•  94
    Introduction: Virtues and Arguments
    Topoi 35 (2): 339-343. 2016.
    It has been a decade since the phrase virtue argumentation was introduced, and while it would be an exaggeration to say that it burst onto the scene, it would be just as much of an understatement to say that it has gone unnoticed. Trying to strike the virtuous mean between the extremes of hyperbole and litotes, then, we can fairly characterize it as a way of thinking about arguments and argumentation that has steadily attracted more and more attention from argumentation theorists. We hope it is …Read more
  •  85
    The claim that argumentation has no proper role in either philosophy or education, and especially not in philosophical education, flies in the face of both conventional wisdom and traditional pedagogy. There is, however, something to be said for it because it is really only provocative against a certain philosophical backdrop. Our understanding of the concept "argument" is both reflected by and molded by the specific metaphor that argument-is-war, something with winners and losers, offensive and…Read more
  •  74
    Technology has made argumentation rampant. We can argue whenever we want. With social media venues for every interest, we can also argue about whatever we want. To some extent, we can select our opponents and audiences to argue with whomever we want. And we can argue however we want, whether in carefully reasoned, article-length expositions, real-time exchanges, or 140-character polemics. The concepts of arguing, arguing well, and even being an arguer have evolved with this new multiplicity and …Read more
  •  67
    A Reply to Cahn
    Analysis 48 (2). 1988.
  •  42
    The problem of counterpossibles
    Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 29 (1): 91-101. 1987.
  •  40
    Evaluating arguments and making meta-arguments
    Informal Logic 21 (2). 2001.
    This paper explores the outlines of a framework for evaluating arguments. Among the factors to take into account are the strength of the arguers' inferences, the level of their engagement with objections raised by other interlocutors, and their effectiveness in rationally persuading their target audiences. Some connections among these can be understood only in the context of meta-argumentation and meta-rationality. The Principle of Meta-Rationality (PMR)--that reasoning rationally includes reaso…Read more
  •  38
    What Virtue Argumentation Theory Misses: The Case of Compathetic Argumentation
    with George Miller
    Topoi 35 (2): 451-460. 2016.
    While deductive validity provides the limiting upper bound for evaluating the strength and quality of inferences, by itself it is an inadequate tool for evaluating arguments, arguing, and argumentation. Similar remarks can be made about rhetorical success and dialectical closure. Then what would count as ideal argumentation? In this paper we introduce the concept of cognitive compathy to point in the direction of one way to answer that question. It is a feature of our argumentation rather than m…Read more
  •  37
    Virtue, In Context
    Informal Logic 33 (4): 471-485. 2013.
    Virtue argumentation theory provides the best framework for accommodating the notion of an argument that is “fully satisfying” in a robust and integrated sense. The process of explicating the notion of fully satisfying arguments requires expanding the concept of arguers to include all of an argument’s participants, including judges, juries, and interested spectators. And that, in turn, requires expanding the concept of an argument itself to include its entire context.
  •  35
    Informal Logic and the Surprise Exam
    Informal Logic 22 (2). 2002.
  •  31
    Virtue epistemology was modeled on virtue ethics theories to transfer their ethical insights to epistemology. VE has had great success: broadening our perspective, providing new answers to traditional questions, and raising exciting new questions. I offer a new argument for VE based on the concept of cognitive achievements, a broader notion than purely epistemic achievements. The argument is then extended to cognitive transformations, especially the cognitive transformations brought about by arg…Read more
  •  30
    Arguments that Backfire
    In D. Hitchcock & D. Farr (eds.), The Uses of Argument, Ossa. pp. 58-65. 2005.
    One result of successful argumentation – able arguers presenting cogent arguments to competent audiences – is a transfer of credibility from premises to conclusions. From a purely logical perspective, neither dubious premises nor fallacious inference should lower the credibility of the target conclusion. Nevertheless, some arguments do backfire this way. Dialectical and rhetorical considerations come into play. Three inter-related conclusions emerge from a catalogue of hapless arguers and backfi…Read more
  •  29
    Psychological and neuroscientific data suggest that a great deal, perhaps even most, of our reasoning turns out to be rationalizing. The reasons we give for our positions are seldom either the real reasons or the effective causes of why we have those positions. We are not as rational as we like to think. A second, no less disheartening observation is that while we may be very effective when it comes to giving reasons, we are not that good at getting reasons. We are not as reasons-responsive as w…Read more
  •  29
    Paul Boghossian’s recent book, Fear of Knowledge offers an extended argument against some forms of contemporary anti-realism and, by implication, an argument for realism. The intended audience is philosophers with metaphysical and epistemological interests, argumentation theorists might be most engaged by it because while the book is flawed as an argument, it makes a positive contribution when read as a discourse about argument. The main flaw is the uncharitable readings of Kuhn, Rorty, and Lat…Read more
  •  26
  •  25
    For all its problems, there is still much to be gleaned from the argument-is-war paradigm. Much of the conceptual vocabulary that we use to talk about wars is commonly applied to arguments. Other concepts in the war-cluster can also be readily adapted to arguments. Some parts, of course, do not seem to apply so easily, if at all. Of most interest here are those war-concepts that have not been deployed in thinking about arguments but really should be because of the light they can shed on argum…Read more
  •  23
    If circumstances were always simple and all arguers were always exclusively concerned with cognitive improvement, arguments would probably always be cooperative. However, we have other goals and there are other arguers, so in practice the default seems to be adversarial argumentation. We naturally inhabit the heuristically helpful but cooperation-inhibiting roles of proponents and opponents. We can, however, opt for more cooperative roles. The resources of virtue argumentation theory are used to…Read more
  •  23
    Arguments and Metaphors in Philosophy
    University Press of America. 2004.
    In this book, Daniel Cohen explores the connections between arguments and metaphors, most pronounced in philosophy because philosophical discourse is both thoroughly metaphorical and replete with argumentation. Cohen covers the nature of arguments, their modes and structures, and the principles of their evaluation, and addresses the nature of metaphors, their place in language and thought, and their connections to arguments, identifying and reconciling arguments' and metaphors' respective roles …Read more
  •  20
    The Word as Will and Idea
    Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 32 126-140. 1988.
    According to the semantics in Wittgenstein's Tractatus, a picture and what is pictured must have the same logical form. However necessary that may be, it cannot suffice to make one fact a picture of another. The grounds for the pictorial relation, it is argued, must be found in the transcendental will. Following a suggestion by Ramsey, the semantic resources of the Tractatus are used to construct a new interpretation of propositions as equivalence classes of facts. The nature of the involvem…Read more
  •  19
    There is more to mathematics than proofs; there are also arguments, which means that mathematicians are human arguers complete with their biases. Among those biases is a preference for beauty, It is a bias insofar as it is a deaprture from objectivity, but it is benign, accounting for the popularity of Cantor's "Paradise" of non-denumerable infinities as a travel destination for mathematicians and the relatively little interest in Robinson's infinitesimals.