The pragmatics of argumentation: Commitment to implicit premises

Faculty/Professorship: German Linguistics  
Author(s): Becker, Thomas
Title of the compilation: Practical theories and empirical practice : a linguistic perspective
Editors: Schalley, Andrea C.
Publisher Information: Amsterdam [u.a.] : Benjamins
Year of publication: 2012
Pages: 257-272
ISBN: 978-90-272-2394-4
Series ; Volume: Human cognitive processing ; 40
Language(s): English
Argumentation in everyday life is a matter of pragmatics. A speaker who utters an assertion that is meant to be an argument is not only committed to the truth of the assertion itself and its presuppositions but also to the implicit premises that make the assertion a reasonable argument. For example, if a speaker utters an argumentum ad verecundiam "Dr XY said so", he is committed to the truth of "Dr XY is an expert in the relevant field" among other premises. This follows from the properties of assertions alone if the commitment attributed to assertions is extended from 'commitment to truth' to 'commitment to relevance'.
Keywords: argumentation, assertion, commitment, implicit premises, relevance, truth
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Year of publication: 11. March 2013