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Strategic Manoeuvring and the Selection of Starting Points in the Pragma-Dialectical Framework

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The article analyzes strategic manoeuvring within the pragmadialectical framework with respect to the selection of starting points in the opening stage to frame the arguments. The Terri Schiavo case is presented, which can provide interesting insights concerning this issue. I would like to show that resolution of the difference of opinion requires the resolution of a subordinate difference of opinion concerning how to label her medical state, and why discussants were not able to resolve this subordinate difference of opinion. After, the conflict that arises between critical reasonableness and rhetorical effectiveness is examined and how strategic manoeuvring aims to resolve this conflict. In the final part of the paper I argue that the problems raised can be dealt with within the framework of pragma-dialectics.

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Philosophy, other