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The role of the argument by example in legislative debates of the European Parliament

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This paper focuses on the role of the argument by example in the argumentation put forward by Members of the European Parliament. The argumentative patterns that come into being in legislative debates in the European Parliament depend for the most part on the problem-solving argumentation that is put forward in the opening speech by the rapporteur of the parliamentary committee report. Complex problem-solving argumentation consists of a premise stating that there is a problem (the problem statement) and a premise stating that the proposed legislation will solve the problem (the causal statement). In their contributions, MEPs who are in favor of the proposal will either defend the problem statement or the causal statement. This paper examines how the argument by example is used in order to defend the problem statement. The argument by example can be used to defend the existential presupposition as well as the normative presupposition in the problem statement.
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Keywords: European Parliament; argument by example; argument scheme; argumentative pattern; legislation; problem solving argumentation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 31, 2017

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