Others and Imagination in Reasoning and Argumentation: Improving our Critical Creative Capacity

Michael D. Baumtrog

Abstract


Contemporary argumentation theories highlight the importance of Others for contributing to and critiquing an individual’s reasoning and/or argumentation. Reasoners and arguers are encouraged to interact with imagined constructs such as a community of model interlocutors or universal audience. These model interlocutors are theoretically meant to bring to mind reasons and counter-considerations that may not have been conceived of otherwise so as to improve the overall quality of an instance of reasoning or argumentation. Overlooked, however, is the impact of differing individual’s imaginative abilities. This paper argues that more important than relying on an Other, real or imagined, reasoners and arguers would do just as well to improve their own creative abilities first. Consulting a real or imagined Other may help in some cases help, but such a strong reliance on Others comes with serious limitations.


Keywords


imagination, creativity, reasoning, argumentation, critical thinking

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22329/il.v37i2.4769

ISSN: 0824-2577