About this topic
Summary Within philosophy, the theory of argument lies at the intersection of logic, philosophy of language, epistemology, and social philosophy. Contemporary argumentation theory also incorporates insights from outside of philosophy, particularly from the domains of rhetoric, semiotics, linguistics, social psychology and computer science. The principal concerns of philosophers working in philosophy include but are in no way limited to the problem of defining what an argument is, whether or not arguments can be given in modalities other than written or spoken language, what it means for an argument to be good, the role of emotions in argumentation and how argumentative goodness articulates with rational persuasion. Other foci include the metaphysics of arguments, argumentation and disagreements both epistemic and otherwise, and methodological issues such as how best to identify, reconstruct, appraise, and evaluate arguments.
Key works Within philosophy, most thinking about arguments was long dominated by formal criteria such as validity and soundness, with occasional attention being paid to fallacies. This orthodoxy was challenged in minor ways, particularly within the domain of ethics, but there were few challenges of a general nature. Early works of this sort include Natanson & Johnstone 1966, Perelman 1969, Hamblin 1970 and Toulmin 1958. It is important to note that contemporary argumentation theory is both interdisciplinary and international in scope. The rise of informal logic in North America coincided with the rise of what is now known as the pragma-dialectic theory in the Netherlands. It is fair to say that the dialogue between these groups of scholars in the 1980s and 1990s is what birthed contemporary argumentation theory. Works such as  van Eemeren et al 1990, van Eemeren et al 1994, Govier 1991, Walton & Krabbe 1995 and van Eemeren et al 1996 are all representative of this period. Since this time period, the field has become highly diverse, including work that integrates mainstream philosophy, like Pinto 2009, as well as work influenced by linguisitics Korta & Garmendia 2008, work from the perspective of critical discourse analysis Doury 2012  and feminism Rooney 2010. More recent strands include work incorporating game theory Castelfranchi & Paglieri 2010, Bayesian models of reasoning Zenker 2013 and cognitive science Olmos & Vega 2011.
Introductions By far the most comprehensive introduction to contemporary argumentation theory is van Eemeren et al 1996. For an accessible introduction to the pragma-dialectic theory, see van Eemeren et al 2015. Tindale 2007 gives an overview of argumentation from a standpoint that blends rhetoric and philosophy. Walton et al 2008 presents a model of argumentation based on classificatory schemes that deeply integrates insights from computational modeling. The aforementioned Govier 1991 remains a standard introduction to argumentation theory from the perspective of informal logic.
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  1. Leonard Nelson: A Theory of Philosophical Fallacies. [REVIEW]Andrew Aberdein - 2017 - Argumentation 31 (2):455-461.
  2. Arguments with Losers.Andrew Aberdein - 2016 - Florida Philosophical Review 16 (1):1-11.
  3. Cut the Syllogism to its Size! Some Reflections on Indian Syllogism.Cassian Agera - 1989 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):465.
  4. Arguing About Muslims : Reasonable Argumentation in Letters to the Editor.Atkin Albert & E. Richardson John - 2007 - Text and Talk 1 (27):1-25.
    This article analyses letters to the editor written on or about Muslims printed in a British broadsheet newspaper. The pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation is applied as a model for explaining and understanding the arguments employed in the sampled letters. Our presentation of pragma-dialectical theory focuses on argumentative reasonableness. More specifically, we introduce the four dialectical stages through which any argument must pass and explain the ten rules of critical discussion that participants must follow throughout if they are to resolve the (...)
  5. The Role of Middle Term in Conjunctive Syllogism.A. Amiri - unknown - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 24.
    In the present article, the author deals with the role of the middle term in the four figures of conjunctive syllogism. In this regard, he refers to the views of logicians such as Ibn Sina, Fakhr al-Din Razi, Muhaqqiq Tusi, Urmawi, Athir al-Din Abhari as well as Mulla Sadra. The author is of the view that many difficulties in syllogisms arise out of linguistic deficiencies.By resorting to Mulla Sadra's view, the author concludes that we are not compelled to divide the (...)
  6. Comments on 'Strategic Maneuvering in Direct to Consumer Drug Advertising: A Study in Argumentation Theory and New Institutional Theory'.Bilal Amjarso - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (3):373-375.
  7. Persuasiveness From a Pragma-Dialectical Perspective.Bilal Amjarso - unknown
    Persuasiveness is generally equated with the speaker’s ability to change the recipient’s attitude. In this paper, I want to show that by using van Eemeren and Houtlosser’s theory of strategic manoeuvring a view of persuasiveness can be found that complements the above conception. Starting from the pragma-dialectical definition of conclusiveness, I argue that persuasiveness depends on the ability of the arguer to confer on his argumentation the appearance of conclusiveness.
