Bart Garssen is lecturer in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric in the University of Amsterdam.
He is editor of the journal Argumentation (Springer) and of the Journal of Argumentation in Context (Benjamins)
In Fallacies and Judgments of Reasonableness , Frans H. van Eemeren, Bart Garssen and Bert Meuffels report on their systematic empirical research of the conventional validity of the pragma-dialectical discussion rules. The experimental studies they carried outduring more than ten years start from thepragma-dialectical theory of argumentation developed at the University of Amsterdam, their home university. In these studies they test methodically the intersubjective acceptability of the rules for critical discussion proposed in this theory by confronting ordinary arguers who have not received any special education in argumentation and fallacies with discussion fragments containing both fallacious and non-fallacious argumentative moves. The research covers a wide range of informal fallacies. In this way, the authors create a basis for comparing the theoretical reasonableness conception of pragma-dialectics with the norms for judging argumentative moves prevailing in argumentative practice. Fallacies and Judgments of Reasonableness provides a unique insight into the relationship between theoretical and practical conceptions of reasonableness, supported by extensive empirical material gained by means of sophisticated experimental research.
The essays that are collected in Controversy and Confrontation provide a closer insight into the relationship between controversy and confrontation that deepens our understanding of the functioning of argumentative discourse in managing differences of opinion. Their authors stem from two backgrounds. First, the controversy scholars Dascal, Marras, Euli, Regner, Ferreira, and Lessl discuss historical controversies in science, both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective; Saim concentrates on a historical controversy; Fritz provides a historical perspective on controversies by analyzing communication principles. Second the argumentation scholars Johnson, van Laar, van Eemeren, Garssen and Meuffels address theoretical or empirical aspects of argumentative confrontation; Aakhus and Vasilyeva examine argumentative discourse from the perspective of conversation analysis; Jackson analyzes argumentative confrontation in a recent debate between scientists and politicians. Last but not least, two contributors, Kutrovátz and Zemplén, make an attempt to bridge the study of historical controversy and the study of argumentation.
Pondering on Problems of Argumentation is a collection of twenty essays brought together for anyone who is interested in theoretical issues in the study of argumentation. This collection of papers gives the reader an insightful and balanced view of the kind of theoretical issues argumentation theorists are currently concerned with. Because most of the perspectives onargumentation thatare en vogue are represented, this volume provides a multidisciplinary and even interdisciplinary outlook on the current state of affairs in argumentation theory. Some of the contributions in Pondering on Problems of Argumentation deal with problems of argumentation that have been recognized as theoretical issues for a considerable time, like the problems of fallaciousness and identifying argumentation structures. Other contributions discuss issues that have become a focus of attention only recently or regained their prominence, such as the relationship between dialectic and rhetoric, and the strategic use of the argumentative technique of dissociation. In five separate sections papers are included dealing with argumentative strategies, problems of norms of reasonableness and fallaciousness, types of argument and argument schemes the structure of argumentation and rules for advocacy and discussion.