Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation presents the basic tools for the identification, analysis, and evaluation of common arguments for beginners. The book teaches by using examples of arguments in dialogues, both in the text itself and in the exercises. Examples of controversial legal, political, and ethical arguments are analyzed. Illustrating the most common kinds of arguments, the book also explains how to evaluate each kind by critical questioning. Douglas Walton shows how arguments can be reasonable under the right dialogue conditions (...) by using critical questions to evaluate them. The book teaches by example, both in the text itself and in exercises, but it is based on methods that have been developed through the author's thirty years of research in argumentation studies. (shrink)
Media argumentation is a powerful force in our lives. From political speeches to television commercials to war propaganda, it can effectively mobilize political action, influence the public, and market products. This book presents a new and systematic way of thinking about the influence of mass media in our lives, showing the intersection of media sources with argumentation theory, informal logic, computational theory, and theories of persuasion. Using a variety of case studies that represent arguments that typically occur in the mass (...) media, Douglas Walton demonstrates how tools recently developed in argumentation theory can be usefully applied to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of media arguments. (shrink)
The paper considers contemporary models of presumption in terms of their ability to contribute to a working theory of presumption for argumentation. Beginning with the Whatelian model, we consider its contemporary developments and alternatives, as proposed by Sidgwick, Kauffeld, Cronkhite, Rescher, Walton, Freeman, Ullmann-Margalit, and Hansen. Based on these accounts, we present a picture of presumptions characterized by their nature, function, foundation and force. On our account, presumption is a modal status that is attached to a claim and has (...) the effect of shifting, in a dialogue, a burden of proof set at a local level. Presumptions can be analysed and evaluated inferentially as components of rule-based structures. Presumptions are defeasible, and the force of a presumption is a function of its normative foundation. This picture seeks to provide a framework to guide the development of specific theories of presumption. (shrink)
Edmund Husserl, Die Lebenswelt. Auslegungen der vorgegebenen Welt und ihrer Konstitution. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1916–1937). Rochus Sowa (ed) (Series Husserliana, vol. XXXIX) Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9072-8 Authors Roberto J. Walton, CEF (ANCBA), Av. Alvear 1711, 3º, C1014AAE Buenos Aires, Argentina Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 3.
Abstract This paper addresses the role that argumentation schemes and argument visualization software tools can play in helping to find and counter objections to a given argument one is confronted with. Based on extensive analysis of features of the argumentation in these two examples, a practical four-step method of finding objections to an argument is set out. The study also applies the Carneades Argumentation System to the task of finding objections to an argument, and shows how this system has some (...) capabilities that are especially useful. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s10503-012-9261-z Authors Douglas Walton, Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR), University of Windsor, 2500 University Ave. W., Windsor, ON N9B 3Y1, Canada Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X. (shrink)
The twelve essays by Kendall Walton in this volume address a broad range of issues concerning the arts. Walton introduces an innovative account of aesthetic value, and explores relations between aesthetic value and values of other kinds. His classic 'Categories of Art' is included, as is 'Transparent Pictures', his controversial account of what is special about photographs. A new essay investigates the fact that still pictures are still, although some of them depict motion. New postscripts have been added (...) to several of the reprinted essays. (shrink)
