This volume presents a double argumentative analysis of the debate between Bertrand Russell and Frederick Copleston on the existence of God. It includes an introduction justifying the choice of text and describing the historical and philosophical background of the debate. It also provides a transcript of the debate, based in part on the original recording.
The argumentative analyses occupy Parts I and II of the book. In Part I the argumentative process is analysed by means of the ideal model of critical discussion, the workhorse of pragma-dialectics. Part I shows how the two parties go through the four stages of a critical discussion. It highlights the questions raised over and beyond the presiding question of whether God exists and examines almost a hundred questions that are raised. Many are left in the air, whereas a few others give rise to sundry sub-discussions or meta-dialogues. In Part II the theoretical framework of argument dialectic is put to work: argument structures are identified by means of punctuation marks, argumentative connectors and operators, allowing to see the argumentative exchange as the collaborative construction of a macro-argument. Such a macro-argument is both a joint product of the arguers and a complex structure representing the dialectical relationships between the individual arguments combined in it. Finally, the complementarity of the two approaches is addressed. Thus the book can be described as an exercise in adversarial collaboration.
Fernando Leal Trained in Germany in philosophy, classical scholarship, and general linguistics, he founded the first research center for the study of contemporary Mexican Indian languages. As a professor of research methodology, he has sought the unification of that field with the fields of academic writing and argumentation theory. He is currently working on applying pragma-dialectical theory to the study of philosophical argumentation in particular and academic argumentation in general. To serve that purpose, he is trying to put questioning and questions at the center of interest of argumentation theory. He is author of over 150 academic papers and has authored or edited over 10 books. More information at academia.edu (guadalajara.academia.edu/FernandoLeal).
Hubert Marraud From 2005 on, after a first period as formal logician, I work in Argumentation Theory. My view of the Theory of Argument is developed in the book ¿Es lógic@? Análisis y evaluación de argumentos [Is it logic? Is it logical? Analysis and evaluation of arguments] (Madrid, 2013). My position is characterized by:
(1) My definition of arguing as offering for examination something as a reason for another thing.
(2) The importance I attach to argumentative connectors and operators.
(3) The use of a version of the Toulmin model to describe the structure of arguments
(4) The attention given to counterargumentation.
(5) The advocacy for a comparative or topological concept of cogency, grounded on the notion of argument strength or weight.