173. Cross-posted from Blogora:
Hello, Dr. Aune!
Rhetoric and argumentation strike me, like rhetoric and persuasion, to be tricky because each term can be configured to subsume the other.
Persuasion is one of the available goals of rhetoric (and so is a subset of it). At the same time, the rhetorical tradition is but one of many ways of understanding persuasion as a phenomenon (and so rhetoric is a subset of persuasion).
Argument is a form of rhetoric (and so a subset of rhetoric). At the same time, the study of argument is engaged by rhetoricians as well as philosophers, folks working in artificial intelligence, and discourse theorists like Frans van Eemeren (who is Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric) -- rhetoric is just one of several ways of understanding argument.
Here's what I know: The teaching of argument is a common goal of speech rhetoricians, especially those embedded in the debate tradition, and writing rhetoricians interested in written argument, as well as our philosophical colleagues interested in "informal logic" and "critical thinking." God bless our single greatest interdisciplinary export across the three fields: Toulmin, Stephen, 1964. The Uses of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(The best work to come from the recent Canadian philosophers, in this light, is: Tindale, Christopher W. Rhetorical Argumentation: Principles of Theory and Practice. Sage Publications. and Acts of Arguing: A Rhetorical Model of Argument. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. YMMV.)
The call to pedagogy is what ties us -- phil, speech, comp, right?
As to whether someone is a rhetorical theorist or an argumentation theorist: that's a matter of self-identification ("I'm a rhetorician if I think I am one?").
Argumentation theorists whose work borders rhetoric identify with organizations like:
OSSA: Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation
Tokyo Conference on Argumentation
ISSA: International Society for the Study of Argumentation
Speech rhetoricians, on the other hand, with a commitment to argument identify with:
American Forensic Association
and its Alta conference
There are print and conference resources attached to all of these organizations worth a look to all rhetoricians.
But: I come to these communities as a visitor. You "came of age" in the culture of argument in communication studies, Dr. Aune. You grew up in the house I only know from across the street. What would you add?
--David Beard, UM Duluth
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