The study of argumentation has primarily focused on logical and dialectical approaches, with minimal attention given to the rhetorical facets of argument. Rhetorical Argumentation: Principles of Theory and Practice approaches argumentation from a rhetorical point of view and demonstrates how logical and dialectical considerations depend on the rhetorical features of the argumentative situation. Throughout this text, author Christopher W. Tindale identifies how argumentation as a communicative practice can best be understood by its rhetorical features.
From Protagoras to Bakhtin
Argumentation, we have seen, situates us squarely in the social world and characterizes our behavior there. It finds us “in audience” just as we are “in language.” In this way it contradicts the thrust of the Cartesian ego, which would find on the evidence of its thinking about itself a ground that cannot be doubted and on which other knowledge can be built. It contradicts this view because such “privileged” thinking enjoyed by the ego, in its very possibility, already assumes the interactions of the social world of language and audiences. The great rhetors and rhetoricians of our history, from Protagoras to Bakhtin, understood this social context as the arena of their activity and the source of material for ...