Dictionary of Arguments

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Habermas III 46
Argumentation/Toulmin/Habermas: St. Toulmin relies on J. A. Blair: R. H. Johnson (Eds) Informal Logic, Inverness, Cal. 1980, X.
Toulmin: A. On the one hand, Toulmin criticizes absolutist views that attribute theoretical knowledge, moral-practical insights and aesthetic evaluations to deductively compelling arguments or empirically compelling evidence. As far as arguments in the sense of logical reasoning are compelling, nothing substantially new is revealed; and, if they have substantial content at all, they are based on evidence and needs that can be interpreted differently with the help of several descriptive systems and in the light of changing theories and therefore do not provide an ultimate basis.
Habermas III 47
B. On the other hand, Toulmin also criticizes very relativistic views which do not explain the peculiarly casual constraint of the better argument and cannot live up to the universalistic connotations of claims of validity, such as the truth of proposition or the correctness of norms. According to B. R. Burleson (1), Toulmin argues that neither of the two positions is reflexive, i. e. none of them can claim "rationality" within their own framework. The absolutist cannot rely on a first principle, the relativist must assert that his/her own position is above the relativity of judgments.
Habermas: we have to ask instead: how can reasons be criticised? Three aspects can be distinguished in the argumentative speech. See Argumentation/Habermas.
Habermas III 58
At the procedural level, Toulmin distinguishes between conflict- and consensus-oriented patterns of the organization (2) and at the process level between functionally specified contexts of action.
Habermas III 59
Five representational fields: Law, morality, science, management and art criticism. (3) The same argumentation scheme is always used.
III Habermas III 60
By this, however, he does not mean timeless abstract ideals, but rather "open" and historically changeable notions of what the respective companies are supposed to achieve.


1.B. R. Burleson, On the Foundations of Rationality in: Journ. Am. Forensic Assoc. 16, 1979, 113.
2. St. Toulmin, R. Rieke, A. Janik, An Introduction to Reasoning, N.Y. 1979, p.279ff
3. ibid. p. 200


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Toulmin I
St. Toulmin
The Uses of Argument Cambridge 2003

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-12-15
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