By David Cratis Williams, Michael David Hazen
Modern essays handle the primary challenge of energy in assent rhetoric.
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Additional resources for Argumentation theory and the rhetoric of assent
This essay examines the theoretical grounds on which justification rests. Six principles of pragmatic justification will be discussed, beginning with an analysis of the types of claims to be justified in warranting assent. Principles Two and Three ground justification in the realm of the contingent (truth seeking but not truth certifying) and the criticizable (the act of criticism produces stronger claims on one's potential adherence). Principle Four places the process of justification within a contextual frame of referencecriticism occurs in terms of the "field" or "community" standards that are operative and relevant to the claim in question.
Principle Three: Pragmatic justification is nonfoundationalist. If one were debating the issue of epistemic justification, the claim would be offered that most theories require some sort of "given" or "taken for granted" premise on which all others rest. To fail in this regard would entail an infinite regress, with no argumentative claim ever being able to assert that it is grounded in some firm, inviolable premise. The problem, of course, is that the assertion of a premise as "taken for granted" is simply to sidestep the entire issue of the need for a firm foundation that is known with certainty.
Claims to knowledge based on such assertions can be wrong either because later information reveals earlier judgment was based on insufficient data or because the claim to knowledge rests on a careless and incomplete review of the available information. Rescher (1982) distinguishes between the correctness of our assertion, and the adequacy of our conception related to the assertion: "There is a significant and substantial difference between a true or correct statement or contention on the one hand, and a true or correct conception on the other.
Argumentation theory and the rhetoric of assent by David Cratis Williams, Michael David Hazen