Healthy Arguments for Literacy in Health

J. Peter Schulz, Sara Rubinelli

This paper explores the nature of argumentation, and its potential impact within the setting of the doctor-patient interaction. More specifically, we propose a twofold investigation. Firstly, we intend to clarify the ontological conditions for supporting the appropriateness of using argumentation in the medical setting, and show its general advantages. Within this framework, by relying on a set of medical consultation recorded with the help of Tessin physicians, we shall underline a typology of action types where argumentation occurs in the medical setting. Secondly, we shall offer some key-concepts to address the evaluation of arguments in the field. Here, considerations on the quality of the statements that make up arguments and the argument schemes adopted will allow us to shed light on the demarcation point between sound and derailed arguments, as a way to foster an optimization of the medical argumentative practice at an empirical level.

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