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Beyond Words

Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes


Edited By András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri

Human thinking depends not only on words but also on visual imagery. Visual argumentation directly exploits the logic of the pictorial, while verbal arguments, too, draw on figurative language, and thus ultimately on images. In the centuries of handwritten documents and the printed book, our educational culture has been a predominantly verbal one. Today the challenge of the pictorial is explicit and conspicuous. In the digital world, we are experiencing an unprecedented wealth of images, animations and videos. But how should visual content be combined with traditional texts? This volume strives to present a broad humanities background showing how going beyond the word was always an issue in, and by now has become an inevitable challenge to, pedagogy and philosophy.
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Visual Rhetoric Used in Mapping Natural Language Arguments


Gábor Forgács

Visual Rhetoric Used in Mapping Natural

Language Arguments


The visual representation of natural language arguments has come under intense study in recent years. Argument maps represent natural language arguments in a visual-spatial layout. Analysts reconstruct the deep structure of arguments visually, while stripping away unnecessary linguistic elements, leaving only the necessary elements of an argument. Combining insights from logic, linguistics, computer science and related fields, various scholars have participated in the development of different kinds of argument mapping software. The software provide analytic tools to lay out the structure of arguments visually. This includes the reconstruction of explicit and implicit premises, as well as the reconstruction of the argumentative schemes used in a given piece of text.

The paper argues1 that although the visual representations of argumentative procedure aim to reconstruct the deep structure of argumentation, these methods cannot remove the rhetorical aspects inherent in all argumentative practice. The argument builds on the claim that spatial schemata in language affect understanding; indeed a strong bond exists between the two. Although researchers have focused on the spatial schemes present in language, they have not discussed how this relationship works the other way around.

This paper suggests that argument diagrams are a form of hypertext, which are analyzable with the help of cognitive linguistics. The paper argues that the actual visual layout of natural language arguments can have effects of non-rational persuasion on the viewer....

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