This volume gives a theoretical account of the problem of analyzing and evaluating argumentative discourse. After placing argumentation in a communicative perspective, and then discussing the fallacies that occur when certain rules of communication are violated, the authors offer an alternative to both the linguistically-inspired descriptive and logically-inspired normative approaches to argumentation.
The authors characterize argumentation as a complex speech act in a critical discussion aimed at resolving a difference of opinion. The various stages of a critical discussion are outlined, and the communicative and interactional aspects of the speech acts performed in resolving a simple or complex dispute are discussed. After dealing with crucial aspects of analysis and linking the evaluation of argumentative discourse to the analysis, the authors identify the fallacies that can occur at various stages of discussion. Their general aim is to elucidate their own pragma- dialectical perspective on the analysis and evaluation of argumentative discourse, bringing together pragmatic insight concerning speech acts and dialectical insight concerning critical discussion.