•  16
    Is argumentation essentially adversarial? The concept of a devil's advocate—a cooperative arguer who assumes the role of an opponent for the sake of the argument—serves as a lens to bring into clearer focus the ways that adversarial arguers can be virtuous and adversariality itself can contribute to argumentation's goals. It also shows the different ways arguments can be adversarial and the different ways that argumentation can be said to be "essentially" adversarial.
  • The Word as Will and Idea
    Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 32 126-140. 1988.
  •  1
    If, What-If, and So-What
    The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 17 20-28. 1998.
    With the possible exception of completely formal exercises in logic, philosophy is thoroughly metaphorical and largely conditional. Moreover, the purposes served by metaphors and conditionals in it are similar. Metaphors ask us to imagine the world in a new way, while conditionals may ask to imagine a new world. Yet some conditionals and metaphors are incompatible. There are limits to how metaphors can occur in conditionals, and how conditionals can themselves be metaphors. Specifically, only ce…Read more
  •  3
    Assertion and Conditionals
    Journal of Symbolic Logic 52 (4): 1051-1052. 1987.
  •  10
    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
  •  2
    Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3): 444-445. 2003.
    Book Information Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology. Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology Jeanette Kennett New York Oxford University Press 2001 viii + 229 Hardback US$45 By Jeanette Kennett. Oxford University Press. New York. Pp. viii + 229. Hardback:US$45
  •  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
  •  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
  •  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
  •  11
    How is it possible that biases are cognitive vices, objectivity is an exemplary intellectual virtue, and yet objectivity is itself a bias? In this paper, we argue that objectivity is indeed a kind of bias but is still an argumentative virtue. In common with many biases – and many virtues – its effects are neither uniformly negative nor uniformly positive. Consequences alone are not enough to determine which character traits are argumentative virtues. Context matters. The opening section addresse…Read more
  •  13
    Although Michael Yong-Set's proposal to approach argumentation theory from a ludological perspective is not yet sufficiently developed to warrant adopting it, there is enough to warrant exploring it further – which is all the reception it needs at this point.
  •  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.
  •  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
  • The Logic of Conditional Assertions
    Dissertation, Indiana University. 1983.
    It has been suggested that to say something of the form 'if P, then Q' is less an affirmation of a conditional than a conditional affirmation of the consequent, Q. If the condition of assertion, P, is true, then Q has been asserted. If the condition of assertion turns out to have been false, it is as if there had been no assertion. Such conditionals have come to be called "conditional assertions." This dissertation is a study of the logic conditionals, focusing on the logic of conditional assert…Read more
  •  11
    On What Cannot Be
    In J. Dunn & A. Gupta (eds.), Truth or Consequences, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 123--132. 1990.
  •  26
  • Wittgenstein and W.C. Fields
    Lyceum 2 (1): 15-30. 1990.
  •  3
    Review: Anthony Appiah, Assertion and Conditionals (review)
    Journal of Symbolic Logic 52 (4): 1051-1052. 1987.
  •  12
    The rhetoric of logic reveals, we claim, that arguments are about force, ending only when one side submits. Rhetoricians, it is countered, are content to persuade, settling for agreement when truth is wanted—and all is fair in pursuit of consent. The choice between conceptual rape and seduction is a false choice. It is time to cut against the grain. We are distracted by the rhetoric of logic and gloss the logic of rhetoric. Rhetorical models for pluralistic discourses are vital, but fail as regu…Read more