The Appeal for Transcendence: A Possible Response to Cases of Deep Disagreement

David Zarefsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Deep disagreement is a situation in which a conflict is so fundamental that there appears to be no underlying shared understanding by the arguers at any level. It is generally held that in such a case productive argument is not possible. Any claim the one party makes can be challenged by the other party in a potentially infinite regress, because there is no moment at which the interlocutor, by virtue of his or her prior commitments, is obligated to accept any standpoint. Overcoming deep disagreement requires transcending the impasse in the argument, seeing the controversy in a different light. Zarefsky identifies four pairs of strategies that involve rhetorical moves to reset the disagreement and reshape the argument. In addition, he presents two case studies to illustrate them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArgumentation Library
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameArgumentation Library
ISSN (Print)1566-7650
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1907


  • Bush Administration
  • Civil Liberty
  • Deep Disagreement
  • Infinite Regress
  • Religious School

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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