – argumentation Fourth stage - concluding © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 12 Confrontation Stage An assertion is made, and an interlocutor disagrees with it. First, do you want to argue? Is the context impinging on your ability? If the argument is about facts, might be better to do research than argue. Think before you argue. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 13 Opening Stage This stage concerns the rules and procedures to be used. You may never have noticed it. Mostly you argue with people you know, and the rules have been already set. BUT, if something surprising happens the stage may have to be re-visited. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 14 Argumentation Stage This is the stage where argument occurs. Much more detail later on, as well as in your Critical Thinking course or workshop. You may have to go back to an earlier stage. “Oh, that’s what you meant. Well I have no problem with that.” Back to confrontation stage. Father says, “Don’t argue with your mother!” Back to opening stage. And so on. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 15 Concluding Stage The stage in which the argument ends. Argument may end by someone agreeing the other is right. Jack may agree that he was wrong and Jill was right. Jill and Jack may reach a conclusion neither held but they both accept. The argument may be suspended either temporarily or permanently. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 16 Kinds of Arguments We can identify arguments 1 and unpack them and analyze them. Identify premises and conclusions. Look for premise strength and connections, and so on. Arguments 2 can be examined for how they follow rules and procedures. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 17 Three Kinds of Argument Inquiry In ideal form, pure and dedicated to finding best answer. No vested interests or emotion allowed. Negotiation Each party wants to maximize benefits to themselves. Truth not an issue. Persuasion One arguer aims to have the other arguer adopt her position. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 18 Heuristic A process is heuristic when it involves trying to discover the truth or best solution. From the OED: “Of, relating to, or enabling discovery or problem-solving.” In AWP an argument is heuristic when those involved are trying to cooperate in reaching an agreement or solving a problem. The opposite is eristic, when arguer only cares about winning and getting her or his way. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 19 Heuristic Inquiry Pure inquiry is very rare. Arguers always have a vested interest, goals and/or objectives. When the arguers in an inquiry have the intention of cooperating, being open and honest, then we say they are having a heuristic inquiry. Heuristic inquiries can come in degrees from sort- of heuristic to highly heuristic. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 20 Negotiation Partners in a negotiation have different goals. Nonetheless, the best negotiations leave all parties feeling satisfied. Negotiators can be cooperative and as honest as possible while still being strategic. This is a heuristic attitude and builds a foundation for the future. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 21 Persuasion Persuasion dialogues occur when one arguer want the other to adopt a particular position, goal or belief. When an arguer has no intention of changing her mind, the dialogue is eristic. When the persuader is open to being persuaded herself, then the argument is heuristic. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 22 Dialogue Shifts It is not uncommon for the type of dialogue to change during the argument. We might be having an inquiry and need to negotiate a point. We might be negotiating but need to put our heads together in an inquiry to settle a problem. Jack might be trying to persuade Jill, when he suddenly lets go and they move into an inquiry. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 23 Polemics vs. Arguments The arguments we have been discussing here are those where there are two or maybe three people involved. In most cases those arguing are willing to change their minds, consider alternatives and take the goals of others into account. Polemics happen when an arguer is talking to a group, an audience, and is not considering their point of view, goals or beliefs. It is highly eristic and you should watch out for it. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 24 Critical Thinking The Critical Thinking course or training workshop you are taking, whether in school or business, is supplying you with extremely important tools and techniques. It is providing you with an important awareness of problems, fallacies, and faulty reasoning. That is your greatest protection against polemics. © M.A. Gilbert 2014
Arguing with People 25 End of Part One © M.A. Gilbert 2014
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