The Epistemic Inferiority of Pragma-Dialectics – Reply to Botting

Christoph Lumer


In a recent paper in this journal, David Botting defended pragma-dialectics against epistemological criticisms by exponents of the epistemological approach to argumentation, i.e. Harvey Siegel, John Biro and me. In particular, Botting tries to justify with new arguments a Functional Claim, that the function of argumentation is to resolve disputes, and a Normative Claim, that standpoints that have the unqualified consensus of all participants in a dispute will generally be epistemically sound. In this reply it is shown that Botting’s arguments are fallacious, that the two Claims are false and that the epistemological approach to argumentation, of course, outclasses pragma-dialectics epistemically and is at least as good as it in other respects.


Botting; pragma-dialectics; epistemological approach to argumentation; truth; function of argumentation; epistemic value; Lumer; Siegel; van Eemeren; critical rationalism

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ISSN: 0824-2577