This paper aims at resolving a puzzle about the persuasiveness of bootstrapping. On the one hand, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method of settling questions about the reliability of a source. On the other hand, our beliefs that our sense apparatus is reliable is based on other empirically formed beliefs, that is, they are acquired via a presumably complex bootstrapping process. I will argue that when we doubt the reliability of a source, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method for coming (...) to believe that the source is reliable. However, when being initially unaware of a source and its reliability, as in the case of forming beliefs about our sense apparatus, bootstrapping can be eventually persuasive. (shrink)
This study analyzes the relation between cognitive and affective components of theory of mind in school-aged children and persuasion abilities. One-hundred forty-three normotypical school children aged 6 to 12 were administered cognitive and affective ToM tasks and one persuasion production task. A set of regression models showed that only the affective ToM component can predict both the persuasion total scores and all its indicators' scores. Children with a greater ability to attribute emotional mental states do not only (...) produce a wider variety of persuasive arguments but also arguments focused on the persuadee and those with mental-related content. Both Hidden Emotion and Belief-Emotion tasks have been predictive of persuasion total scores. This study provides data on specific contribution of cognitive ToM and affective ToM on indicators of variety and quality of persuasive arguments independently. (shrink)
It is argued that persuasive advertising overrides the autonomy of consumers, in that it manipulates them without their knowledge and for no good reason. Such advertising causes desires in such a way that a necessary condition of autonomy — the possibility of decision — is removed. Four notions central to autonomous action are discussed — autonomous desire, rational desire and choice, free choice, and control or manipulation — following the strategy of Robert Arrington in a recent paper in this journal. (...) Replies are made to Arrington's arguments in favour of advertising. It is also claimed that the argument developed by Philip Nelson, which concludes that even if persuasive advertising does override autonomy, it is still in the interests of consumers to be subjected to it, is seriously mistaken. Finally, some caveats concerning informative advertising are presented. (shrink)
Originally published in 1984, deals with meta-ethics - that is the semantics and pragmatics of ethical language. This book eschews the notions of meaning and analyticity on which meta-ethics normally depends. It discusses questions of free will and responsibility and the relations between ethics on the one hand and science and metaphysics on the other. The author regards ethics as concerned with deciding what to do and with persuading others - not with exploring a supposed realm of ethical fact.
Narrative representations can change our moral actions and thoughts, for better or for worse. In this article, I develop a theory of fictions' capacity for moral education and moral corruption that is fully sensitive to the diversity of fictions. Specifically, I argue that the way a fiction influences our moral actions and thoughts importantly depends on its genre. This theory promises new insights into practical ethical debates over pornography and media violence.
Many of us hold false beliefs about matters that are relevant to public policy such as climate change and the safety of vaccines. What can be done to rectify this situation? This question can be read in two ways. According to the descriptive reading, it concerns which methods will be effective in persuading people that their beliefs are false. According to the normative reading, it concerns which methods we are permitted to use in the service of persuading people. Some effective (...) methods—a programme of brainwashing, say—would not be permissible. In this paper I compare “methods of rational persuasion” with what you might call “marketing methods” such as how one frames the problem of climate change. My aim is to show that “marketing methods” are preferable to “methods of rational persuasion”. My argument has two parts. First, I argue that the evidence suggests that “marketing methods” are more effective in persuading people to change their minds. Second, I argue that “marketing methods” are an acceptable response to the normative question. (shrink)
The present paper has two, interrelated objectives. The first is to analyze the different senses in which arguments are characterized as persuasive in the extant writings of Sextus Empiricus. The second is to examine the Pyrrhonist’s therapeutic use of arguments in the discussion with his Dogmatic rivals – more precisely, to determine the sense and basis of Sextus’ distinction between therapeutic arguments that appear weighty and therapeutic arguments that appear weak in their persuasiveness.
