The Virtues of Argumentation from an Amoral Analyst’s Perspective

Marianne Doury


Many French-speaking approaches to argumentation are deeply rooted in a linguistic background. Hence, they “naturally” tend to adopt a descriptive stance on argumentation. This is why the issue of “the virtues of argumentation”—and, specifically, the question of what makes an argument virtuous—is not central to them. The argumentative norms issue nevertheless can-not be discarded, as it obviously is crucial to arguers themselves: the latter often behave as if they were invested with some kind of argumentative policing duty when involved in dissensual exchanges. We describe several researches developing a descriptive approach to such ordinary argumentative policing: we claim that the virtues of argumentation may be an issue even for an amoral analyst. We will connect this issue with linguistic remarks on the lexicon of refutation in English and in French.


norms, descriptive approach, meta-discourse, argumentative practice

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ISSN: 0824-2577