Values in Argumentative Discourse

Erich H. Rast



The project addresses a discrepancy between two popular, yet seemingly incompatible views concerning the way we argue about values. On the one hand, in everyday conversations it is sometimes claimed that you cannot argue about personal preferences, a view reflected by proverbial slogans like “Every man to his taste”, “Tastes differ” or “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. In the philosophical literature it has even been claimed that when two persons disagree about matters of taste they may both be right – each of them in his own way, on the basis of possibly different criteria. This position has been called ‘semantic relativism’ to set it apart from more obvious and less controversial positions about the context sensitivity of value predicates. On the other hand, hardly anybody would deny that you can and sometimes have to argue about values that go above and beyond personal taste. Value-laden questions like “How much welfare should the state provide?” or “How safe must this nuclear power plant be?” need to be discussed rationally, some moral philosophers would claim that they have objective answers, and they can in any case hardly just be a matter of personal taste. But how can we argue about such matters in a rational way, by providing reasons and well-formed justifications rather than merely trying to persuade others, if the basis of our assessments are values that one person may endorse and others reject? And how can the individual standpoints of participants in such a discourse be characterized insofar as values are concerned? Values seem to play a crucial role both in the assessment of how ‘good’ an argument is as well as in some types of arguments themselves.

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Steven Gouveia, 13 December 2017, 16h

Steven Gouveia presents A Neurophilosophical Account of Perception The Mind…

December 13, 2017

Andri Christodoulou, 11 Dec 2017, 16h30

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Using argumentation as a tool for…

December 11, 2017

Elisabetta Montanari, 27 Nov 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Learning Consistency Via Argumentation"

November 27, 2017

Dina Mendonça, Fr 27 Nov 17 Sala 606 TB, 16h

Dina Mendonça on the Role of Reflexivity and Meta-Emotions in…

November 24, 2017

Klaus Gaertner, 15 November 2017, 16h

Klaus Gartner RIP Mind & Cognition Seminar, The Dynamics of…

November 15, 2017

Fabrizio Macagno, 13 November 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Evidence for misunderstandings"

November 13, 2017

Conference on Value Disagreement

VDC-2017: International Conference on Value Disagreement @IFILNOVA

November 09, 2017

Assimakis Tseronis, 16 October 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Multimodal Argumentation: Building Bridges between Argumentation…

October 16, 2017

Andrés Soria Ruiz, 13th October 2017, 11h

Talk by Andrés Soria Ruiz, Institut Nicod | Fr. 13.10.2017…

October 13, 2017

Workshop on Legal evidence and argumentation

The workshop aims at exploring the notion of expert-based evidence…

October 11, 2017

RIP Seminar with Rob Clowes, 4th October 2017 at 16h.

Mind & Cognition RIP Seminar on Material Agency and Strong…

October 04, 2017

Marcin Lewiński, 2 October 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Disagreeing, misunderstanding and strawmanning"

October 02, 2017


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa