Naturally there are great questions of degree

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Unformatted text preview: Naturally, there are great questions of degree: communications will be more or less emotional running from highly or nearly pure emotional states to ones that are hardly emotional at all. Emotional arguments are central to human disputation. They communicate to us aspects of a dispute partner's world that logical arguments do not. These include such elements as degree of commitment, depth and extent of feeling, sincerity, and degree of resistance. These are important, nay vital, components in communicating a position. Imagine, if you will, how unconvincing would be the words of someone standing for, say, dean, who explained that she truly wanted the job, but spoke entirely in extremely flat unemotional language. Emotion often tells us what people believe, and, more significantly, that there is more going on behind their words. In many arguments, and especially intimate-relationship arguments, emotion can be essential to break a deadlock by bringing attention to one dispute partner's level of involvement. The attempt to reduce these communications to another, perhaps more academically palatable M.A. GILBERT MULTI-MODAL ARGUMENTATION PHIL OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES VOL 24 NR 2 .9 mode, must ignore the fact that what is communicated is far more than the words or even actions used in the communication. That is why we must disdain reductionism: it is like translating poetry from one language to another ¡ some of the sense may well be there, but the very heart of the poem is likely lost. Two modes of argument have so far been discussed. Logical arguments are based on an appeal to the linear patterns that lead us from one statement or set of statements to a claim. These arguments are linguistic, dialectical and classically identified as serial predications. Emotional arguments demonstrate how we feel about certain claims or aspects of the argumentation procedure, and communicate emotional reactions through a variety of means to a dispute partner. In addition, emotions are sometimes used as warrants or data for claims. A third category of argumentation stemming from and appealing to conceptually distinct sources is the visceral. These arguments are primarily physical and can range from a touch to classical non-verbal communication, i.e., body language, to force. Consider the following. Example 7. John is sautéing some shrimp for the dinner he is making. Mary asks him if he thinks adding a bit of curry is a good idea. John says, no. Mary goes to the kitchen cupboard and begins searching all around. She seems to gives up, but then gets the step-stool and begins rummaging through the upper shelves of the cupboard. John notices, but, busy with his shrimp, does not say anything. After a bit, Mary climbs down, goes over to John, stands very close, and holds out a can of curry. "Are you sure you don't want to add just a little curry powder?" John looks from Mary to the can of powder, and says, "Well, yeah, sure, O.K.." Mary was in disagreement with John. She wanted curry added to his recipe, and he did not. She could have argued logically, and verbally explained that adding the powder would in...
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