In this paper, the defeasible argumentation scheme for practical reasoning (Walton 1990) is revised. To replace the old scheme, two new schemes are presented, each with a matching set of critical questions. One is a purely instrumental scheme, while the other is a more complex scheme that takes values into account. It is argued that a given instance of practical reasoning can be evaluated, using schemes and sets of critical questions, in three ways: by attacking one or more (...) premises of the argument, by attacking the inferential link between the premises and conclusion, or by mounting a counter-argument. It is argued that such an evaluation can be carried out in many cases using an argument diagram structure in which all components of the practical reasoning in the case are represented as premises, conclusions, and inferential links between them that can be labeled as argumentation schemes. This system works if every critical question can be classified as a assumption of or an exception to the original argument. However, it is also argued that this system does not work in all cases, namely those where epistemic closure is problematic because of intractable disputes about burden of proof. (shrink)
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time (...) such testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
Abstract Argumentation schemes are forms of reasoning that are fallible but correctable within a self-correcting framework. Their use provides a basis for taking rational action or for reasonably accepting a conclusion as a tentative hypothesis, but they are not deductively valid. We argue that teleological reasoning can provide the basis for justifying the use of argument schemes both in monological and dialogical reasoning. We consider how such a teleological justification, besides being inspired by the aim of directing a bounded cognizer (...) to true belief and correct choices, needs to take into account the attitudes of dialogue partners as well as normative models of dialogue and communicative activity types, in particular social and cultural settings. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-32 DOI 10.1007/s10503-012-9262-y Authors Douglas Walton, Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR), University of Windsor, 2500 University Ave. W., Windsor, ON N9B 3Y1, Canada Giovanni Sartor, Law Department, European University Institute, Villa Schifanoia, Via Boccaccio 121, 50133 Florence, Italy Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X. (shrink)
Informal Logic is an introductory guidebook to the basic principles of constructing sound arguments and criticizing bad ones. Non-technical in approach, it is based on 186 examples, which Douglas Walton, a leading authority in the field of informal logic, discusses and evaluates in clear, illustrative detail. Walton explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical responses. Among the many (...) subjects covered are: forms of valid argument, defeasible arguments, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, straw man argument, jumping to a conclusion, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in drawing conclusions from polls and statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, arguments from analogy, and techniques of posing, replying to, and criticizing questions. This new edition takes into account many new developments in the field of argumentation study that have occurred since 1989, many created by the author. Drawing on these developments, Walton includes and analyzes 36 new topical examples and also brings in recent work on argumentation schemes. Ideally suited for use in courses in informal logic and introduction to philosophy, this book will also be valuable to students of pragmatics, rhetoric, and speech communication. (shrink)
A "slippery slope argument" is a type of argument in which a first step is taken and a series of inextricable consequences follow, ultimately leading to a disastrous outcome. Many textbooks on informal logic and critical thinking treat the slippery slope argument as a fallacy. Walton argues that used correctly in some cases, they can be a reasonable type of argument to shift a burden of proof in a critical discussion, while in other cases they are used incorrectly. (...) class='Hi'>Walton identifies and analyzes four types of slippery slope argument. Walton presents guidelines that show how each type of slippery slope argument can be used correctly or incorrectly, using over fifty case studies of argumentation on controversial issues. These include abortion, medical research on human embryos, euthanasia, the decriminalization of marijuana, pornography, and censorship, and banning of American flag burning. (shrink)
It is a very great honor to address my friends and colleagues as president of the American Society for Aesthetics, an organization that plays a unique role in a field that is, at once, a major traditional branch of philosophy and also central to disciplines often regarded as remote from philosophy, as well as depending crucially on their contributions.
