Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
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Argumentation on some public policy issues is conjugated with disagreement and power differentials. Institutionally dominant arguers control the argumentation context through imposing authority rules which sometimes incentivize them to respond to opposing arguers in a fallacious way1 – with “the repeating tokens of the same counterarguments” and without considering the merits of opposing arguments. As produced in accordance with authority rules, such fallacies are embedded in the dominant argumentative discourse and easily pass unnoticed. To detect them, I introduce Argument Continuity (AC) – a new category of argumentative discourse analysis. AC is a set of the same arguments and counterarguments repeatedly produced/reproduced by the dominant arguer through an adversarial reasoning process to disconfirm opposing arguments and dismiss them. ACs are distinguished from other fallacies by their continuous nature and recursive way of production. ACs have their own life cycle – a chain of reasoning dynamics developing in a path-dependent fashion and increasing the cost of adopting a certain argument over time. I test the life cycle of ACs in a single case study – in consultations held by the Crown with Indigenous peoples of Canada over a controversial resource development project. Although ACs are not specific to the Crown-Indigenous relationships, they reveal how dominant arguers treat disagreement from epistemically diverse arguers. Based on observed evidence, I develop three theoretical propositions of ACs, which can serve as guidelines for researching the disconfirming mode of reasoning in other contexts of communication permeated by beliefs clash and power asymmetries.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Argument Continuity; Indigenous consultations; motivated reasoning
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