A theory of argumentation by Charles Arthur Willard

By Charles Arthur Willard

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Kelly elaborates his postulate with a series of corollary claims. The construction corollary holds that a person anticipates events Page 19 by construing their replications. We look at the world through "transparent patterns or templates" which we create to interpret events. The fit is not always good, but "without such patterns the world appears to be such an undifferentiated homogeneity that man is unable to make any sense of it" (Kelly, 1955:8-9). To construe is to interpret: we note features in a series of elements which characterize some of the elements but not others.

Disciplined Discourse 209 10. Fallacy Theory 220 11. Argumentation's Sphere of Relevance 239 12. Positions 257 Bibliography 275 Index 309 Page ix PREFACE This book attempts to make good on two promises implicit in Argumentation and the Social Grounds of Knowledge (Willard, 1983, hereafter ASGK) These debts arose with ASGK's strategy of linking knowledge to argument assuming the viability of the interactional view of argument and with ASGK's claim that argument must not be isolated from the empirical facts of communication and persuasion.

In this, CSI shares with constructivism the idea that people interpret events in terms of their private constructions of reality (assimilation) and engage with events by coordinating their lines of action with those of others (accommodation). Interaction is neither a forum in which preconditioned forces are released or an arena in which psychological predispositions are conditioned into people. The vision is of a person reaching out into the world, affecting events, as well as being acted upon.

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