Where do the rules of critical discussion get their normative force? What kinds of norms are involved? Unreasonable behaviour in the critical discussion - e.g., continuing to assert the contradictory of a proven standpoint, performing some action pragmatically inconsistent with a proven standpoint, or the same with regard to the starting-points agreed to in the opening stage - is liable to moral sanction. Thus, a moral/ethical norm is involved and the rules must have a moral force. Pragma-dialectics as it stands does not seem to account for this moral force. I will attempt to fill this gap in pragma-dialectical theory.

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