On inference, understanding and interpretation in visual argumentation: Challenges and problems

Rhetoric, Visual Rhetoric and Visual Argumentation

Igor Ž. Žagar

Educational Research Institute & University of Primorska, Slovenia


Abstract: For the past twenty years (or so) the field of argumentation has become more “flexible” and open to new approaches, to approaches that are not based merely on logic (of one form or another), nor even just on language. Visual argumentation started to develop in the nineties, and scientific literature flourished at the beginning of the new millennium (Groarke, Birdsell, Kjeldsen, Roque, Tseronis, …), in 1997 Michael Gilbert (Coalescent Argumentation) proposed four modes of argument (ation): logical, emotional, visceral (“physical”) and kisceral (“meta-physical”, “intuitive”), and about ten years ago, Christian Plantin published a large volume on the role of emotions in argumentation – “Les Bonnes raisons des émotions – Principes et méthode pour l’analyse de la parole émotionnée” (2011). This paper is concerned with understanding and interpretation in visual argumentation, more precisely, with its vague methodology and epistemology. Theoretical claims are supported by empirical findings, based on a questionnaire.

Keywords: visual argumentation, reasoning, understanding, interpretation, enchronic analysis, (re)constructed reality.

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