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Arguing in a Loud Whisper: A Civil Approach to Dispute Resolution.

Richard Fiordo. Arguing in a Loud Whisper: A Civil Approach to Dispute Resolution. Saarbrucken. Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, 2011.

This college textbook, which aims to improve the study and practice of communicating reasonably under controversial circumstances, offers specific lesson objectives, such as providing an overview of argumentation, explaining the role of resistance and context in argumentation, relating argumentation to dialectics and rhetoric, and presenting a mindful dialectic approach to argumentative communication. It also offers a number of general semantics premises for principled argumentation. To wit,

* The generalization of the scientific attitude so as to be grounded, sensible, and scientific as circumstances, conditions, and abilities allow across disciplines;

* The understanding that the world is in flux and whatever you sa> something is, it isn't;

* The importance of a multi-valued orientation when confronting real life problems;

* The need to make careful inferences in situations;

* And the value of time-binding, which, when used in a positive way. can help individuals connect with rational precedents.

The text contains five lessons, specifically (1) Perspectives on Argumentation, (2) Language in Argumentation, (3) Arguments: Analysis and Evaluation (4) Managing Conflict, and (5) Ethics in Inquiry and Advocacy. There is alsc an appendix that has dialogs for general argumentative analysis and evaluatior and an appendix with position statements. And there are instructional suggestions and study guides for tests.

The author, a Communication Professor at the University of North Dakota, notes that our society is plagued by nonsense, claptrap, and humbug and that "Argumentation applied ethically has the potential to serve as ar antidote to quackery and other manifestations of untruth." He also states "the choice to argue should be mindful" and that "argumentation as civil discourse should never be taken for granted." Amen to that, Professor Fiordo.



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Author:Levinson, Martin H.
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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