Local Theories of Argument  book cover
1st Edition

Local Theories of Argument

Edited By

Dale Hample

ISBN 9780367710354
Published March 26, 2021 by Routledge
558 Pages

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Book Description

Argumentation is often understood as a coherent set of Western theories, birthed in Athens and developing throughout the Roman period, the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment and Renaissance, and into the present century. Ideas have been nuanced, developed, and revised, but still the outline of argumentation theory has been recognizable for centuries, or so it has seemed to Western scholars. The 2019 Alta Conference on Argumentation (co-sponsored by the National Communication Association and the American Forensic Association) aimed to question the generality of these intellectual traditions.

This resulting collection of essays deals with the possibility of having local theories of argument – local to a particular time, a particular kind of issue, a particular place, or a particular culture. Many of the papers argue for reconsidering basic ideas about arguing to represent the uniqueness of some moment or location of discourse. Other scholars are more comfortable with the Western traditions, and find them congenial to the analysis of arguments that originate in discernibly distinct circumstances.

The papers represent different methodologies, cover the experiences of different nations at different times, examine varying sorts of argumentative events (speeches, court decisions, food choices, and sound), explore particular personal identities and the issues highlighted by them, and have different overall orientations to doing argumentation scholarship. Considered together, the essays do not generate one simple conclusion, but they stimulate reflection about the particularity or generality of the experience of arguing, and therefore the scope of our theories.

Table of Contents

I. The Project of Local Theories of Argument

Chapter 1: Do We Need Local Theories of Argument?

Chapter 2: (Counter) Mapping the Place and Time of Local Argument

Chapter 3: Georhetoric: Toward an Anthropology of Argument

II. Bodies and Identities

Chapter 4: A Nasty and Persistent Feminist Theory of Argumentative Anger

Chapter 5: Educating and Inspiring Future Women Scientists: Making Arguments about Significance and Contribution in Biography Collections for Young People

Chapter 6: Beyond Participation, Toward Disparticipation: Contesting White Feminism at the 2017 Women’s March

Chapter 7: The Best a <man> Can Be? Understanding Localized Arguments about Portrayals in Gillette’s "We Believe" Advertisement

Chapter 8: Representing or Hispandering?: Beto O’Rourke, Political Identity, and Identification

Chapter 9: Developmental Changes and Practices that Facilitate Argumentation: A Brief Review of a Research Program

Chapter 10: Activating Memory: Digital Dialogue with Holographic Holocaust Survivors

Chapter 11: The Argumentative Dimensions of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in People with Autism-Spectrum

Chapter 12: Where All Arguments are Local: Affective Arguments in Virginia’s Moral Debates about Blackface

Chapter 13: American Patriotism’s Invisible Racial Warrant: Repositioning Colin Kaepernick as a Black Critical Patriot

Chapter 14: Rhetorical Logics of Racist Accusation and Defense

Chapter 15: "The Definition of Racism" – A Critique of Racial Deduction,

Chapter 16: Assemblage Argumentation at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice: Temporary Monumentality and the Localization of Racial (In)Justice

Chapter 17: Disrupting Local Logic: Dress Code Protests and Perelman’s Universal Audience in the Viral Age

Chapter 18: Pleasantries or Putdowns?: Unpacking a Dichotomy in Identity Arguments

Chapter 19: Evolving Deliberative Norms in American Political Debates: A Comparison of the Carter-Reagan Debate in 1980 and the First Obama-Romney Debate in 2012

Chapter 20: A Jeremiadic Eulogy: George W. Bush’s Defense of the Forum

Chapter 21: Local Symbols as Grounds for Policy Change in Mass Shooting Eulogies

Chapter 22: Apologia, Argument, and Philosophical Pairs in American Political Discourse

Chapter 23: Reluctant Witness: Christine Blasey Ford Testifies before the Universal Audience During the Kavanaugh Hearings

Chapter 24: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Supreme Court: Satirizing Political Ethos and Gendered Pathos in the Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

Chapter 25: Reporting from Trump Country: Local Presumption and White Trauma Narratives

Chapter 26: Are Aggressive Argument Strategies in Political Debates Localized Phenomena or Symptoms of Something More Troubling in Contemporary Political Culture?

Chapter 27: Local-Chronological Eras of Presidential Debates: Forms, Functions, and Analysis

Chapter 28: Military Heretics: Major Danny Sjursen and Arguments that Challenge Orthodoxy

Chapter 29: Surviving R. Kelly: Presenting Testimony as Evidence

Chapter 30: The Elision of Definition in the Debate on Born-Alive Abortions

Chapter 31: Locating Utopia in Populism: Considering Progressive Populism, Utopian Rhetoric, and the Populist Argumentative Frame

Chapter 32: Arguing with Family Members about the 2016 Presidential Election

Chapter 33: (In)civility and the Modern Presidency: Presidential Constructions of a Complex Idea

Chapter 34: Anti-Establishment Micropolitics in the Response Closure of Political Campaign Debates

Chapter 35: Generating Local Theories of Argument: Romantic Populist Improvisation and Sprezzatura in Donald Trump’s MAGA Rallies