This article deals with the relationship between argumentation and persuasion. It defends the idea that these two concepts are not as opposed as all too often said. If it is important to recognize their differences (there are argumentative discourses without persuasion and persuasive discourses without argumentation), there is nevertheless an overlap, in which characteristics are taken from both. We propose to call this overlap “persuasive argumentation”. In order to bridge argumentation and persuasion, we will first distinguish the (...) latter from manipulation. In the second part of this article, we will analyze four cases of persuasive argumentation: the enthymeme, a few rhetorical figures, narration and visual argumentation. (shrink)
Persuasive definitions – those that convey an attitude in the act of naming – are frequently employed in discourse and are a form of strategic maneuvering. The dynamics of persuasive definition are explored through brief case studies and an extended analysis of the use of the “war” metaphor in responding to terrorism after September 11, 2001. Examining persuasive definitions enables us to notice similarities and differences between strategic maneuvering in dialectical and in rhetorical argument, as well as differences between the (...) role of strategic maneuvering in normatively ideal argument and in actually existing argument. This will avoid the double standard of comparing ideal dialectic with actual rhetoric, or vice versa. The results of the analysis suggest possibilities for a rapprochement between dialectical and rhetorical approaches to argumentation. (shrink)
This essay offers a start on sorting out the relationships of argumentation and persuasion by identifying two systematic ways in which definitions of argumentation differ, namely, their descriptions of the ends and of the means involved in argumentative discourse. Against that backdrop, the traditional “conviction-persuasion” distinction is reassessed. The essay argues that the traditional distinction correctly recognizes the difference between the end of influencing attitudes and that of influencing behavior—but that it misanalyzes the means of achieving the latter (...) (by focusing on emotional arousal) and that it mistakenly contrasts “rational” and “emotional” means of influence. The larger conclusion is that understanding the relationships of the phenomena of argumentation and persuasion will require close attention to characterizations of communicative ends and means. (shrink)
In ‘Rational Persuasion as Paternalism', George Tsai argues that providing another person with reasons or evidence can be a morally objectionable form of paternalism. I believe Tsai’s thesis is importantly correct, denying the widely accepted identification of rational persuasion with respectful treatment. In this comment, I disagree about what is centrally wrong with objectionable rational persuasion. Contrary to Tsai, objectionable rational persuasion is not wrong because it undermines the value of an agent’s life. It is wrong (...) because it is contrary to an agent’s will. (shrink)
Persuasion is a fact of social life, one upon which positive and negative views can be taken. Argumentative rhetoric is often functionally defined as aiming to persuade. Different views on persuasion are taken in argumentative studies, and many other disciplines focus on persuasion. This article takes an “inter-discursive” view of argumentation, and, following the “Hamblin’s trend”, suggests a possible replacement for the concept of persuasion by the inter-discursive concept of alignment.
Psychological studies on fictional persuasion demonstrate that being engaged with fiction systematically affects our beliefs about the real world, in ways that seem insensitive to the truth. This threatens to undermine the widely accepted view that beliefs are essentially regulated in ways that tend to ensure their truth, and may tempt various non-doxastic interpretations of the belief-seeming attitudes we form as a result of engaging with fiction. I evaluate this threat, and argue that it is benign. Even if the (...) relevant attitudes are best seen as genuine beliefs, as I think they often are, their lack of appropriate sensitivity to the truth does not undermine the essential tie between belief and truth. To this end, I shall consider what I take to be the three most plausible models of the cognitive mechanisms underlying fictional persuasion, and argue that on none of these models does fictional persuasion undermine the essential truth-tie. (shrink)
In Plato’s Laws, the Athenian Stranger maintains that law should consist of both persuasion (πειθώ) and compulsion (βία) (IV.711c, IV.718b-d, and IV.722b). Persuasion can be achieved by prefacing the laws with preludes (προοίμια), which make the citizens more eager to obey the laws. Although scholars disagree on how to interpret the preludes’ persuasion, they agree that the preludes instill true beliefs and give citizens good reasons for obeying the laws. In this paper I refine this account of (...) the preludes by arguing that the primary purpose of the preludes is to motivate correct action, and that for citizens who lack rational-governance this is achieved via useful false beliefs. That is to say, in many cases, the prelude functions as a “noble lie” (γενναῖον ψεῦδος). (shrink)
Charles Stevenson introduced the term 'persuasive definition’ to describe a suspect form of moral argument 'which gives a new conceptual meaning to a familiar word without substantially changing its emotive meaning’. However, as Stevenson acknowledges, such a move can be employed legitimately. If persuasive definition is to be a useful notion, we shall need a criterion for identifying specifically illegitimate usage. I criticize a recent proposed criterion from Keith Burgess-Jackson and offer an alternative.
