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126 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 pattern of argument that is presumed to be generically wrong but as a dialectical strategy that is right or wrong in the context of the normative standards of dialogue appropriate for a particular case. What is a nonfalladous type of argument in one context of discussion may be fallacious in another. Attacking the character of the person (argumentum ad hominem) is inappropriate when one is a scholar critiquing another scholar's scientific paper, but perfectly appropriate when one is a lawyer impeaching a witness . In the latter case, the credibility and moral character of that witness may be of the utmost relevance. Walton also makes the same point about the other major fallacies of relevance: ignoring the issue, arguing to the people, arguing to pity, appealing to threat, arguing to ignorance, asking complex questions, begging the question, arguing in a circle, arguing from authority, and misrepresenting the opponent's position. These stratagems, he convincingly establishes, are also 'susceptible to different evaluation as fallacious or nonfallacious in different contexts of dialogue.' It is impossible to summarize Walton's rich and infonnative chapterlength discussions of the six major types of dialogue he identifies. A problem emerges, however, once he begins to discuss dialectical shifts and mixed discourse, both of which complicate the agenda considerably. In some exchanges, onetype of dialogue, whether suddenlyorgraduaUy,licitIy or illicitly, shifts into another. It is hard to see how even a context-based informal logic could articulate workable criteria for determining the legitimacy of dialectical shifts, which are legion and often unpredictable in everyday conversation where mixed discourse, in which several types of dialogue merge together, is the norm. As Walton reflects, 'in some cases, it is not clear to the participants themselves, or to anyone else, what type of dialogue they were supposed to be engaged in when they had an argumentation exchange'(emphasis added). Walton adverts to the 'supposed to be' ploy several times, eventually admitting that 'an evaluation of the argument depends on what type of dialogue the speakers are supposed to be engaged in' (emphasis added). This 'supposed to be,' an appeal to 'normal expectations of cooperative argumentation' that may itself fallaciously beg the question, would seem to be more compelling for evaluators of an argument than for speakers in a conversation. Despite its undeniable usefulness, the new dialectic must at times founder in the face of the unruliness and recalcitrance of ordinary language. (GREIG HENDERSON) Sylvia Bashevkin. Women on the Defensive: Living Through Conservative Times University of Toronto Press. viii, 318. $19.95 Sylvia Bashevkin's comparative study of the impact of feminism in England, theUrnted States, and Canada during conservative timespresents HUMANITIES 127 and Americanwomen The of the book is its -:lIn,;)II'I:TC1C ternUllS1TI these dark of conservatism in weakness lies in its assessment of various \,,,,,...,,,,,...,..,,,," str,ategle~s. examines the fate of feminism under t-tU''''11Il'1''h several lenses. Her rmaulgs (.:'{T("f-,:olrYl as more advanludlgrrtenits and cr'P"(",l1T\C of 25 to 8 and even h::lt·t"ru::.r less than twobetween fiscal conservative and social conservative gO"Vel~nrneI1ts. conservative like women can make some but under social conservative as in the United T'\ ....,'TY\~l""'T enemy. Most of the made burOt)ea,n Union. astonished the contribution of social movement to v ..... a ....'L..u.L ~••~."'.I-I,~. Women on is an contribution. Bashevkin documents well clash of ideas between the ...,.ntT_"''''1''..nn.rr the and the more collective !:In1t"\T'r'\~,."n gre-ups. She also examines the between Bashevkin's analv'SlS sutJle(:tlV'e e)(pene]oce of the "'1""""",c1'''' ""... ,....... O ...ATt'.,,·ae:teate(l. One of the m()stlnten:$ting I"h·~n+a..." 128 LEITERS IN CANADA 1998 divide-and-rule strategy of the various governments in attempting to use women as the front line in attacking women's groups. I found her assessment of the strategy of the women's groups disappointing . Here I have to declare my bias as one of the subjects under study, since I led the National Action Committee on the Status of Women during the end of the Mulroney...


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