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Language, reason and education

Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti


Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci

Language as reason represents the unifying theme of this multifaceted reflection on Eddo Rigotti’s scientific contribution offered by his students and colleagues on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Spanning argumentation theory, linguistics, psychology, semiotics and communication sciences, the volume reflects Rigotti’s generous personality and his trajectory of semiotician, philosopher, linguist and specialist in argumentation studies. Language as an instrument of communication with semiotic peculiarities is considered at different levels in which it manifests traces of reason at work. This means considering how reality reveals itself by means of language and how the semiotic character of language structures is used by people to enable joint actions and change the natural and social world. Particularly in focus is the realm of argumentation, that is of those joint actions where people exchange reasons in various communities, fora and markets in view of understanding and practical deliberation. To argumentation Eddo Rigotti devoted all his research efforts in recent years, with a keen sense of its intrinsic educational value and a sincere care for fostering the development of the argumentative mind.
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Louis de Saussure: Extending presuppositions to discourse: a tribute to Eddo Rigotti


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Extending presuppositions to discourse: a tribute to Eddo Rigotti

LOUIS DE SAUSSURE, University of Neuchâtel

1. Introduction1

Argumentation, a keyword in Eddo Rigotti’s career, is – obviously – directly connected to three anthropological domains (at least): i) logic, rationality and cognition; ii) epistemic attitudes and belief change iii) language, discourse and human verbal interaction. Thus Eddo Rigotti is always interested in how people come to believe propositions brought forward by other people; he is always ready to go on investigating the question of which argument schemes speakers use when they discuss, share and try to enhance their comprehension of the world and of other people, the management of their audience, and eventually come to influence other people by means of sound and fallacious arguments, by means of propositions and connotations, of emotional attitudes etc.

In the trend of research Eddo Rigotti initiated with Andrea Rocci on the notion of congruity, the domain of argumentation was made directly linked to a theory of predicate semantic structure. This was reminiscent to me of what Ducrot thought of language: a way of confronting propositions argumentatively, with a notion of ‘polyphony’, but of course with an other point of view completely (Anscombre & Ducrot’s ‘argumentation’ theory has little to do with the notion of argumentation in the classical sense and is not grounded on anything truth-conditional). There is ← 279 | 280 → certainly no close relation between Ducrot’s polyphony and Congruity theory, except that they both...

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