The purpose of this paper is to inquire into the relationship between persuasive definition and common knowledge (propositions generally accepted and not subject to dispute in a discussion). We interpret the gap between common knowledge and persuasive definition (PD) in terms of potential disagreements: PDs are conceived as implicit arguments to win a potential conflict. Persuasive definitions are analyzed as arguments instantiating two argumentation schemes, argument from classification and argument from values, and presupposing a potential disagreement. The argumentative structure of (...) PDs reveals different levels of disagreement, and different pos-sibilities of resolving the conflict or causing dialogical deadlock. (shrink)
One of the distinctions that Plato in the Laws stresses most heavily in his discussion of the proper relation between the individual citizen and the laws of the city is that between persuasion and compulsion. Law, Plato believes, should try to persuade rather than compel the citizens. Near the end of the fourth book of the Laws, the Athenian Stranger, Plato's spokesman in this dialogue, asks whether the lawgiver for their new city of Magnesia should in making laws ‘explain (...) straightaway what must and must not be done, add the threat of a penalty, and turn to another law, without adding a single bit of encouragement or persuasion [παραμυθας δ κα πειθος … ν] to his legislative edicts’ . A few lines later, the Athenian Stranger himself condemns such a procedure as ‘the worse and more savage alternative’ . The better method is for the laws themselves to try to persuade the citizens to act in the manner that they prescribe. And as a means of doing this, Plato proposes attaching preludes to particular laws and to the legal code as a whole: such preludes will supplement the sanctions attached to the laws and will aim at persuading the citizens to act in the way that the laws direct for reasons other than fear of the penalties attached to the law. Such a practice, Plato believes, is an innovation: it is something that no lawgiver has ever thought of doing before . And we have no reason to think that Plato is here excluding his earlier self, e.g. the Plato of the Republic and the Politicus, from this criticism. (shrink)
A paradigm case of demanding involves making utterances designed to influence addressees to accede.1 It would be incoherent to say, "I demand that you do x, but I am not saying that you ought to do x," or "I demand that you do x, although I am fully aware that you cannot do x." The extraordinary nature of demanding may be gleaned from anomalous utterances such as "employees may demand time off by notifying scheduling managers at least one month in (...) advance" and "faculty members may demand an extension of the tenure clock in writing to the provost." Demanding is less anomalous in protest rhetoric and in fact an important strategy for marginalized groups who are "criticized for not handling conflicts and controversies... (shrink)
The development of personal technologies has recently shifted from devices that seek to capture user attention to those that aim to improve user well-being. Digital wellness technologies use the same attractive qualities of other persuasive apps to motivate users towards behaviors that are personally and socially valuable, such as exercise, wealth-management, and meaningful communication. While these aims are certainly an improvement over the market-driven motivations of earlier technologies, they retain their predecessors’ focus on influencing user behavior as a primary metric (...) of success. Digital wellness technologies are still persuasive technologies, and they do not evade concerns over whether their influence on users is ethically justified. In this paper, we describe several ethical frameworks with which to assess the justification of digital wellness technologies’ influence on users. We propose that while some technologies help users to complete tasks and satisfy immediate preferences, other technologies encourage users to reflect on the values underlying their habits and teach them to evaluate their lives’ competing demands. While the former approach to digital wellness technology is not unethical, we propose that the latter approach is more likely to lead to skillful user engagement with technology. (shrink)
