Between a Debate and a Quarrel

Dialogue models are normative frameworks and are used to describe and evaluate everyday dialogical interactions. Real dialogues are much more complex and articulated than the six typologies presented. Often they present characteristics belonging to different dialogue types. In (Walton 1990) debate is for instance analysed as a persuasion dialogue having some features of an eristic confrontation. The participants’ goal is to persuade a third party, but in this process of persuasion the rules are quite permissive and direct attack and moves similar to a quarrel. However, debate has rules, unlike a quarrel. These rules can be more or less strict, depending on the institutional context in which the debate takes place. For instance, in a university debate certain kinds of personal attack allowed in a political debate are not permitted. Debate is one of the three mixed dialogues analysed in (Walton and Krabbe 1995, pp. 83-85).

[Douglas Walton, Types of Dialogue, Dialectical Relevance, and Textual Congruity]

Note. ClimateBall is a quarrel where the players pretend they’re having a debate. This pretense is useful to blame rivals for refusing to debate.