The Burden of Criticism: Consequences of Taking a Critical Stance

Argumentation 27 (2):201-224 (2013)
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Abstract

Some critical reactions hardly give clues to the arguer as to how to respond to them convincingly. Other critical reactions convey some or even all of the considerations that make the critic critical of the arguer’s position and direct the arguer to defuse or to at least contend with them. First, an explication of the notion of a critical reaction will be provided, zooming in on the degree of “directiveness” that a critical reaction displays. Second, it will be examined whether there are normative requirements that enhance the directiveness of criticism. Does the opponent have in circumstances a dialectical obligation to provide clarifications, explanations, or even arguments? In this paper, it is hypothesized that the competitiveness inherent in critical discussion must be mitigated by making the opponent responsible for providing her counterconsiderations, if available, thus assisting the proponent in developing an argumentative strategy that defuses them.

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Jan Albert Van Laar
University of Groningen

References found in this work

The logic of scientific discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Hutchinson Publishing Group.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Argumentation schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.

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