Frank Zenker, Lund University
M. Rescorla defends dialectical egalitarianism – reasoned discourse lacks a foundational structure – but he saves the foundationalist notion that some beliefs are basic. How can that happen?
On this view, one may select the reasons forwarded in support of a claim according to their being accepted by particular communities.
Trouble is: epistemic risks of doing so. You can have an argument that gets agreement, but has no connection to truth. Moreover, how do you know when you're in the right context? And why are these commitments justified in this context, and not those? (They'd have to smuggle some epistemic justification in the back door!)
Q1: Isn't there a rhetorical strategy open here? "P… and who would be the kind of bore to question this?"
Q2: Aren't the two objections inconsistent? If the epistemic smuggling argument is right, then there's no risk of falsity.
Q3: Don't dialectical models also avail themselves of epistemic backing — e.g., Brandom's using reliablist accounts for many regress-enders?
Q4: Much of the discourse in MLK and Lincoln's arguments are not composed of premises that are mutually acceptable. They were just out to get things right. And when they do use mutually acceptable arguments, they are clearly being strategic.
Q5: Procedural rules for argument are for reasonable agreement. Pragma-dialectics foregoes truth as an objective. They won't recognize your objections as relevant.