Audiences, relevance, and cognitive environments

Argumentation 6 (2):177-188 (1992)
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This paper discusses the fundamental sense in which the components of an argument should be relevant to the intended audience. In particular, the evidence advanced should be relevant to the facts and assumptions that are manifest in the cognitive environment of the audience. A version of Sperber and Wilson's concept of the cognitive environment is applied to argumentative concerns, and from this certain features of audience-relevance are explored: that the relevance of a premise can vary with the audience; that irrelevant premises can be made relevant; that evidence can be relevant by degrees; and that this notion of relevance will assist the argumentation analyst in the identification and assessment of hidden premises



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Christopher Tindale
University of Windsor

References found in this work

A practical study of argument.Trudy Govier - 1991 - Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co..
Studies in the Way of Words.Paul Grice - 1989 - Philosophy 65 (251):111-113.
Good reasoning matters!: a constructive approach to critical thinking.Leo Groarke - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Christopher W. Tindale & J. Frederick Little.
By Parity of Reasoning.John Woods & Brent Hudak - 1989 - Informal Logic 11 (3).

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