Why is it that people are often inclined to accept irrational arguments or to reject rational ones? It is, the author argues, because discussions in everyday life are both dialectical – conducted with the best possible solution in mind – and rhetorical – organized by the interactors in the form of a discursive event. By combining argumentation theoretical and discourse analytical insights and revisiting ancient and medieval rhetoric and dialectics, this study transcends the assumption of a symmetrical communicative situation in which only «good» arguments matter. It redefines dialectical concepts, e.g., acceptability or conclusiveness, from a rhetorical and dialogic perspective and is thereby able to address colloquial speech arguing as the inherently asymmetrical discursive event it is.
Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2002. 335 pp.
Contents: Argumentation in colloquial speech – Dialogically organized interactive event: Argumentation as a Communicative
Phenomenon – Dialogic Rhetoric and Argumentative Semantics – A Typology of Interactive Macro-structures of Arguing.