Universal and non-universal argumentation, Empirical and theoretical...

Universal and non-universal argument

The problem of systematization of diverse, and in many ways heterogeneous ways of persuasion, or argumentation, is still little explored. The following classification is only the first approach to this complex topic.

As a general classification basis, it is suggested to use the character of the audience, , which can be affected by the argument. Then all methods of argumentation can be divided into universal and non-universal, or contextual.

Universal argument is applicable to any audience.

The universal methods of persuasion include direct empirical confirmation, indirect empirical confirmation (in particular, confirmation of consequences), diverse methods of theoretical argumentation: rationale, system argumentation, methodological argumentation, etc.

Non-universal, or contextual, argumentation is effective only in a certain audience.

Contextual methods of persuasion cover arguments to tradition and authority, to intuition and faith, to common sense and taste, etc.

The boundary between the universal and the contextual argument is relative. Methods of argumentation, at first glance universally applicable, may prove ineffective in a specific audience. Conversely, some contextual arguments, like arguments to tradition or intuition, can be convincing in almost every audience.

Universal argumentation is sometimes characterized as "rational", and contextual - as "irrational" or even as irrational & quot ;. Such a distinction is not, as will be clear later, justified. It sharply narrows the scope of the "rational", excluding most of the humanitarian and practical reasoning unthinkable without using the "classic" (authorities), the continuation of tradition, an appeal to common sense, taste, etc.

Contextual argument must be accepted as a necessary element of rational argumentation. This requires a correct understanding of that limb, which dominates human existence and historical consciousness: a person is immersed in history, the features of his thinking and the horizon of thinking itself are determined by the age.

"Reflection on what is true in the sciences of the spirit," wrote the German philosopher H.G. Gadamer, "should not strive for a mental isolation of oneself from a historical tradition whose coherence has become apparent to him. Such a reflection must, therefore, put to itself the demand to obtain from itself the historically clearest clarity of its own premises ... It must be clearly aware that its own understanding and interpretation is not a pure construction of principles, but a continuation and development from afar of the coming accomplishment. It can not therefore simply and unconsciously use its concepts, it must perceive what has come to it from their original meaning & quot ;. X. G. Gadamer emphasizes that the sciences of the spirit decisively rise above the sphere of methodical cognition, since in these sciences our historical tradition in all its forms, although becoming the subject of research, however join.

Empirical and theoretical argument

All the diverse ways of universal argumentation can be divided into empirical and theoretical.

Empirical reasoning is argumentation, the essential element of which is the reference to experience, to empirical evidence.

Theoretical reasoning is argumentation, based on reasoning and not directly referring to experience.

The difference between empirical and theoretical arguments is relative, as the very boundary between empirical and theoretical knowledge is relative. There are often cases when in the same process of argumentation both references to experience and theoretical reasoning are combined.

The core of the receptions of empirical argumentation are methods of empirical substantiation of knowledge, called also (empirical) confirmation, or Verification (from Latin verus - true and facere - do).

The confirmation can be direct, or direct, and indirect.

Empirical reasoning is not, however, reduced to confirmation. In the process of argumentation, empirical data can be used not only as evidence. Thus, examples and illustrations, which usually play a prominent role in the argumentation, do not apply to acceptable methods of empirical confirmation. In addition, in the argumentation, references to experience can also be knowingly unscrupulous, which is excluded by the very meaning of the notion of confirmation.

Both empirical reasoning and its particular case - empirical confirmation - are applicable, strictly speaking, only for descriptive statements. Declarations, oaths, warnings, decisions, ideals, norms and other expressions that gravitate toward evaluations do not allow empirical confirmation and are justified differently from references to experience. In the case of such expressions, empirical arguments are in general not appropriate. Its use with the intention of convincing someone of the acceptability of certain decisions, norms, ideals, etc. should be attributed to incorrect methods of argumentation.

Types of theoretical reasoning

Of the different methods of theoretical argumentation, the following are of particular importance: logical reasoning (derivation of the justified statement from other previously accepted statements), system argument (justification of the statement by including it in a well-tested system of statements, or theory ), principled verifiability and fundamental rebuttal (demonstration of the fundamental possibility of empirical confirmation and empirical denial of the justification ( compatibility condition (showing that the reasoned position is in good agreement with the laws, principles and theories relating to the field of phenomena under investigation), methodological reasoning (justification of the claim by reference to the reliable method by which it was obtained).

All the mentioned methods of universal (empirical and theoretical) and contextual argumentation are discussed in detail below. They form the basis of all methods of argumentation, but, of course, they do not exhaust the many possible methods of persuasion.

In particular, among the listed ways of persuasion there are no two of those with which the old rhetoric was especially active: persuasion with the help of beautifully constructed speech and persuasion by using certain psychological characteristics of the audience.

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