sábado, 12 de maio de 2012

RIFL – Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del linguaggio

Issue 7, December 2012: 
Agreement and disagreement: logical and rhetorical perspectives



Edited by: Francesca Piazza and Mauro Serra

http://www.rifl.unical.it/

The philosophy of the XX century was characterized by many
so-called"turns". One of these happened in 1958. In this year
C.Perelman’s and L.Olbrechts-Tyteca’s Traité de l’argumentation and
S.Toulmin’s The Uses of Argumentation were published: both books,
although from different perspectives, revaluate thelogic of
argumentation in a way that, in opposition to demonstrative Cartesian
logic, attaches importance to efficacy, likelihoodand audience.
Therefore, they develop  a doxastic logic that, using Aristotelian
terminology, is concerned with what may be true or false, and can be
otherwise. This is, indeed, a very large field, including most of
practices that make sense of the human life in a linguistic community.

Consequentially, we have a research field, Argumentation Theory, that,
in the following fifty years, has widened. Today it includes, in an
interdisciplinary perspective, logic, philosophy, linguistics,
communication theory, anthropology, cognitive sciences, and law. Many
different theoretical approaches have accepted the challenge of
Perelman and Toulmin. However, despite their recognition of debate and
dialogue as "places" where argumentation is rooted, it seems that the
conflicting nature of these practices has been largely neglected.

The pragma-dialectical approach, one of the ruling perspective today,
is paradigmatic. Indeed, the studies that draw inspiration from this
research program have an explicitly normative aim. From this
perspective, disagreement is only the starting point of argumentative
discourse, whose only aim should bethe agreement between speakers. In
this way, however, the conflicting nature of the argumentative
practice is removed (with all the consequences of a removal). On the
contrary, if we fully assume this dimension of conflict we can extend
the boundaries of the argumentative "scenario". Indeed, we can also
include, as a limit point, situations that are usually excluded, such
as quarrels or exchanges of insults.

This agonistic component, with all of its destructive potential, was
largely acknowledged by ancient Greek thinking. For the Greeks,
indeed, logos in opposition to violence (bia) was the distinctive
feature of the human being that marks men as different from animals
and, with an ethnocentric vein, also Greeks from barbarians; on the
other side, however, they also acknowledged that conflict existed
inside the logos. Therefore logos was not only a possible alternative
to bia but also a place where violence can be aroused and intensified.

So, just to give a couple of examples, in Homer the fight of words
between orators that takes place in the meson was conceptually
analogous to the fight between warriors, while Gorgias, by saying that
logos is a mighty lord, underscores its dark side. Indeed
paradoxically, he claims that being under the influence of speech or
rather being persuaded is the same as being seized by violence.

It is exactly this situation that, according to Aristotle, accounts
for the technical transformation of a natural skill. Indeed, after
stressing that rhetoric and dialectic are the only arts that prove
opposite, Aristotle writes: «it would be strange if an inability to
defend oneself by means of the body is shameful, while there is no
shame in an inabilty to use speech; the latter is more characteristic
of humans than is use of body» (Rhet, 1355a42-b2).

The proposal of this issue of Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del
Linguaggio starts from the idea that the perspective of ancient
rhetoric and dialectic is still fruitful. This means that we must
consider argumentative practice as the place where agreement and
disagreement coexist in an unstable and conflicting relationship. This
is the only way to analyse one of the most specific features of the
human being: the link between language and society.

In particular, this issue will focus on the following topics:
The relationship between agreement/disagreement in the argumentative scenario
Argumentation from a natural skill to a practical experience
Argumentative practices from cross-cultural points of view
Different forms of linguistic conflict
The role of speakers and personal factors in argumentative practices
Validity, truth and persuasiveness  in argumentative practices
The definition and role of fallacies in argumentative practices
Manuscripts should have a theoretical focus. Papers from the following
areas are accepted: philosophy of language, linguistics, rhetoric,
semiotics, history of philosophy, philosophy of law, moral philosophy,
anthropology, sociology, psychology and neuroscience.
Submissions may be in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and
Russian. All submissions must be prepared for blind review. The
author's name, the institutional affiliation and the title’s paper
must be placed in a separate file.  Papers must be sent as Microsoft
Word file (.doc or .rtf) to: segreteria.rifl@gmail.com

Instructions for authors:

Max length:
40000 characters (including spaces) for articles (including the
references) and reviews;
20000 characters (including spaces) for interviews;
10000 characters (including spaces) for specific paper review.

Submission deadline: September 09,2012
Notification of acceptance: October 10, 2012
Issue publication: December 2012

For further information: info.rifl@gmail.com

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