Persuasive argumentation as a cultural practice


  • Paweł Gałkowski


informal logic, argument as social practice, philosophy of culture, Jürgen Habermas, Jerzy Kmita


In this article author traces relation between argumentation and cultural practice. The first part focuses on definition of argumentation in informal logic tradition. In particular, it discusses argument in terms of verbal and social activity involving the use of everyday language. Author claims that there is no argumentation beyond language. The second part explains persuasive argumentation as a form of cultural practice. The persuasive arguments found in “social practice” can be understood as a social activity, analysable within the context of a given cultural system. Author refers to an approach taking the argumentative expression as a certain type of communicative practice, directed towards respecting, recognising or accepting specific actions. The inclusion of persuasive argumentation in the “circuit of cultural activities” to be studied makes it possible to compare this type of argumentation with other social practices, and to posit a clear historical dimension in the study of argumentation. It also makes it possible to view persuasive argumentation as one of many cultural activities aimed at changing or perpetuating behaviours, attitudes, thinking, etc. The third part of the paper concerns the problem of humanistic interpretation of persuasive argumentation. Author attempts to develop this intuition, at the same time demonstrating the problems that arise from this approach. In conclusion, author tries to analyze argumentation in terms of culture theory and humanistic interpretation.