Dr. Christopher Tindale

Dr. Christopher TindaleDr. Tindale received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo. His primary interests are in Argumentation Theory, Greek Philosophy, and Moral Issues, and he teaches in these areas.  He is also the Director of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric, and a co-editor of the journal, Informal Logic. In 2001-2002 he was a fellow of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, as part of a team involved in a research project on Conflict Resolution.

He is the author of The Philosophy of Argument and Audience Reception (Cambridge, 2015); Grundkurs Informelle Logik: Begründen und Argumentieren im Alltag und in den Wissenschaften (Mentis, 2013); Reason’s Dark Champions: Constrictive Strategies of Sophistic Argument (University of South Carolina Press, 24) and Acts of Arguing: A Rhetorical Model of Argument ( SUNY, 1999); co-author of Good Reasoning Matters! (5th edition, Oxford, 2013); ); and is co-editor of several collections of papers on CD-Rom: Dissensus and the Search for Common Ground (2007); Informal Logic @ 25 (2003), Argumentation and Its Applications (2003), Argumentation at the Century’s Turn (CD-Rom, 2000), and Argumentation & Rhetoric (CD-Rom, 1998). His papers have appeared in a number of journals and books.

His current projects involve the resources that argumentation theory can provide for the problem of extremism and a study of argument and rhetoric in the works of Plato.

Dr. Tindale's CV in .pdf format.

The revival of argumentation theory in the past few decades has focused on its logical and dialectical dimensions, with less attention paid to rhetorical features. This book explores and then redresses this imbalance. It examines important logical and dialectical innovations in recent argumentation theory and shows that they depend implicitly upon rhetorical features of argument that have been suppressed in the account. This is illustrated using two extended case studies, one looking at Shell International's defense of its actions in Nigeria after the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the other exploring the uses of character-based argument and testimony in a Holocaust-denial text and legal trial. 

New technology has revolutionized the way most of us receive and process information. We are inundated with messages conveyed by everything from radio, television, and the Internet to billboards and bumper stickers. Designed to develop the skills students need to respond effectively to those messages -- verbal and non-verbal alike -- Good Reasoning Matters! offers a unique approach to critical thinking that emphasizes not just how to evaluate arguments but how to construct them.

The study of argumentation has primarily focused on logical and dialectical approaches, with minimal attention given to the rhetorical facets of argument. Rhetorical Argumentation: Principles of Theory and Practice approaches argumentation from a rhetorical point of view and demonstrates how logical and dialectical considerations depend on the rhetorical features of the argumentative situation. Throughout this text, I identify how argumentation as a communicative practice can best be understood by its rhetorical features.

Fallacies and Argument Appraisal presents an introduction to the nature, identification, and causes of fallacious reasoning, along with key questions for evaluation. Drawing from the latest work on fallacies as well as some of the standard ideas that have remained relevant since Aristotle, the book investigates central cases of major fallacies in order to understand what has gone wrong and how this has occurred. Dispensing with the approach that simply assigns labels and brief descriptions of fallacies, I provide fuller treatments that recognize the dialectical and rhetorical contexts in which fallacies arise. This volume analyzes major fallacies through accessible, everyday examples. Critical questions are developed for each fallacy to help the student identify them and provide considered evaluations.

Recent decades have witnessed a major restoration of the Sophists' reputation, revising the Platonic and Aristotelian "orthodoxies" that have dominated the tradition. Still lacking is a full appraisal of the Sophists strategies of argumentation. I correct that omission in this book. Viewing the Sophists as a group linked by shared strategies rather than by common epistemological beliefs, I illustrate how the Sophists engaged in a range of argumentative practices in manners wholly different from the principal ways in which Plato and Aristotle employed reason. By examining extant fifth-century texts and the ways in which Sophistic reasoning is mirrored by historians, playwrights, and philosophers of the classical world, I build a robust understanding of Sophistic argument with relevance to contemporary studies of rhetoric and communication.