This book provides a systematic analysis of many common argumentation schemes and a compendium of 96 schemes. The study of these schemes, or forms of argument that capture stereotypical patterns of human reasoning, is at the core of argumentation research. Surveying all aspects of argumentation schemes from the ground up, the book takes the reader from the elementary exposition in the first chapter to the latest state of the art in the research efforts to formalize and classify the schemes, outlined (...) in the last chapter. It provides a systematic and comprehensive account, with notation suitable for computational applications that increasingly make use of argumentation schemes. (shrink)
This is an introductory guide to the basic principles of constructing good arguments and criticizing bad ones. It is nontechnical in its approach, and is based on 150 key examples, each discussed and evaluated in clear, illustrative detail. The author explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound argument strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical questions for responding. Among the many subjects covered are: techniques of posing, (...) replying to, and criticizing questions, forms of valid argument, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in deploying statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, and arguments from analogy. (shrink)
This paper argues that some traditional fallacies should be considered as reasonable arguments when used as part of a properly conducted dialog. It is shown that argumentation schemes, formal dialog models, and profiles of dialog are useful tools for studying properties of defeasible reasoning and fallacies. It is explained how defeasible reasoning of the most common sort can deteriorate into fallacious argumentation in some instances. Conditions are formulated that can be used as normative tools to judge whether a given defeasible (...) argument is fallacious or not. It is shown that three leading violations of proper dialog standards for defeasible reasoning necessary to see how fallacies work are: (a) improper failure to retract a commitment, (b) failure of openness to defeat, and (c) illicit reversal of burden of proof. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to make it clear how and why begging the question should be seen as a pragmatic fallacy which can only be properly evaluated in a context of dialogue. Included in the paper is a review of the contemporary literature on begging the question that shows the gradual emergence over the past twenty years or so of the dialectical conception of this fallacy. A second aim of the paper is to investigate a number of general (...) problems raised by the pragmatic framework. (shrink)
This article assesses what standards of safety and certainty of diagnosis need to be met in the determination of brain death. Recent medical, legal, and philosophical developments on brain death are summarized. It is argued that epistemologically adequate standards require the finding of whole-brain death rather than destruction of the cortex. Because of the possibility of positive error in misdiagnosing death, a tutioristic approach of being on the safe side is advocated. Given uncertainties in diagnosis of so-called vegetative states like (...) the apallic syndrome, anything less than whole-brain death, especially given the present state of diagnostic capability, should not qualify as an argument for removing therapy specifically on grounds that the patient is dead. (shrink)
But to return to myself, I was thinking about my book in more modest terms, and it would even be a mistake to say that I was thinking of those who would read it as my readers. For they were not, as I saw it, my readers, so much as readers of their own selves, my book being merely one of those magnifying glasses of the sort the optician at Combray used to offer his customers; my book, but a book (...) thanks to which I would be providing them with the means of reading within themselves. With the result that I would not ask them to praise me or to denigrate me, only to tell me if it was right, if the words they were reading in themselves were really the ones I had written (possible divergences in this regard not necessarily always originating, it should be said, in my having been wrong, but sometimes in the fact that the reader’s eyes might not be of a type for which my book was suitable as an aid for self-reading). (shrink)
This paper addresses the problem posed by the current split between the two opposed hypotheses in the growing literature on the fallacy of begging the question the epistemic hypothesis, based on knowledge and belief, and the dialectical one, based on formal dialogue systems. In the first section, the nature of split is explained, and it is shown how each hypothesis has developed. To get the beginning reader up to speed in the literature, a number of key problematic examples are analyzed (...) illustrating how both approaches can be applied. Useful tools are brought to bear on them, including the automated argument diagramming system Araucaria, and profiles of dialogue used to represent circular argumentation in a dialogue tableau format. These tools are used to both to model circular reasoning and to provide the contextual evidence needed to properly determine whether the circular reasoning in a given case is better judged fallacious or not. A number of technical problems that have impeded the development of both hypotheses are studied. One central problem is the distinction between argument and explanation. It is concluded that the best way to move forward and solve these problems is to reformulate the two hypotheses in such a way that they might be able to co-exist. On this basis, a unified methodology is proposed that allows each hypothesis to move forward as a legitimate avenue for research using the same tools. (shrink)
