Arguments from Fairness and Misplaced Priorities in Political Argumentation

Douglas N. Walton, Hans V. Hansen


Argumentation schemes are formal structures that are used to represent types of arguments that are prominent in natural language discourse. Recent research in argumentation studies has identified and investigated many of these schemes. The two types of arguments studied in this paper, found to be used during a pilot study of kinds of arguments used by the candidates in a recent Ontario provincial election, have not so far been formalized as schemes. We call them argument from fairness and argument from misplaced priorities. We formulate schemes for them, and analyze several examples of them from our corpus by means of constructing argument diagrams that fit the argument into the scheme.

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Journal of Politics and Law ISSN 1913-9047 (Print) ISSN 1913-9055 (Online)  Email:

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