Good and ought in argumentation: COVID-19 as a case study

Andrés Ruiz, Mora Maldonado, Isidora Stojanovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The present chapter concerns arguments whose conclusions take the form of a prescription such as you ought to do such-and-such, which have driven much public discussion and policy since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to tackle a hitherto under-explored characteristic of many such normative arguments, namely, the relationship between evaluative and deontic propositions, depending on whether they occur as premises or conclusions in such arguments. In order to investigate how willing people are to argue from what is good to what one ought to do, and the other way round, we conducted an Inferential Judgment Experiment. Participants were presented with arguments involving deontic and evaluative propositions, and had to judge whether they could infer conclusion from premise. The stimuli that we used are tightly related to the argumentation surrounding the pandemic, regarding the measures of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The results of the study show that there is a robust inferential connection between evaluatives and deontics, but at the same time, a significant asymmetry as well. We explore several theoretical approaches to the relationship between the deontic and the evaluative realm, and test their predictions against the results of our study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Pandemic of Argumentation
EditorsOswald Steve, Lewiński Marcin, Villata Serena, Greco Sara
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-91017-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-91016-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameArgumentation Library


  • Evaluative adjectives
  • Deontic modals
  • Pragmatics
  • Value judgment
  • Normative judgment


Dive into the research topics of 'Good and ought in argumentation: COVID-19 as a case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this