Ethics, Audience, Field
Ethics - What is
moral or right in argument
Brockreide's Metaphor of Rhetor's
Arguer as "Rapist"- treats opponents and
receivers as objects to be manipulated for his own ends. The rhetor
presumes his own superiority and ignores the humanity of others.
Arguer as "Seducer" - treats opponents and receivers as
means to obtaining his own ends (objectifying). The rhetor ignores the
needs of others and operates by charm or deceit.
Arguer as "Lover" - treats opponents and receivers as
companions with whom a long term (mental) relationship is being developed.
The rhetor recognizes the humanity of others and operates with respect and
openness to others.
Basic Elements of Ethical Argumentation
- Provide relevant
grounds for your claims
not lie, distort or take
material out of context.
- Do not knowingly reason
- Do not ignore counter
evidence or hide it
not hide your motives
- Do not intimidate, silence or
- Do not make arguments
personal or take responses personally
Fields are topics or areas of concern
which we recognize as using specific, consistent kinds reasoning.
(e.g. law, politics, biology, literature, economics,
- Audiences vary in such
characteristics as age, gender, affiliations, social and economic
background, education and intelligence, culture. These characteristics may cause people to evaluate
- Chaim Perelman describes
a way of designing arguments for the universal audience, basing
arguments on fundamental principles of reasoning and evidence (e.g. use
of objective facts, application of formal logic, etc.).
This is the approach of COMM 335.
- All academic enterprise is
argumentation. Thus, disciplines are argumentation "fields"
- So are the professions (law,
politics, science, etc.)
- Fields are defined by the traits of
- having consistent patterns of
- preferred (field specific)