Persuasion is a special aspect of our social and linguistic practices – one where an interlocutor, or an audience, is induced, to perform a certain action or to endorse a certain belief, and these episodes are not due to the force of the better reason. When we come near persuasion, it seems that, in general, we are somehow giving up factual discourse and the principles of logic, since persuading must be understood as almost different from convincing rationally. Sometimes, (...) for example, we can find persuasion a political speech that relies on our feelings, emotions and values, but we can also find a persuasive person a dodger, busy in his own questionable activities that are intentionally performed in order to mislead and manipulate other people. However, I do not want to try to define a general notion of persuasion from the beginning. I would rather start with a conception that already has a place, even if controversial, in the philosophical debate. In particular, the version that I have always found particularly provocative is that provided by Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. This peculiar version of the idea of persuasion, which is often associated with the possibility of overcoming deep disagreements, is quite famous in the literature and often understood as indicating certain intrinsic limits of our reason-giving practices. The following are Wittgenstein’s famous remarks on persuasion: -/- 608. Is it wrong for me to be guided in my actions by the propositions of physics? Am I to say I have no good ground for doing so? Isn’t precisely this what we call a ‘good ground’? -/- 609. Suppose we met people who did not regard that as a telling reason. Now, how do we imagine this? Instead of the physicist, they consult an oracle. (And for that we consider them primitive.) Is it wrong for them to consult an oracle and be guided by it? If we call this “wrong” aren’t we using our language-game as a base from which to combat theirs? -/- 611. Where two principles really do meet which cannot be reconciled with one another, then each man declares the other a fool and heretic. -/- 612. I said I would ‘combat’ the other man, – but wouldn’t I give him reasons? Certainly; but how far do they go? At the end of reasons comes persuasion. (Think what happens when missionaries convert natives.) -/- This paper is not devoted, as far as possible, to focus on interpretative matters about Wittgenstein’s late philosophy. Rather, it aims to investigate whether there are problems and incompatibilities between this particular conception of persuasion and our contemporary understanding of our reason-giving practices and of our belief-revision procedures. The first part of this study will be concerned about assessing this conception of persuasion and trying to shed new light on it (and on its consequences); most of the work here is done by looking at some truisms and normative features of our practices regarding the rational updating of our beliefs. It also addresses the question: Is the resistance to reasons of Wittgenstein’s persuasion capable to avoid the strict dynamics of belief revision? The second section of this study concerns the possibility of limiting the scope of this conception of persuasion, thanks to some of our contemporary ways of understanding rational discursive practices (I will focus especially on Robert Brandom’s game of “giving and asking for reasons”). If our rational practices require at least a certain degree of epistemic responsibility, then how is it possible that one invokes the end of reasons (that would explicitly mean giving up this responsibility)? A third section is the attempt, on this basis, to try to revise our contrasting conception(s) of persuasion (with an eye open on the near doxastic territory). Are there other conceptions of persuasion which are more compatible with our rational practices and do not entail any version of the “end of reasons” that are so compatible with our individual and social epistemic responsibility? (shrink)
The article calls for a departure from the common concept of autonomy in two significant ways: it argues for the supremacy of semantic understanding over procedure, and claims that clinicians are morally obliged to make a strong effort to persuade patients to accept medical advice. We interpret the value of autonomy as derived from the right persons have to respect, as agents who can argue, persuade and be persuaded in matters of utmost personal significance such as decisions about medical care. (...) Hence, autonomy should and could be respected only after such an attempt has been made. Understanding suffering to a significant degree is a prerequisite to sincere efforts of persuasion. It is claimed that a modified and pragmatic form of discourse is the necessary framework for understanding suffering and for compassionately interacting with the frail. (shrink)
In this paper, I aim to explore what role persuasion plays in the early education of children. Advocating Wittgenstein, I claim that persuasion involves imparting to a pupil about a particular world-picture by showing rather than explaining. This because we cannot introduce a child to the hinges of a world-picture through a discursive argument. I will employ the remarks of Wittgenstein in On Certainty to define what persuasion is. I will make use of the notes regarding seeing-an-aspect (...) from the Philosophical Investigations to clarify such a notion. Afterwards, I will contextualise this in early-childhood education and conclude providing some examples of how persuasion solidifies hinges. (shrink)
