ERIC Number: ED333511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Back to the Future.
Spicer, Holt V.
"Argumentation" as an academic course should not be limited to or regarded as primarily a study of advocacy. Most of the current texts in the field of argumentation are directed toward skill in oral advocacy or persuasion. This emphasis works to the disadvantage of the student. Students should be able to use the principles learned in argumentation classes to ascertain the closest approximation of "truth" that can be discovered, to advocate effectively and ethically the truth as perceived and to defend themselves against the arguments of others. Thus argumentation should be defined as the study of the canons of discovery of issues and the criticism of reasoning and evidence used to support claims. Examples from textbooks of the 40s, 50s, and 60s indicate that inquiry and discussion were regarded as tools for considering all possible solutions to a problem, and debate or persuasion were reserved for advocating or testing the preferred solution. Since the early 60s authors of texts in argumentation and debate have recognized that discussion is a part of the study of critical decision making and argumentation but have chosen not to devote serious attention to it. Inquiry, often in the form of discussion, and advocacy, often in the form of debate, should both be a part of any class in argumentation. (Seventeen references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Argumentation Theory; Universal Audience
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern States Communication Association (Tampa, FL, April 3-7, 1991).