Frames and Inferences

Fairclough, Isabela orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6718-2636 (2023) Frames and Inferences. In: Studies in Logic and Argumentation. Studies in Logic and Argumentation . College Publications, London.

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I argue that framing works via an inferential process, by ‘inviting’ a conclusion which an audience may accept or reject, from premises they may accept or reject (resulting in a successful or failed ‘framing effect’). I take framing to be, covertly, a directive speech act, with two main mechanisms: the audience is either being ‘invited’ to see a situation as X (not as Y) or is being ‘invited’ to take a reason Z as one that ought to outweigh all other reasons in deciding what to believe or do. I will draw on the Argumentum Model of Topics to represent a few arguments where framing occurs either in the minor or major premise, which may be either accepted or rejected; in the latter case, the ‘invited inference’ is replaced by an alternative counter-inference. The AMT seems very well placed to account both for how a framing source intends an argument to be reconstructed and accepted by an audience, and for how the audience may reject the invited inference and draw another conclusion.

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