•  60
    The Virtuous Arguer: One Person, Four Roles
    Topoi 35 (2): 375-383. 2016.
    When evaluating the arguer instead of the argument, we soon find ourselves confronted with a puzzling situation: what seems to be a virtue in one argumentative situation could very well be called a vice in another. This paper will present the idea that there are in fact two sets of virtues an arguer has to master—and with them four sometimes very different roles
  •  30
    Case-to-Case Arguments
    Argumentation 32 (3): 431-455. 2018.
    Arguers sometimes cite a decision made in an earlier situation as a reason for making the equivalent decision in a later situation. I argue that there are two kinds of “case-to-case arguments”. First, there are arguments by precedent, which cite the mere existence of the past decision as a reason to decide in the same way again now, independent of the past decision’s merits. Second, there are case-to-case arguments from parralel reasoning which presuppose that the past decision was justified and…Read more
  •  29
  •  18
    On the Puzzling Death of the Sanctity-of-Life Argument
    Argumentation 34 (1): 55-81. 2020.
    The passage of time influences the content of the law and therefore also the validity of legal arguments. This is true even for charter-arguments, despite the widely held view that constitutional law is made to last. In this paper, I investigate the reason why the sanctity-of life argument against physician assisted suicide lost its validity between the Supreme Court decision in Rodriguez v. British Columbia in 1993 and Carter v. Canada in 2015. I suggest that a rhetorical approach to argument e…Read more
  •  17
    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
  •  17
    Trump, Snakes and the Power of Fables
    Informal Logic 38 (1): 53-83. 2018.
    At a recent rally, Donald Trump resumed a habit he had developed during his election-rallies and read out the lyrics to a song. It tells the Aesopian fable of The Farmer and the Snake: A half frozen snake is taken in by a kind-hearted person but bites them the moment it is revived. Trump tells the fable to make a point about Islamic immigrants and undocumented immigrants from Southern and Central America: He claims the immigrants will cause problems and much stricter immigration-policies are nee…Read more
  •  17
    Feminist argumentation theorists have criticized the Dominant Adversarial Model in argumentation, according to which arguers should take proponent and opponent roles and argue against one another. The model is deficient because it creates disadvantages for feminine gendered persons in a way that causes significant epistemic and practical harms. In this paper, I argue that the problem that these critics have pointed out can be generalized: whenever an arguer is given a role in the argument the as…Read more
  •  12
    Does Rhetoric Have a Place in Wohlrapp’s Theory of Argument?
    Informal Logic 37 (3): 183-210. 2017.
    When a new theory of argumentation becomes available on the English-speaking market, such as it is happening now through the translation of Harald Wohlrapp’s The Concept of Argument, it is always interesting to work out how the new input will interact with the work that has otherwise been done in the field. This comment aims to determine whether rhetoric has a place in Wohlrapp’s account of argumentation.
  •  9
    Setting Precedents Without Making Norms?
    Law and Philosophy 1-40. forthcoming.
    Some authors argue that the rule-of-law ideal gives judges a prima facie duty to provide a determinate formulation of the precedent’s general norm in all their precedent-opinions. I question that claim. I agree that judges have a duty to decide their cases based on reasons and that they should formulate these reasons in their opinions. I also agree that formulations of general norms should be the goal of common-law development and that judges have a duty to contribute to the realization of this …Read more
  •  8
    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
  • Book Review (review)
    Law and Philosophy 34 (6): 709-717. 2015.