Theoretical pieties, Johnstone’s impiety, and ordinary views of argumentation

Posted on 14 July 12


Goodwin, Jean. “Theoretical Pieties, Johnstone’s Impiety, and Ordinary Views of Argumentation.” Philosophy & Rhetoric 40 (2007): 36-50. Reprinted in Philosophy and Rhetoric in Dialogue: Redrawing Their Intellectual Landscape, edited by Gerard A. Hauser. 36-50. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008.

Argumentation textbooks apologize for their subject, and try to clean it up with claims that arguing really isn’t as disagreement-oriented as it seems. But really, we have nothing to apologize for. Henry W. Johnstone left us a robust theory of the importance of disagreement in personal development–a theory echoed in the self-reflection of students learning to argue.

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