In this paper we show how dialogue-based theories of argumentation can contribute to the construction of effective systems of dispute resolution. Specifically we consider the role of persuasion in online dispute resolution by showing how persuasion dialogues can be functionally embedded in negotiation dialogues, and how negotiation dialogues can shift to persuasion dialogues. We conclude with some remarks on how persuasion dialogues might be modelled is such a way as to allow them to be implemented in (...) a mechanical or computerized system of dialogue or dialogue management. (shrink)
The currently developing fields of Ambient Intelligence and Persuasive Technology bring about a convergence of information technology and cognitive science. Smart environments that are able to respond intelligently to what we do and that even aim to influence our behaviour challenge the basic frameworks we commonly use for understanding the relations and role divisions between human beings and technological artifacts. After discussing the promises and threats of these technologies, this article develops alternative conceptions of agency, freedom, and responsibility that make (...) it possible to better understand and assess the social roles of Ambient Intelligence and Persuasive Technology. The central claim of the article is that these new technologies urge us to blur the boundaries between humans and technologies also at the level of our conceptual and moral frameworks. (shrink)
We ought to treat others’ moral views with respect, even when we disagree. But what does that mean? This paper articulates a moral obligation to make ourselves open to sincere moral persuasion by others. Doing so allows us to participate in valuable relationships of reciprocal respect for agency. Yet this proposal can sound tritely agreeable. To explore its full implications, the paper applies the general obligation to one of the most challenging topics of moral disagreement: the morality of abortion. (...) I consider and reject arguments that abortion decisions have special features exempting them from the obligation to be open to moral persuasion. Further, I argue that viewing fetal ultrasound images can accomplish morally persuasion. Accordingly, in at least some cases a woman seeking abortion has an obligation to view fetal ultrasound images as a means of being open to moral persuasion. However, this conclusion does not support recent laws compelling women seeking abortion to view ultrasound images; such laws are in fact incompatible with the respect for agency that underwrites the obligation to be open to persuasion. (shrink)
This article discusses the nature of persuasive authorities in the common law, and argues that many of them are best understood in terms of their (being regarded) as having theoretical rather than practical authorities for the courts that cite them. The contrast between theoretical and practical authority is examined at length in order to support the view that the treatment of many persuasive authorities by courts is more consistent with this view. Finally, it is argued that if persuasive authorities are (...) best understood as theoretical authorities, this raises difficulties for both positivistic and interpretivist theories of law. (shrink)
We reconstruct the text, that is, we analyse the development of the discussion between Malthus and Ricardo both in the correspondence and in published works, paying special attention to (a) the use of methodological statements, (b) some pragmatic features of the controversy, (c) considerations pertaining to the meta-level of the controversy (assessments of the status of the controversy, of ways of solving it, etc.); then, we reconstruct the co-text, that is, unpublished papers by each opponent that were not made available (...) to the other, records of exchanges between each of these and third parties, etc.; thirdly, we describe the essential features of the context, focusing on events that influenced the course of the controversy; (iv) we draw lessons from our case study on the role of co-text and context, on pragmatic and semantic interpretation, and on "casts of mind”. (shrink)
Savulescu argues that it may be ethically acceptable for governments to require citizens be vaccinated against COVID-19. He also recommends that governments consider providing monetary or in-kind incentives to citizens to increase vaccination rates. In this response, we argue against mandatory vaccination and vaccine incentivisation, and instead suggest that targeted public health messaging and a greater responsiveness to the concerns of vaccine-hesitant individuals would be the best strategy to address low vaccination rates.