The aim of this investigation is to explore the role of argumentation schemes in enthymeme reconstruction. This aim is pursued by studying selected cases of incomplete arguments in natural language discourse to see what the requirements are for filling in the unstated premises and conclusions in some systematic and useful way. Some of these cases are best handled using deductive tools, while others respond best to an analysis based on defeasible argumentations schemes. The approach is also shown to work reasonably (...) well for weak arguments, a class of arguments that has always been difficult to analyze without the principle of charity producing a straw man. (shrink)
This paper defends the pertinence of global justice in the contemporary world. It accepts, for the sake of argument, Nagel's view that matters of justice arise only when political authority is asserted or exercised and, connectedly, his rejection of the cosmopolitan thesis. However, it challenges his conclusion that considerations of justice do not apply beyond the state. It argues that on any plausible account of the relationship between authority and justice international institutions, such as the World Trade Organisation, are now (...) authoritative in the right way to justify their evaluation from the point of view of justice. (shrink)
The article deals with the lines along which manifold senses of horizonedness emerge and their reference to potentiality as a starting-point. The first section examines Gurwitsch's analyses of field-potentialities and margin-potentialities in the light of distinctions drawn by Husserl in terms of latency and patency. It is contended that Husserl's concept of latency encompasses both modes of potentiality. The second section shows how the world-horizon functions as a background-horizon and alternation-horizon conceived of as the two fundamental modes (...) of non-thematic consciousness. In this respect, an attempt is made to link this theme with Gurwitsch's description of the acquisition of the character of positional index as a worldly existent. The third section is concerned with how potentiality develops into an all-encompassing domain that can be anticipated as an ideal totality and into a pregiven ground, and outlines an approach to the complementarity of this threefold characterization. This development falls out of Gurwitsch's framework for the analysis of horizonedness. The article concludes with a characterization of the encasement-of-one-in-another of horizons. Reasons are suggested for the application of some ideas of Gurwitsch on thematic transformation to this sequence of levels. (shrink)
This article questions social constructionists' claims to introduce Wittgenstein's philosophy to psychology. The philosophical fiction of a neonate Crusoe is introduced to cast doubt on the interpretations and use of the private language argument to support a new psychology developed by the constructionists. It is argued that a neonate Crusoe's viability in philosophy and apparent absence in psychology offends against the integrity of the philosophical contribution Wittgenstein might make to psychology. The consequences of accepting Crusoe's viability are explored as they (...) appear in both philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
In this paper, the Carneades argumentation system is extended to represent a procedural view of inquiry in which evidence is marshalled to support or defeat claims to knowledge. The model is a sequence of moves in a collaborative group inquiry in which parties take turns making assertions about what is known or not known, putting forward evidence to support them, and subjecting these moves to criticisms. It is shown how this model of evaluating evidence in an inquiry is based on (...) a defeasible logic using forms of argument that admit exceptions. It is contended that reasoning from absence of knowledge is as important to inquiry as positive reasoning from evidence to knowledge. The philosophical conflict between this view of reasoning about knowledge and the true-belief-plus view is explored by airing objections and replies on both sides. (shrink)
Many futurists, technologists, and democratic theorists have asserted the Internet and modern information technology are enabling the realization of an authentic direct democracy, or at least a more participatory democracy. Conversely, critics contend advances in technology are only automating the existing democracy. This article explores the potential of modern information technology to enable the emergence of a more participatory democratic system. In particular, the key foundations of modern direct democracy are analyzed with respect to promising technological developments.
This paper studies the modelling of legal reasoning about evidence within general theories of defeasible reasoning and argumentation. In particular, Wigmore's method for charting evidence and its use by modern legal evidence scholars is studied in order to give a formal underpinning in terms of logics for defeasible argumentation. Two notions turn out to be crucial, viz. argumentation schemes and empirical generalisations.
