Toulmin's Model of Argument and the Question of Relativism (J. A. Blair Prize, 2005)

Lilian Bermejo-Luque


In The Uses of Argument, Toulmin proposed a distinction between fielddependent and field-invariant standards for argument appraisal that gave rise to a relativistic understanding of his theory. The main goal of this paper is to show that epistemological relativism is not a necessary consequence ofToulmin's model of argument. To this end, I will analyze the role that fields are to play within this model, given a certain conception of one of its key elements: the warrant of an argument.


Toulmin 's model of argument, relativism, argument fields, warrants, inference licenses, deductivism

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ISSN: 0824-2577