Higher-Order Strategic Maneuvering in Argumentation

Argumentation 24 (3):319-335 (2010)
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In a critical discussion, interlocutors can strategically maneuver by shading their expressed degree of standpoint commitment for rhetorical effect. When is such strategic shading reasonable, and when does it cross the line and risk fallacious derailment of the discussion? Analysis of President George W. Bush’s 2002–2003 prewar commentary on Iraq provides an occasion to explore this question and revisit Douglas Ehninger’s distinction between argumentation as coercive correction and argumentation as a person-risking enterprise. Points of overlap between Ehninger’s account and pragma-dialectical argumentation theory suggest avenues for harmonization of rhetorical and dialectical perspectives on argumentation. Out of this conceptual convergence comes theoretical resources for understanding strategic maneuvering, by accounting for ways that discussants exploit gaps between their externalized and actual discussion attitude. As such higher-order strategic maneuvering played a major role in the 2003 Iraq prewar discourse failure, perspicacious understanding of this particular argumentative maneuver carries practical, as well as theoretical import



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Citations of this work

Designing Soundscapes for Argumentation.Justin Eckstein - 2018 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 51 (3):269-292.

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References found in this work

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From axiom to dialogue: a philosophical study of logics and argumentation.E. M. Barth - 1982 - New York: W. de Gruyter. Edited by E. C. W. Krabbe.

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