In this paper we present an analysis of persuasive definition based on argumentation schemes. Using the medieval notion of differentia and the traditional approach to topics, we explain the persuasiveness of emotive terms in persuasive definitions by applying the argumentation schemes for argument from classification and argument from values. Persuasive definitions, we hold, are persuasive because their goal is to modify the emotive meaning denotation of a persuasive term in a way that contains an implicit argument from values. However, our (...) theory is different from Stevenson’s, a positivistic view that sees emotive meaning as subjective, and defines it as a behavioral effect. Our proposal is to treat the persuasiveness produced by the use of emotive words and persuasive definitions as due to implicit arguments that an interlocutor may not be aware of. We use congruence theory to provide the linguistic framework for connecting a term with the function it is supposed to play in a text. Our account allows us to distinguish between conflicts of values and conflicts of classifications. (shrink)
This paper considers Roberto Unger's views on legal reasoning. His account is defended against two misplaced attacks. The first critique is by Emilios Christodoulidis. Using the language of systems theory, Christodoulidis contends that Unger's programme of democratic experimentalism cannot be achieved through law, as the constitutive structure of the legal system is immune to politics. Christodoulidis accuses Unger of attempting to reduce law to politics. It will be argued, however, that Unger does no such thing. The second attack holds that (...) Unger's criticisms of objectivism apply to his own democratic vision and that, as a result, he cannot promote this vision without self-contradiction. Again, it will be argued that this criticism rests on a misunderstanding of Unger's views. The paper concludes with a tentative objection to the substantive proposals of Unger's work, suggesting that they ought to be replaced by a pluralist account of value. (shrink)
The notions of burden of proof and presumption are central to law, but as noted in McCormick on Evidence, they are also the slipperiest of any of the family of legal terms employed in legal reasoning. However, recent studies of burden of proof and presumption (Prakken et al. 2005; Prakken and Sartor 2006). Gordon et al. (2007) offer formal models that can render them into precise tools useful for legal reasoning. In this paper, the various theories and formal models are (...) comparatively evaluated with the aim of working out a more comprehensive theory that can integrate the components of the argumentation structure on which they are based. It is shown that the notion of presumption has both a logical component and a dialectical component, and the new theory of presumption developed in the paper, called the dialogical theory, combines these two components. (shrink)
In this paper we use a series of examples to show how oppositions and dichotomies are fundamental in legal argumentation, and vitally important to be aware of, because of their twofold nature. On the one hand, they are argument structures underlying various kinds of rational argumentation commonly used in law as a means of getting to the truth in a conflict of opinion under critical discussion by two opposing sides before a tryer of fact. On the other hand, they are (...) argument structures underling moves made in strategic advocacy by both sides that function as platforms for different kinds of questionable argumentation tactics and moves that are in some instances tricky and deceptive. (shrink)
Proceedings of 6th CMNA (Computational Models of Natural Argument)Workshop, ECAI (European Conference on Artificial Intelligence), Rivadel Garda, Italy, August 28 - September 1, Trento, Italy, University of Trento, 2006, 48-51.
This essay offers an action-theoretic analysis of the distinction between positively bringing something about and passively letting something happen. The analysis, based on the notion of an agent''s bringing about some state of affairs, is closest to the analysis of omissions of Brand (1971), but utilizes the relatedness logic of Epstein (1979). Syntactic features bring out the idea that an action can be partially positive and partially negative, e.g., by not bringing about one thing an agent can bring about something (...) else. An ethical implication of this analysis is that a passive course of action is sometimes less culpable than an active one, just because it is passive. (shrink)
In this paper we show how dialogue-based theories of argumentation can contribute to the construction of effective systems of dispute resolution. Specifically we consider the role of persuasion in online dispute resolution by showing how persuasion dialogues can be functionally embedded in negotiation dialogues, and how negotiation dialogues can shift to persuasion dialogues. We conclude with some remarks on how persuasion dialogues might be modelled is such a way as to allow them to be implemented in a mechanical or computerized (...) system of dialogue or dialogue management. (shrink)
This paper builds a dialectical system of explanation with speech act rules that define the kinds of moves allowed, like requesting and offering an explanation. Pre and post-condition rules for the speech acts determine when a particular speech act can be put forward as a move in the dialogue, and what type of move or moves must follow it. A successful explanation has been achieved when there has been a transfer of understanding from the party giving the explanation to the (...) party asking for it. The dialogue has an opening stage, an explanation stage and a closing stage. Whether a transfer of understanding has taken place is tested by a dialectical shift to an examination dialogue. (shrink)
