The Current State of Argumentation in Higher
This chapter charts the establishment of a historical and policy-based context for the book. Historically, in traditions that have eschewed rhetoric (like the English higher education tradition), argumentation has been thought to be less worthy of attention that the substance of the discipline. In other traditions – for example, the Scottish/American tradition – rhetoric thrives, and thus argumentation is seen to be a skill to be taught. The transferable skills agenda in England and elsewhere tends to neglect argument. In the United States, the emphasis has been on generic rhetoric and composition, with many courses (except in the most enlightened of writing centres) divorced from the actual business of writing in the disciplines.