Reasoning in Theory and Practice (OSSA 2005 Keynote Address)

Stephen Toulmin


As my book The Uses of Argument pointed out, we must look and see how our critical standards vary from one area or activity to another-e.g. from politics to aesthetics. Hence we need to explore how these critical standards evolve. and how the most reflective and best-informed people in any area of experience refine those standards. We cannot understand where we are now unless we understand how we got here, even in a field like mathematics. Hence we must modestly recognize that the best we can do now is the best we can do now; and that those who come after us will move beyond our ideas. There is much contingency in these historical developments.


argument, critical standards, The Uses of Argument, fields

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ISSN: 0824-2577