Chapter published in:Argumentation between Doctors and Patients: Understanding clinical argumentative discourse
Frans H. van Eemeren, Bart Garssen and Nanon Labrie
[Not in series 235] 2021
► pp. 57–79
Assessing the soundness of argumentation
In advancing argumentation to convince patients of the acceptability of their standpoint, doctors must anticipate critical reactions from the patients that are to be convinced – and patients must do the same with regard to the critical reactions of doctors. In order to make sure that the argumentation advanced by the doctor or the patient is to be considered sound, every individual argument that is part of the argumentation needs to be assessed for its acceptability. In carrying out this assessment, one must determine for each single argumentation whether the propositions expressed in it are acceptable, whether the reasoning involved is valid or can be reconstructed as valid, and whether the critical questions relevant to the type of argumentation used by the doctor or the patient can be answered satisfactorily. In carrying out the last part of the assessment, three main types of argumentation are to be distinguished: argumentation based on a symptomatic relation between the reason put forward in the argumentation and the standpoint, argumentation based on a comparison relation, and argumentation based on a causal relation.