ERIC Number: ED193708
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Whately on Presumption: A Pragmatic Interpretation.
Richard Whately's imprecise description of the concept "presumption" and the brevity of his treatment of it have led to confusion in applying the concept within the realm of argumentation. In proposing a theory to eliminate such confusion, it is argued that any dispute concerning the concept of presumption and its attendant burden of proof ("onus probandi") can be eradicated by defining the character of presumption--its place, nature, and function in argument. A review of how presumption is treated in texts on argumentation indicates no precise, universally accepted method for locating presumption in argumentation. However, since most argument typologies are advanced for the purpose of issue clarification, it seems reasonable to argue that different sorts of issues inhere in different forms of argumentative propositions, creating presumptive grounds that are specific to proposition types. Thus, a system of three specific presumption loci can be devised, accepting distinctions among fact, value, and policy propositions. The system produces four general claims: (1) presumptive ground varies with the type of issue addressed, whether propositions are distinguished in terms of fact, value, and policy, or by some other set of distinctions; (2) presumption is a quality that attaches to a proposition; (3) the quality of a proposition as presumptive is based upon potential existential proof; and (4) there is a logic specific to presumption in argumentative context. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Some light type on all pages.