There are two views of the ad hominem argument found in the textbooks and other traditional treatments of this argument, the Lockean or ex concessis view and the view of ad hominem as personal attack. This article addresses problems posed by this ambiguity. In particular, it discusses the problem of whether Aristotle's description of the ex concessis type of argument should count as evidence that he had identified the circumstantial ad hominem argument. Argumentation schemes are used as the basis for (...) drawing a distinction between this latter form of argument and another called argument from commitment, corresponding to the ex concessis argument. (shrink)
This article aims to contribute to the application of ethical frameworks to public health policy. In particular, the article considers the use of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics stewardship model, as an applied framework for the evaluation of evidence within public health policymaking. The ‘Stewardship framework’ was applied to a policy proposal to restrict marketing of food and beverages to children. Reflections on applying the stewardship model as a framework are provided. The article concludes that the questions used to apply (...) the stewardship model usefully introduced ethical considerations into the evidence review. However, the real value will likely come from the type of policy process within which the framework is used, identifying competing value positions and capturing local value requirements. (shrink)
This paper offers a dialogue theory of explanation. A successful explanation is defined as a transfer of understanding in a dialogue system in which a questioner and a respondent take part. The questioner asks a special sort of why-question that asks for understanding of something and the respondent provides a reply that transfers understanding to the questioner. The theory is drawn from recent work on explanation in artificial intelligence (AI), especially in expert systems, but applies to scientific, legal and everyday (...) conversational explanations. (shrink)
In this paper, the traditional view that argumentum ad ignorantiam is a logical fallacy is challenged, and lessons are drawn on how to model inferences drawn from knowledge in combination with ones drawn from lack of knowledge. Five defeasible rules for evaluating knowledge-based arguments that apply to inferences drawn under conditions of lack of knowledge are formulated. They are the veridicality rule, the consistency of knowledge rule, the closure of knowledge rule, the rule of refutation and the rule for argument (...) from ignorance. The basic thesis of the paper is that knowledge-based arguments, including the argument from ignorance, need to be evaluated by criteria for epistemic closure and other evidential rules that are pragmatic in nature, that need to be formulated and applied differently at different stages of an investigation or discussion. The paper helps us to understand practical criteria that should be used to evaluate all arguments based on knowledge and/or ignorance. (shrink)
In this paper a theoretical definition that helps to explain how the logical structure of legal presumptions is constructed by applying the Carneades model of argumentation developed in artificial intelligence. Using this model, it is shown how presumptions work as devices used in evidentiary reasoning in law in the event of a lack of evidence to assist a chain of reasoning to move forward to prove or disprove a claim. It is shown how presumptions work as practical devices that may (...) be useful in cases in which there is insufficient evidence to prove the claim to an appropriate standard of proof. (shrink)
This paper offers a new model of belief by embedding the Peircean account of belief into a formal dialogue system that uses argumentation schemes for practical reasoning and abductive reasoning. A belief is characterised as a stable proposition that is derived abductively by one agent in a dialogue from the commitment set (including commitments derived from actions and goals) of another agent. On the model (to give a rough summary), a belief is defined as a proposition held by an agent (...) that (1) is not easily changed (stable), (2) is a matter of degree (held more or less weakly or strongly), (3) guides the goals and actions of the agent, and (4) is habitually or tenaciously held in a manner that indicates a strong commitment to defend it. It is argued that the new model overcomes the pervasive conflict in artificial intelligence between the belief-desire-intention model of reasoning and the commitment model. (shrink)
What are the historical origins of the argumentum ad consequentiam, the argument from (or literally, to) consequences, sometimes featured as an informal fallacy in logic textbooks? As shown in this paper, knowledge of the argument can be traced back to Aristotle (who did not treat it as a fallacy, but as a reasonable argument). And this type of argument shows a spotty history of recognition in logic texts and manuals over the centuries. But how it got into the modern logic (...) textbooks as a fallacy remains somewhat obscure. Its modern genesis is traced to the logic text of James McCosh (1879). (shrink)