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James Crosswhite on Argumentation - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 161
Argumentation/rhetoric/Crosswhite/Bohman: Crosswhite thesis: rather than as a means of reaching a conclusive agreement, argumentation is better seen as an ongoing means of resolving conflict that is successful only if each perspective is taken into account and each objection given a hearing (Crosswhite, 1996(3): 102ff). Cf. >Argumentation/Bohman, >Discourse theories.
Arguments/Crosswhite: of statements that is not enthymematic. While some reason giving may be guided by institutionalized, strict requirements such as in a court of law, reasons are better construed as discursive responses to challenges to claims: 'A claim is not an argument; a
claim with a reason is' (Crosswhite, 1996(1): 79).
Reason giving and argumentation may be seen not only in a more dialogical way, but also as operating in the specific context of disagreement and conflict and their resolution. Argumentation makes the conflict explicit and mutual, establishing an exchange of challenges and reasons between the claimant and respondent (1996: 102ff).
Bohman: on this view, there are special features of all 'public' reasons; if all participants may raise challenges, this responsiveness must be oriented to an indefinite audience and is still possible even given persistent disagreement.
Bohman: Indeed, disagreement is precisely what makes democratic deliberation not only necessary, but also fruitful and productive when tested through the variety of perspectives typical of a diverse and pluralistic audience. Argumentative discourse need not presuppose unanimity, or seek consensus, but rather places conflicts within a mutually constructed space of reasons. >Consensus/Deliberative democracy.


1. Crosswhite, James (1996) The Rhetoric of Reason. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Bohman, James 2004. „Discourse Theory“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Crosswhite, James
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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