My professional and vocational background is discourse analysis, linguistic pragmatics, and philosophy of language, with strong emphasis on rhetoric and (especially) argumentation in the last ten, fifteen years. In this period, the field of argumentation started to become more “flexible” and open for new approaches, for approaches that are not based merely on logic (of one form or another), not even just on language. Visual argumentation, for example, started to develop in the nineties, and literary flourishes in the beginning of the new millennium (Groarke, Birdsell, van den Hove, Kjeldsen, Roque, Tseronis, …). This is also the topic that raised my interest in different modes of reading (e.g. how information – different modes of information, coded in (potentially) different ways – is being grasped from an actual page (of one form or another), how these stimuli are being procesed and organized, how the (final) meaning is being constructed), and finally brought me to E-Read.
Namely, strictly “logical” argument(ation) seems to be rather linear and posing no problems (though it has very limited use in every day life and human interaction).
Argument(ation) in and with “everyday language” may seem unproblematic as well, but here are a few complicating factors: words can be polysemous; historical, social, cultural and intellectual “common ground” of the participants may be different (and therefore not “common ground” at all); words and phrases may trigger different frames (Goffman) and mental spaces (Fauconnier) with the participants in the (argumentative) discussion (to name just a few “disturbing” factors).