Theories of argumentation that give serious attention to rhetorical features, such as those of Aristotle and Chaïm Perelman, assign an important role to the audience when considering how argumentation should be constructed and evaluated. But neither of these theorists provides ways of thinking about audience that is adequate to the range of questions raised by this central concept. In this article, I explore one of these questions—that of audience identity—and consider the degree to which this issue has been recognized by the theorists in question and how we might move from their conceptions of it to a better understanding of the importance of identity in argumentation and how it should be treated.

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