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Interpreting Straw Man Argumentation

Amsterdam: Springer (2017)

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  1. Secundum Quid and the Pragmatics of Arguments. The Challenges of the Dialectical Tradition.Fabrizio Macagno - forthcoming - Argumentation:1-27.
    The phrase secundum quid et simpliciter is the Latin expression translating and labelling the sophism described by Aristotle as connected with the use of some particular expression “absolutely or in a certain respect and not in its proper sense.” This paper presents an overview of the analysis of this fallacy in the history of dialectics, reconstructing the different explanations provided in the Aristotelian texts, the Latin and medieval dialectical tradition, and the modern logical approaches. The secundum quid emerges as a (...)
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  • A Pragmatic Account of Rephrase in Argumentation.Marcin Koszowy, Steve Oswald, Katarzyna Budzynska, Barbara Konat & Pascal Gygax - 2022 - Informal Logic 42 (1):49-82.
    In the spirit of the pragmatic account of quotation and reporting offered by Macagno and Walton, we outline a systematic pragmatic account of rephrasing. For this purpose, we combine two interrelated methods of inquiry into the variety of uses of rephrase as a persuasive device: the annotation of rephrase types to identify locutionary and illocutionary aspects of rephrase, the crowd–sourced examination of rephrase types to investigate their perlocutionary effects. As it draws on Waltonian insights and on empirical and experimental research (...)
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  • Argumentation Profiles.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Informal Logic 42 (1):83-138.
    An argumentation profile is defined as a methodological instrument for analyzing argumentative discourse considering distinct and interrelated dimensions: the types of argument used, their quality, and the emotions triggered. Walton’s theoretical contributions are developed as a coherent analytical and multifaceted toolbox for capturing these aspects. Argumentation schemes are used to detect and quantify the types of argument. Fallacy analysis and the assessment of the implicit premises retrieved through the schemes allow evaluating arguments. Finally, the frequency of emotive words signals the (...)
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  • Argumentation Profiles and the Manipulation of Common Ground. The Arguments of Populist Leaders on Twitter.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 191:67-82.
    The detection of hate speech and fake news in political discourse is at the same time a crucial necessity for democratic societies and a challenge for several areas of study. However, most of the studies have focused on what is explicitly stated: false article information, language that expresses hatred, derogatory expressions. This paper argues that the explicit dimension of manipulation is only one – and the least problematic – of the risks of political discourse. The language of the unsaid is (...)
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  • Types of Dialogue and Pragmatic Ambiguity.Fabrizio Macagno & Sarah Bigi - 2018 - In Steve Oswald, Thierry Herman & ‎Jérôme Jacquin (eds.), Argumentation and Language — Linguistic, Cognitive and Discursive Explorations. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 191-218.
    The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On the one hand, our goal is theoretical, as we aim at providing an instrument for detecting, analyzing, and solving ambiguities based on the reasoning mechanism underlying interpretation. To this purpose, combining the insights from pragmatics and argumentation theory, we represent the background assumptions driving an interpretation as presumptions. Presumptions are then investigated as the backbone of the argumentative reasoning that is used to assess and solve ambiguities and drive (theoretically) interpretive mechanisms. On (...)
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  • 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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  • Ignoring Qualifications as a Pragmatic Fallacy: Enrichments and Their Use for Manipulating Commitments.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Langages 1 (13).
    The fallacy of ignoring qualifications, or secundum quid et simpliciter, is a deceptive strategy that is pervasive in argumentative dialogues, discourses, and discussions. It consists in misrepresenting an utterance so that its meaning is broadened, narrowed, or simply modified to pursue different goals, such as drawing a specific conclusion, attacking the interlocutor, or generating humorous reactions. The “secundum quid” was described by Aristotle as an interpretative manipulative strategy, based on the contrast between the “proper” sense of a statement and its (...)
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  • Analizzare l’argomentazione sui social media. Il caso dei tweet di Salvini.Fabrizio Macagno - 2019 - Sistemi Intelligenti 3 (31):601-632.
    Twitter is an instrument used not only for sharing public or personal information, but also for persuading the audience. While specific platforms and software have been developed for analyzing macro-analytical data, and specific studies have focused on the linguistic dimension of the tweets, the argumentative dimension of the latter is unexplored to this date. This paper intends to propose a method grounded on the tools advanced in argumentation theory for capturing, coding, and assessing the different argumentative dimensions of the messages (...)
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  • Analyzing Dialogue Moves in Chronic Care Communication.Fabrizio Macagno & Sarah Bigi - 2020 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 9 (2):167-198.
    Dialogue moves are a pragmatic instrument that captures the most important categories of “dialogical intentions.” This paper adapts this tool to the conversational setting of chronic care communication, characterized by the general goal of making reasoned decisions concerning patients’ conditions, shared by the latter. Seven mutually exclusive and comprehensive categories were identified, whose reliability was tested on an Italian corpus of provider-patient encounters in diabetes care. The application of this method was illustrated through explorative analyses identifying possible correlations between the (...)
