Attitudes in Communication and Argumentation: Semantic and Pragmatic Aspects
Principal Investigator Prof. Mgr. Marián Zouhar, PhD.
Vice-Principal Investigator: doc. PhDr. Vladmír Marko, PhD.
Researchers: Prof. PhDr. František Gahér, CSc., doc. Mgr. Lukáš Bielik, PhD., doc. PhDr. Igor Hanzel, CSc. (until 2020), Mgr. Juraj Halas, PhD., PhDr. Daniela Glavaničová, PhD., Mgr. Dominik Sadloň
The project focuses on the investigation of semantic and pragmatic aspects of the presentation of non-doxastic attitudes in communication. Sometimes, such attitudes are not presented directly but merely implied by expressing some propositional semantic content. The goal of the project is to explore the dynamics of the presentation of implied non-doxastic attitudes, as well as their consequences for communication. The main hypothesis of the project states that the implied presentation of attitudes is conditioned on the semantics of expressions, and one can systematically describe the mechanism which governs the presentation of such attitudes in communication and argumentation. The main focus of the project is on the role of implied non-doxastic attitudes in situations where agents disagree but express compatible propositions, as well as situations in which agents are involved in argumentation.
The presentation of attitudes of various kinds – both doxastic and non-doxastic (i.e. evaluative, conative, normative, etc.) – is one of the key goals of interaction between agents of communication, along with the exchange of information, justification of belief, motivation of action etc. The goal of the project is to investigate the semantic and pragmatic aspects of the presentation of attitudes in communication and argumentation, especially in situations where an agent merely implies their attitude. In a direct expression of an attitude, the agent uses the corresponding verb ("I believe that...", "I consider...", "I doubt..."), while in an implied expression, the agent uses a sentence that does not contain an attitude verb, but still presents their attitude by expressing content (e.g. by referring to an act as morally correct, the agent not only describes and evaluates a particular act, but also implies a normative attitude, according to which acting in that particular way, even in the future, is morally recommended). The central hypothesis of the project states that the implied presentation of attitudes is conditioned on the semantics of expression, and that one can systematically describe the mechanism whichgoverns the presentation of attitudes in communication and argumentation. We shall show that the implication of attitudes is an important dynamic factor in various communicative situations: disagreement between agents often exists at the level of implied attitudes, not that of expressed propositions; in argumentation, implied attitudes are often among the unexpressed premises which play a key role in constituting the relation between the premises and the conclusion. We will focus on a systematic clarification of the role of implied attitudes in argumentation and show that their explicit incorporation in arguments affects the latter's validity or plausibility.