IV. Historical United States

Chapter 36: Implicit Theories of Argument in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Chapter 37: Locating Argument’s Location: The Stasis of Jurisdiction and the Establishment of the First Meridian of the United States

Chapter 38: President Calvin Coolidge’s Local Argumentation: Resolving Questions of Race

V. China

Chapter 39: Local Argument Spheres in China: A Case Study of the Debate Show Qipashuo

Chapter 40: Implying with Analogy and Quoting Authoritative Works: The Argumentation in Yen T’ieh Lun

Chapter 41: Chinese Argumentation in War Rhetoric: A Case Study of Soong Meiling’s Speech at the U.S. Congress on February 18th, 1943

Chapter 42: A Comparative Study of Mediated Public Arguments on Trump’s Trade War in the United States and China

VI. Japan

Chapter 43: Toward Local Theories of Japanese Argumentation: Contexts and Strategies

Chapter 44: Shinzo Abe's Not So Beautiful Lies, or How He Stopped Worrying about Embarrassing Himself in Public

Chapter 45: Proving Sontaku (Surmising of Wishes) at the Japanese National Diet: Attempts to Prove What No One Can Prove

Chapter 46: A Critical Analysis of Meta-Arguments in the National Diet of Japan: The Case of a Debate over Security Legislation in 2015

Chapter 47: How Japan Neglects Workers of Foreign Nationalities: An Analysis of Immigration Control Controversies in the National Diet

Chapter 48: Argumentation in Epideictic Oratory at the Annual State Ritual of March 11 Disaster

VII. Other Parts of the World

Chapter 49: Multiple Temporalities of the Idomeni Camp in Greece

Chapter 50: "Democracy" and Putin’s "Nation:" Pathways for Definitional Argument

VIII. New Media

Chapter 51: Is Cogent Argumentation Possible Through Social Media?

Chapter 52: Digital Infrastructures of Affect and the Future of the Networked Public Sphere 

Chapter 53: Locating Judgment in Argument by Algorithm

Chapter 54: New Media and Old Coffee: How Local Styles of Town Hall Meetings Reconfigure a Dialectical Tradition

Chapter 55: Who’s Really the Victim? The "Hashtag Hijacking" of #HimToo as Localized Narrative Argument,

Chapter 56: The Political Mind and Rhetorical Cognition: Arguing Tropes and Fractals on the 4th of July 2019

Chapter 57: Memes as Quasi-Argument: An Insidious Threat to Public Debate

IX. Dinner

Chapter 58: Local Argument Through Presence in Holocaust Cookbooks

Chapter 59: Dissociation, Multimodal Argument, Sean Brock, and the Local

X. Local Places

Chapter 60: Dissociating Means and Ends: Expanding Education Markets and Diminishing Democratic Deliberation

Chapter 61: Modernizing Racism: The Localization of Settler-Colonial Logics in Utah House Bill 93

Chapter 62: The Bensenville Pause: Argumentation, Sound Figuration, and Local Sound Cultures

XI. Pedagogy and the Modern University

Chapter 63: Civic Education through Rhetorical Principles

Chapter 64: Featuring Performance in Intercollegiate Academic Debate Pedagogy and Practice

Chapter 65: Demonstrating Academic Relevance and Rigor: Linking the NCA Learning Outcomes in Communication to Debate Program Assessment through Portfolios

Chapter 66: Developing the Whole Director: A Flexible Framework for Professional Development for Intercollegiate Debate

Chapter 67: Assessing Tenure-Track Debate Program Directors: Augmenting Intercollegiate Debate Programs with Service Learning Opportunities in Local University Contexts

Chapter 68: Assessing Argumentation Literacy

XII. Legal Issues

Chapter 69: The Counterside Problem: Blackmun’s Tie-Breaking in Roe v. Wade

Chapter 70: Not Just Twitter: Censorship Threats to Local Communities in Cyberspace

Chapter 71: Originalist Judicial Style: Fake News, Reputation, and Libel Law 

XIII. Argumentation Theory

Chapter 72: The Received View of Argument and Justification

Chapter 73: Communicative Competence and Local Theories of Argumentation: The Case of Academic Citational Practices

Chapter 74: General and Local Theories of Argument in Late Modernity

Chapter 75: Does the Rhyme Chime? Evaluating the Persuasiveness of a Rhyming Weather Message

Chapter 76: A Temporally Local Theory of Polarizing Argumentative Style

Chapter 77: Large and Small: Motivated Interpretations of Statistical Evidence

Chapter 78: Local Theories of Argument and Immanent Obligations: Inciting an Askesis


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Dale Hample is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland, and Professor Emeritus of Communication at Western Illinois University. He has been a spotlight speaker at argumentation conferences in Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, and the United States. His previous books are Interpersonal Arguing (2018), Arguing: Exchanging Reasons Face to Face (2005), and Readings in Argumentation (1992; co-edited with William and Pamela Benoit). He is a past editor of Argumentation and Advocacy. For the past decade, his research has concentrated on studying orientations toward interpersonal arguing in more than a dozen nations across the world.