Decades of research have investigated the complex role of source credibility in attitude persuasion. Current theories of persuasion predict that when messages are thoughtfully scrutinized, argument strength will tend to have a greater effect on attitudes than source credibility. Source credibility can affect highly elaborated attitudes, however, when individuals evaluate material that elicits low attitude extremity. A recently proposed model called the guru effect predicts that source credibility can also cause attitudinal change by biasing the interpretation of pragmatically (...) ambiguous material. The present studies integrate models of explanatory pragmatics and persuasion in order to empirically assess these hypotheses. Experiment 1 found that text difficulty and attitude neutrality reflect independent persuasion variables. Experiment 2 found that higher source credibility causes more favorable attitudes toward messages eliciting low attitude extremity. Text difficulty was not found to have a significant effect on attitudes. These results confirm the predictions of prior social cognition research but no do not support the guru effect model. The implications of these studies for pragmatics and persuasion research as well as the value of interdisciplinary research between these fields are discussed. (shrink)
This paper discusses issues to do with the empirical basis of modern economics and points towards the need to look more closely at the ?homogeneity assumption? that underpins much economic theory. It argues that severe problems currently prevent economics from becoming more persuasive to both students of economics and those outside the discipline. The issue involves the management of disciplinary boundaries, and excessive use of the ?homogeneity assumption.? Three areas of concern are explored. First is the literature on causes of (...) growth, and the role of policy. The paper documents reasons to doubt the existence of robust relationships between growth and policy variables. Second is the ?homogeneity assumption? that different countries are usefully viewed as members of a single population. Third is evidence suggesting that an assumption of ?normal? maximizing behaviour has to be justified, not just assumed, and that regular deviations from the usual maximizing assumptions occur with gender and culture. The paper argues that a central issue in economic methodology and pedagogy should be, as North implicitly argues, the negotiation of disciplinary boundaries: what economics can versus cannot explain. It suggests more explicitly basing the choice of explanatory models on empirics identifying where the model applies. (shrink)
The present research was guided by the important need for a diversion from an economistic to a humanistic management perspective of sustainability. It concentrates on the current importance of digital strategic communication, particularly regarding the concept of corporate sustainability in the context of the conflict arena of the oil industry. The focus is on the comparison of the persuasive effectiveness of the framings of corporate versus activist NGO website communications and their impacts on the perception of the triple pillars of (...) sustainability and, corporate greenwashing with respect to a proposed bituminous oil pipeline in Canada. The results of these pro and con messages were analyzed within the Elaboration Likelihood Model demonstrating a “non expert” peripheral route to a positive persuasion from exposure to the corporate communication versus an “expert” central route to a negative persuasion from the activist NGO communication. Subsequent exposure to the opposite website communication further emphasized the predominance of a negative persuasion based on both groups now being motivated as “expert” viewers of these strategic communications, leading to an important perception of greenwashing by participants resulting from vague claims, visual and linguistic contents of the corporate communication versus the mainly verifiable factual ones in that of the activist NGO. (shrink)
Media argumentation is a powerful force in our lives. From political speeches to television commercials to war propaganda, it can effectively mobilize political action, influence the public, and market products. This book presents a new and systematic way of thinking about the influence of mass media in our lives, showing the intersection of media sources with argumentation theory, informal logic, computational theory, and theories of persuasion. Using a variety of case studies that represent arguments that typically occur in the (...) mass media, Douglas Walton demonstrates how tools recently developed in argumentation theory can be usefully applied to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of media arguments. He draws upon the most recent developments in artificial intelligence, including dialogical theories of argument, which he developed, as well as speech act theory. Each chapter presents solutions to problems central to understanding, analyzing, and criticizing media argumentation. (shrink)
This text will focus on the transformations of the practices and ideas of communication in recent history and in the context of the globalization. The lecture will examine first persuasion and then manipulation and seduction. These second issues are explained through the fact that in the context of the rise of mass as historical subject, conscience, and thus persuasion become obsolete. The approach examines the theoretical model of communication in this two historical contexts and concludes that a partial (...) sector of communication, "therapeutic communication", tends to model nowadays the process of communication as such. Based on the new practices and theoretical models of communication a new type of ideology appears, an ostensive one. (shrink)
