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Dissociation in Reasoning and Argumentation

Konishi, Takuzo (2014) Dissociation in Reasoning and Argumentation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation inquires into the nature of dissociation – a maneuver through which a single entity is subdivided and arranged according to a hierarchy – as proposed by Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. Drawing on their New Rhetoric Project, Perelman’s regressive philosophy, and research on argumentation schemes, I develop ways of conceptualizing, analyzing, and appraising dissociation as it is utilized in reasoning and argument in natural language. I first examine Chaim Perelman’s regressive philosophy to better situate argumentation in relation to demonstration, then delineate the Project’s framework of argumentation as constituted by a speaker, an audience, and an argumentative discourse. Argumentation is defined here as a symbolic act increasing audience members’ epistemic adherence to a thesis, based on their adherence to the premise and the scheme’s changing of their “level of adherence.” Additionally, I conceptualize dissociation in relation to association, breaking links, and what I call “re-confirming connecting links.” In the process of conceptualization, I defend the position that dissociation and three other categories of argument contain, but are not reducible to, argumentation schemes proper. Based on the four-partite category of argument and the premise-scheme-thesis structure, I analyze eight examples of dissociation and validate the notion that dissociation makes use of various argumentation schemes proper in advancing definitive theses, subdividing an entity, and arranging the subdivided entities according to a hierarchy. Building upon the analysis of dissociation, I explore ways in which to appraise dissociation by incorporating regressive philosophy, critical questions, and universal audience. Principles of regressive philosophy remind the critic that argumentation challenges the totality of experience in the rhetorical situation, never achieves certainty, and leaves room for revision. Critical questions address specific points that dissociation must answer in order to count as a “cogent” argument. The universal audience, anchored in particular audience members, must be constructed to maintain the balance between normative orientations of appraisal as well as realistic expectations of the rhetorical situation. Besides advancing our understanding of dissociation, this dissertation contributes to a richer understanding of the New Rhetoric Project, defends relativism in argumentation, and emphasizes the significance of production as well as appraisal of argument.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Konishi, Takuzotak33@pitt.eduTAK33
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMitchell, Gordon Rgordonm@pitt.eduGORDONM
Committee MemberHartelius,
Committee MemberLyne, Johnjlyne@pitt.eduJLYNE
Committee MemberRescher, Nicholasrescher@pitt.eduRESCHER
Committee MemberSalmon, Merrileemhsalmon@pitt.eduMHSALMON
Date: 29 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 March 2014
Approval Date: 29 May 2014
Submission Date: 7 March 2014
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 227
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: New Rhetoric, informal logic, argumentation scheme, audience, reasoning, argument
Date Deposited: 29 May 2014 15:54
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 05:15


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