Argumentation is supposed to be cognitive and discursive, but once we open our mouths things change radically. Not only do we »inject< concepts into things (and above all, their representations) which were not there before; even our arguments can only be understood as from the conclusions (which are supposed to be the outcome of our arguments). In other words: argumentation may well be cognitive in its origin, but it is only when we »inject« it into discourse that we can recognize, understand and describe it as argumentation, analyze it into argument(s) and conclusion(s), and evaluate it
This volume wants to show that just political theory – as presented in the first part of the international conference Shattered Identities and Differentiated Citizenship: Citizenship Education, Political Theory and Their Reflection in Language (Bled, Slovenia, November 16 – 17, 2001) – is not enough for citizenship education; we have to be able to grasp, analyze, and reflect our daily life, i.e. words that make this daily life what it is.
You may know – or you may not know – that the basic thesis of Ducrot’s theory of argumentation in the language-system (TAL) is that certain argumentative features are inherent to the language as a system. That means that language as a system, as an abstract, general structure (as defined by de Saussure), in itself possesses or contains some argumentative potential, some argumentative force and certain argumentative orientations, not only language in action, its use in discourse, and as a discourse.