ABSTRACT

In public debates there are occasions on which persons might feel obligated to show disrespect in order to preserve integrity. In some public discourses (like those between evolutionists and creationists) interlocutors often show disrespect by “writing off” one another's reasons in an attempt to defend and preserve their own particular beliefs. To make better sense of the apparent discomfiture of intuitions concerning the connections between respect and integrity in such public confrontations, an “other-words orientation” to communication is proposed. The other-words orientation requires that individuals “stand for something” but in a way that respects one's opposition as the living, breathing, reason-giving entities they are. The ancient art of double argument is central to this endeavor.

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