A pragma-dialectical response to objectivist epistemic challenges

Bart Garssen, Jan Albert van Laar


The epistemologists Biro and Siegel have raised two objections against the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation. According to the first objection the pragma-dialectical theory is not genuinely normative. According to the second objection the rejection of justificationism by pragma-dialecticians is unwarranted: they reject justificationism prematurely and they are not consistent in accepting some arguments (‘justifications’) as sound. The first objection is based on what we regard as the misconception that the goal of resolving differences of opinion cannot provide a normative approach. In response to the second objection we argue that in pragma-dialectics, the notion of argument, and related notions, are defined in a non-justificatory manner.


critical rationalism; justificationism; objective epistemic approach; pragma-dialectical approach; Miller; Münchhausen trilemma

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22329/il.v30i2.2891

ISSN: 0824-2577