By Charles Arthur Willard
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Extra info for A theory of argumentation
Argument theories are often expressions of our highest hopes, embodiments of our dreams for a better world. The nobility and ear- Page 7 nestness of the Athenian model and the committed morality of Habermas's universal pragmatics are core components of our epistemic self-portrait. A community's Weberian ideal types are as important as its practicessometimes more so, for to describe what people do we often must know what they hope they are doing. Surely we want to be known as much by our dreams as by our practices.
Cox (1987:8) recalls his congressional testimony: "For all that I was (and am) moved by aesthetics of wild streams and forest or concern for endangered species, my testimony, of necessity, spoke in a different voice. I spoke of discounted values of timber harvest, of management indicator species, and maximizing present net value. " As we look at the world we really live in, it is sometimes hard to believe that decision making and rational deliberation are anything more than the dated argot of a credulous age, like heraldry and chivalry.
The range corollary says that any construct is convenient for the anticipation of a finite range of events. A construct's "range of convenience" consists of the events for which a person would find the construct useful; its "focus of convenience" consists of the events for which the construct works best. The experience corollary means that "learning" is a process of successively construing events. Werner's (1948) orthogenetic principle sees cognitive development as a system's (analogically if not literally Darwinian) evolution from global, undifferentiated simplicity toward increasing complexity, specificity, and differentiation.