Does arguing from coherence make sens?Does arguing from coherence make sens?
Faculty of Law
Grondslagen van het recht
Argumentation : an international journal of reasoning. - Dordrecht
19(2005):4, p. 433-446
In this paper the argument from coherence is submitted to a critical analysis. First, it is argued to be a complex form of coordinative argumentation, structured on various argumentative levels. Then, using the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation a distinction is brought out between two basic forms of the argument from coherence: in one use this argument occurs as a sequence of two symptomatic arguments; in the other use we have a main symptomatic argument supported by a subordinate pragmatic argument. Finally, from an evaluative point of view it is assessed whether the argument from coherence can be found acceptable as a tool for settling disputes. It is claimed that in general, we can welcome this argumentative structure as sound and fully acceptable provided that we are aware of the interpretative discretion its use implies.