Journal article

Argumentation and Cognition: Can Pragma-Dialectics Interplay with Pragma-Semantics?

BLE-BLL

  • 2007
Published in:
  • Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines. - 2007, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 148-165
English This paper addresses the possibility of a cognitive account of argumentation, by focusing on a tentative interplay between one of today’s most influential theories of argumentation – van Eemeren and Grootendorst’s Pragma-Dialectics – and Relevance Theory. With this purpose, I address the extent to which cognitive approaches to communication are able to incorporate pragma-dialectical insights. Both paradigms share today an assumption of ‘soft rationality’ allowing a significant departure from formal logic conceptions of communication. These experience difficulties in accounting for successful argumentation relying on logically deficient arguments, i.e. fallacies. Acknowledging Pragma-Dialectics’ contribution in this respect, I investigate the model’s compatibility with a cognitive agenda based on assumptions entirely different from those of a normative agenda such as Pragma-Dialectics’. The difference between Relevance Theory’s internal perspective and Pragma-Dialectics’ external perspective on discourse gives evidence of a different approach to communication. In the end, this comes down to evaluating whether these divergences are, in argumentation studies, irreconcilable.
Faculty
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Department
Département d'anglais
Language
  • English
Classification
Language, linguistics
License
CC BY
Open access status
green
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/323900
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