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  • Evidence and Presumptions for Analyzing and Detecting Misunderstandings.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Pragmatics and Cognition 24 (2):263-296.
    The detection and analysis of misunderstandings are crucial aspects of discourse analysis, and presuppose a twofold investigation of their structure. First, misunderstandings need to be identified and, more importantly, justified. For this reason, a classification of the types and force of evidence of a misunderstanding is needed. Second, misunderstandings reveal differences in the interlocutors’ interpretations of an utterance, which can be examined by considering the presumptions that they use in their interpretation. This paper proposes a functional approach to misunderstandings grounded (...)
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  • 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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  • The Role of Evidence in Chronic Care Decision-Making.Fabrizio Macagno & Sarah Bigi - 2021 - Topoi 40 (2):343-358.
    In the domain of medical science, factual evidence is usually considered as the criterion on which to base decisions and construct hypotheses. Evidence-based medicine is the translation of this approach into the field of patient care, and it means providing only the type of care that is based on evidence that proves its effectiveness and appropriateness. However, while the literature has focused on the types and force of evidence used to establish the recommendation and treatment guidelines, the problem of how (...)
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  • The Dimensions of Argumentative Texts and Their Assessment.Fabrizio Macagno & Chrysi Rapanta - 2019 - Studia Paedagogica 24 (4):11-44.
    The definition and the assessment of the quality of argumentative texts has become an increasingly crucial issue in education, classroom discourse, and argumentation theory. The different methods developed and used in the literature are all characterized by specific perspectives that fail to capture the complexity of the subject matter, which remains ill-defined and not systematically investigated. This paper addresses this problem by building on the four main dimensions of argument quality resulting from the definition of argument and the literature in (...)
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  • Educating Students to Consistency Via Argumentation.Elisabetta Montanari - 2019 - Informal Logic 39 (3):263-286.
    In this paper, the role played in learning to argue by an essential and yet under-researched epistemic and argumentative norm is discussed, namely, the consistency requirement. An argumentative intervention is presented, that is designed to enhance the understanding of this norm among high school students, to enable them to recognize contradictions in the process of argumentation and to familiarize them with the argumentative strategies related to the reductio ad absurdum. There follows a description of how the designed intervention was implemented (...)
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  • 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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  • Recognizing Argument Types and Adding Missing Reasons.Christoph Lumer - 2019 - In Bart J. Garssen, David Godden, Gordon Mitchell & Jean Wagemans (eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA). [Amsterdam, July 3-6, 2018.]. Amsterdam (Netherlands): pp. 769-777.
    The article develops and justifies, on the basis of the epistemological argumentation theory, two central pieces of the theory of evaluative argumentation interpretation: 1. criteria for recognizing argument types and 2. rules for adding reasons to create ideal arguments. Ad 1: The criteria for identifying argument types are a selection of essential elements from the definitions of the respective argument types. Ad 2: After presenting the general principles for adding reasons (benevolence, authenticity, immanence, optimization), heuristics are proposed for finding missing (...)
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  • Assessing Relevance.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Lingua 210:42-64.
    This paper advances an approach to relevance grounded on patterns of material inference called argumentation schemes, which can account for the reconstruction and the evaluation of relevance relations. In order to account for relevance in different types of dialogical contexts, pursuing also non-cognitive goals, and measuring the scalar strength of relevance, communicative acts are conceived as dialogue moves, whose coherence with the previous ones or the context is represented as the conclusion of steps of material inferences. Such inferences are described (...)
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  • Reconstructing Multimodal Arguments in Advertisements: Combining Pragmatics and Argumentation Theory.Fabrizio Macagno & Rosalice Botelho Wakim Souza Pinto - 2021 - Argumentation 35 (1):141-176.
    The analysis of multimodal argumentation in advertising is a crucial and problematic area of research. While its importance is growing in a time characterized by images and pictorial messages, the methods used for interpreting and reconstructing the structure of arguments expressed through verbal and visual means capture only isolated dimensions of this complex phenomenon. This paper intends to propose and illustrate a methodology for the reconstruction and analysis of “double-mode” arguments in advertisements, combining the instruments developed in social semiotics, pragmatics, (...)
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  • Teleological Justification of Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton & Giovanni Sartor - 2013 - Argumentation 27 (2):111-142.
    Argumentation schemes are forms of reasoning that are fallible but correctable within a self-correcting framework. Their use provides a basis for taking rational action or for reasonably accepting a conclusion as a tentative hypothesis, but they are not deductively valid. We argue that teleological reasoning can provide the basis for justifying the use of argument schemes both in monological and dialogical reasoning. We consider how such a teleological justification, besides being inspired by the aim of directing a bounded cognizer to (...)
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