Abstract: According to (what I will call) an inner awareness theory of consciousness, you are in a (phenomenally) conscious state only if you are aware, in some sense, of your being in the state. This theory is widely held, but what arguments are there for holding it? In this paper, I gather together in a systematic way the main arguments for holding the theory and suggest that none of them is persuasive. I end the paper by asking what our attitude (...) to the theory should be if there is no existing argument for it. (shrink)
Media argumentation is a powerful force in our lives. From political speeches to television commercials to war propaganda, it can effectively mobilize political action, influence the public, and market products. This book presents a new and systematic way of thinking about the influence of mass media in our lives, showing the intersection of media sources with argumentation theory, informal logic, computational theory, and theories of persuasion. Using a variety of case studies that represent arguments that typically occur in the (...) mass media, Douglas Walton demonstrates how tools recently developed in argumentation theory can be usefully applied to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of media arguments. (shrink)
Recent moral philosophy emphasizes both the particularity of ethical contexts and the complexity of human character, but the usual abstract examples make it difficult to communicate to students the importance of this particularity and complexity. Extended study of a literary text in ethics classes can help overcome this obstacle and enrich our students’ understanding and practice of mature ethical reflection. Jane Austen’s Persuasion is an ideal text for this kind of effort. Persuasion augments the resources for ethical reflection (...) that students bring to our courses, provides a multitude of fecund examples to inspire discussion, and introduces philosophical points of its own. I explain specific ways to integrate this novel into courses and why some approaches work better than others, and I highlight themes for three different levels of study: reflection on particular virtues and vices, illustration of broader ethical issues, and discussion of virtues that the philosophical literature neglects. In each case, I discuss a particular example in detail: the question of whether or not pride can be a virtue, the varieties of friendship and their relation to virtue, and the virtue of proper persuadability. These examples suggest ways in which ethics teachers might explore the resources of other literary works towards similar ends. (shrink)
Socrates does not use the Laws' Speech in the Crito principally to persuade Crito to accept his coming execution. It is used instead to persuade Crito to examine and work on his inadequate view of justice. Crito's view of justice fails to coordinate one's duties to friends and those to the law. The Laws' Speech accomplishes this persuasive goal by accompanying Crito?s earlier speech. Both start from the same view of justice, one that Crito accepts, but reach opposing conclusions. Crito (...) cannot judge between the two appealing speeches. His understanding of justice is too confused for him to decide well how to help Socrates. His need to explain what happened the morning he visited Socrates will prompt him and others to examine this indeterminate view of justice. Socrates foregoes direct refutation because Crito will not abide that usual way of interrogation. Engaging in short question-and-answer conversation is not the only way to bring a person to aporia and the intention to examine oneself. Socrates does not here undermine his assertions in the Apology about his ignorance, lack of interest in teaching, constant philosophizing, and his belief that what he does is question, examine, and test those he talks to. (shrink)
Is economics a science? Deidre McCloskey says 'Yes, but'. Yes, economics measures and predicts, but - like other sciences - it uses literary methods too. Economists use stories as geologists do, and metaphors as physicists do. The result is that the sciences, economics among them, must be read as 'rhetoric', in the sense of writing with intent. McCloskey's books, The Rhetoric of Economics and If You're So Smart, have been widely discussed. In Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics he converses (...) with his critics, suggesting that they too can gain from knowing their rhetoric. The humanistic and mathematical approaches to economics, says McCloskey, fit together in a new 'interpretive' economics. Along the way he places economics within the sciences, examines the role of mathematics in the field, replies to critics from the left, right and centre, and shows how economics can again take a leading place in the conversation of humankind. (shrink)
If the arguments to support a recommendation are partly implicit, the free exchange of ideas between discussants can be hampered. In this paper, we will focus on the potential pitfall for clinicians when informing patients about treatment options: implicit persuasion. We will describe a set of implicitly persuasive behaviors observed during decision-making consultations, and reflect on how these behaviors could undermine efforts to stimulate patient participation in decision-making. We will also reflect on possible explanations for why clinicians exhibit such (...) behaviors. (shrink)