Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



In argumentative discourse fallacies occur regularly. They often seem not to be noticed by the participants in the discourse. This also goes for the fallacy. Threatening the other party with unpleasant consequences if that party doesn’t retract his standpoint is generally considered as a very unreasonable discussion move. In this paper it is argued that this paradox can be explained by analysing threats as a mode of strategic maneuvering which takes on a reasonable appearance when it mimics, as it often does, legitimate pragmatic argumentation. The following hypothesis was tested in two experiments: fallacies are regarded as less unreasonable than clear cases if they are presented as well-meant advices in which the speaker can’t be held responsible for the occurrence of the unpleasant consequences.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ad baculum; fallacies; pragma-dialectics; strategic maneuvering
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