What, in practice, is an argument?

Posted on 14 July 12


Goodwin, Jean. “What, in Practice, Is an Argument?” In Dissensus and the Search for Common Ground, edited by Hans V. Hansen, Christopher W. Tindale, J. Anthony Blair and Ralph H. Johnson, 1-44. Windsor, ON: OSSA, 2007.

Theorists’ conceptions of argument inevitably color their interpretations of argumentative discourse. In this paper, I will try to reach past our theories and capture a conception of argument held by practitioners. Using methodologies from corpus linguistics, I will identify what participants in the U.S. congressional debate over entry into the first Gulf War took to be “an argument.”

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