Strategic Maneuvering in Argumentative Discourse

Extending the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation

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In <i>Strategic Maneuvering in Argumentative Discourse</i>, Frans H. van Eemeren<i> </i>brings together the dialectical and the rhetorical dimensions of argumentation by introducing the concept of strategic maneuvering. Strategic maneuvering refers to the arguer’s continual efforts to reconcile aiming for effectiveness with being reasonable. It takes place in all stages of argumentative discourse and manifests itself simultaneously in the choices that are made from the topical potential available at a particular stage, in adaptation to audience demand, and in the use of specific presentational devices. Strategic maneuvering derails when in the specific context in which the discourse takes place a rule for critical discussion has been violated, so that a fallacy has been committed. Van Eemeren makes clear that extending the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation by taking account of strategic maneuvering leads to a richer and more precise method for analyzing and evaluating argumentative discourse.

Subjects: Dialogue studies; Discourse studies; Communication Studies; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Amsterdam

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