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Deliberating over legislative ends : An inventory of goal-(de)legitimizing argument schemes

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Abstract

This paper outlines a non-exhaustive inventory of presumptive argument schemes that can be used by legislators to rationally argue for and against the legitimacy of legislative ends. The inventory has both a descriptive and normative dimension. The inventory is descriptive because it is partly based on the empirical observation of arguments actually used by legislators in a sample of lawmaking debates. However, the inventory is also normative because – as I shall argue in this paper – the schemes identified in the sample are presumptive arguments schemes. They are therefore schemes with a claim to rationality, provided that certain conditions are met. The schemes included in the inventory are: the scheme of instrumental argumentation, the scheme from unintended consequences, the scheme from values, the schemes from model and antimodel, and the schemes from social demand.

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Keywords: argument scheme from consequences; argument scheme from model; argument scheme from values; argument schemes from social demand; discourse principle; instrumental rationality; legislative debates; practical rationality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 17, 2020

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