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Ethical Argumentation

Douglas Walton

Bridging the gap between applied ethics and ethical theory, Ethical Argumentation draws on recent research in argumentation theory to develop a more realistic model of how ethical justification actually works. Douglas Walton presents a new model of ethical argumentation in which ethical justification is analyzed as a defeasible form of argumentation considered in a balanced dialogue. Walton's new model employs techniques such as: asking the appropriate critical questions, probing accepted values, finding nonexplicit assumptions in an ethical argument, and deconstructing emotive terms and persuasive definitions. This book will be of significant interest to scholars and advanced students in applied ethics and theory. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 328Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-0-7391-0349-4 • Hardback • January 2003 • $114.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7391-4138-0 • Paperback • July 2009 • $40.99 • (£27.95)
Douglas Walton holds the Assumption University Chair in Argumentation Studies and is Distinguished Research Fellow of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric at the University of Windsor.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Part 2 Fundamentals of Ethical Argumentation
Chapter 3 Legal Arguments
Chapter 4 Hard Cases and Easy Cases
Chapter 5 Ross's Theory of Ethical Reasoning
Chapter 6 Comparison of Ethical and Legal Arguments
Chapter 7 The Problem of Emotive Language
Chapter 8 Toward a New Framework
Chapter 9 Aristotle on Endoxic Ethical Justification
Chapter 10 Evaluating Ethical Argumentation in a Dialogue Format
Chapter 11 Deliberation and Practical Reasoning
Chapter 12 Concluding Perspectives
Part 13 The Layered Maieutic Case Study Method
Chapter 14 A Case from Medical Ethics
Chapter 15 The Layer of Deliberation
Chapter 16 Dialectical Shifts
Chapter 17 The Layer of Critical Discussion
Chapter 18 Maieutic Insight and Commitment
Chapter 19 The Case Analysis and Discussion
Chapter 20 The Structure of a Layered Case Study
Chapter 21 Current Status of Casuistry in Ethics
Chapter 22 How to Evaluate a Layered Case Study
Chapter 23 Summary of the Layered Maieutic Case Study Method
Part 24 The Central Characteristics of Ethical Reasoning
Chapter 25 The Problem of Circular Ethical Justification
Chapter 26 Ethical and Legal Reasoning Reconsidered
Chapter 27 Chained Inferences in Retrospective Ethical Reasoning
Chapter 28 Deep Disagreements and Ultimate Ethical Premises
Chapter 29 Facts and Values in Ethical Reasoning
Chapter 30 Abductive Inference
Chapter 31 Endoxic Premises
Chapter 32 How to Determine Endoxic Premises
Chapter 33 Summary of the Structure of Ethical Reasoning
Part 34 Persuasive Definitions
Chapter 35 Stevenson's Theory of Persuasive Definitions
Chapter 36 Public Policy Implications of Persuasive Definitions
Chapter 37 Value-Laden Terms and Moral Persuasion
Chapter 38 A Pragmatic Approach to Definitions
Chapter 39 Use of Loaded Terms
Chapter 40 The Deceptive Aspect of Persuasive Definitions
Chapter 41 Is There a Fallacy of Loaded Terms?
Chapter 42 How to Evaluate a Persuasive Definition
Chapter 43 Uses in Other Contexts
Part 44 Dialectic, Persuasion, and Rhetoric
Chapter 45 What is Dialectic?
Chapter 46 The New Dialectic
Chapter 47 The General Idea of Persuasion Dialogue
Chapter 48 Critical Discussion and Rational Persuasion
Chapter 49 Fallacies and Faults of Arguments
Chapter 50 The Maieutic Function and Learning What Your Goals Are
Chapter 51 The Opposition between Rhetoric and Dialectic
Chapter 52 Persuasion, Action, and Ethical Justification
Chapter 53 A New Program for Studying Ethical Argumentation
Part 54 The Probative Function
Chapter 55 The Probative Function and Circular Arguments
Chapter 56 Account of the Probative Function in Sextus Empiricus
Chapter 57 The Problem of Circular Reasoning as Treated in Ancient Sources
Chapter 58 Infinite Regress Arguments
Chapter 59 Types of Arguments
Chapter 60 Linked and Convergent Arguments
Chapter 61 Chaining of Arguments
Chapter 62 Doubt Reduction and Chaining
Chapter 63 The Importance of the Probative Function
Chapter 64 Summary: How the Probative Function Works
Part 65 The New System of Layered Justification
Chapter 66 Subjective and Objective
Chapter 67 Attitudes, Emotions, and Rationality
Chapter 68 Evidence, Emotion, and Ethical Justification
Chapter 69 Emotivism, Relativism, and Postmodernism
Chapter 70 The Dialectical Shift to a Verbal Dispute
Chapter 71 Multiple Definitions of Ethical Terms
Chapter 72 An Argumentation System for Ethical Definitions
Chapter 73 The Difference between Layered Ethical Justification and Propaganda
Chapter 74 Summary of the Argumentation System
Chapter 75 The Pragmatic Nature of Ethical Argumentation
Ethical Argumentation explains and defends a systematic, imaginative, and highly plausible model of ethical reasoning worthy of the careful attention of anyone interested in moral theory or applied ethics.
Carl Wellman, Washington University

Walton shows that critical discussion about ethical matters is the place where rhetoric, logic, and dialectic meet. . . .he significantly advances our understanding of this most important arena for human interaction.
David Zarefsky, Northwestern University

. . .His observations remind us that ethical discussion is a topic worthy of serious discourse, too important to be dismissed by positivists or postmodernists. Walton's "new" model of ethical argumentation. . . .provides some small steps toward closing the existing gap between real problems needing solutions in applied ethics and abstract ethical theories.
Andrea Birch, Brenau University