- De vermomde ad baculum drogreden empirisch onderzocht
- Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing
- Volume | Issue number
- 37 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The disguised ad baculum fallacy empirically investigated
In argumentative discourse fallacies occur regularly. They often seem not to be noticed by the participants in the discourse. This also goes for the ad baculum fallacy. Threatening the other party with unpleasant consequences if that party doesn’t retract his standpoint is generally considered as a very unreasonable discussion move. In this paper it is argued that this paradox can be explained by analysing ad baculum threats as a mode of strategic maneuvering which takes on a reasonable appearance when it mimics, as it often does, legitimate pragmatic argumentation. The following hypothesis was tested in two experiments: ad baculum fallacies are regarded as less unreasonable than clear cases if they are presented as well-meant advices in which the speaker can’t be held responsible for the occurrence of the unpleasant consequences.
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