  8. Comments 'Strategic Maneuvering Through Persuasive Definitions: Implications for Dialectic and Rhetoric'.Bilal Amjarso - 2006 - Argumentation 20 (4):417-420.
  9. Comments on 'Legitimation and Strategic Maneuvering in the Political Field'.Corina Andone - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (3):419-421.
  10. Aristotle and Syllogism.R. P. Anschutz - 1942 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):228 – 231.
  11. The Poetic Syllogism According to Al-Farabi: An Incorrect Syllogism of the Second Figure.Maroun Aouad & Gregor Schoeler - 2002 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 12 (2):185-196.
    It is well-known that the Arab philosophers of the Aristotelian tradition, like some of their Alexandrian predecessors, attached rhetoric and poetics to logic, and supported this inclusion by the idea that the principal poetic procedure - that is, essentially, metaphor - is a kind of syllogism: the poetic syllogism. However, until now, no texts prior to those of Avicenna had been identified which render the structure of this syllogism explicit. In the present contribution, we present and translate a passage from (...)
  12. A Place for Informal Logic Within Pragma-Dialectics.Of Argumentation - 2006 - In F. H. van Eemeren, Peter Houtlosser, Haft-van Rees & A. M. (eds.), Considering Pragma-Dialectics: A Festschrift for Frans H. L. Erlbaum Associates. pp. 63.
  13. Show Me the Argument: Empirically Testing the Armchair Philosophy Picture.Zoe Ashton & Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):58-70.
    Many philosophers subscribe to the view that philosophy is a priori and in the business of discovering necessary truths from the armchair. This paper sets out to empirically test this picture. If this were the case, we would expect to see this reflected in philosophical practice. In particular, we would expect philosophers to advance mostly deductive, rather than inductive, arguments. The paper shows that the percentage of philosophy articles advancing deductive arguments is higher than those advancing inductive arguments, which is (...)
  14. Virtuous Argumentation and the Challenges of Hype.Adam Auch - 2013 - Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation 10: Virtues of Argumentation.
    In this paper, I consider the virtue of proportionality in relation to reasoning in what I call ‘hype contexts’. I conclude that a virtuous arguer is one that neither accepts nor rejects a claim based on its ubiquity alone, but who evaluates its importance with reference to the social context in which it is made.
  15. Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Argumentation. [REVIEW]P. H. B. - 1965 - Review of Metaphysics 19 (2):389-389.
  16. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods.Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl - 2002 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    The second edition of this popular compendium provides the necessary intellectual equipment to engage with and participate in effective philosophical argument, reading, and reflection Features significantly revised, updated and expanded entries, and an entirely new section drawn from methods in the history of philosophy This edition has a broad, pluralistic approach--appealing to readers in both continental philosophy and the history of philosophy, as well as analytic philosophy Explains difficult concepts in an easily accessible manner, and addresses the use and application (...)
  17. Mill's Theory of the Syllogism.A. Bain - 1878 - Mind 3 (9):137-141.
  18. The Rules of the Syllogism Without Distribution.V. Balowitz - 1980 - International Logic Review 22:99.
  19. Logic: A Modern Guide.Colin Beckley - 2016 - Milton Keynes: Think Logically Books.
    This book is written for those who wish to learn some basic principles of formal logic but more importantly learn some easy methods to unpick arguments and assess their value for truth and validity. -/- The first section explains the ideas behind traditional logic which was formed well over two thousand years ago by the ancient Greeks. Terms such as ‘categorical syllogism’, ‘premise’, ‘deduction’ and ‘validity’ may appear at first sight to be inscrutable but will easily be understood with examples (...)
  20. The Birth of Rhetoric: Gorgias, Plato and Their Successors by Robert Wardy. [REVIEW]Eugenio Benitez - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (4):901-.
  21. Readings in Argumentation.William L. Benoit, Dale Hample & Pamela J. Benoit (eds.) - 1992 - Foris Publications.
    Introduction: the Study of Argumentation Although our overall organization of the readings suggests one way of dividing our selected literature, ...
  22. Giving Reasons Does Not Always Amount to Arguing.Lilian Bermejo-Luque - forthcoming - Topoi:1-10.
    Both because of the vagueness of the word ‘give’ when speaking about giving reasons, and because we lack an adequate definition of ‘reasons’, there is a harmful ambiguity in the expression ‘giving reasons’. Particularly, straightforwardly identifying argumentation with reasons giving would make of virtually any interplay a piece of argumentation. Besides, if we adopt the mainstream definition of reasons as “considerations that count in favour of doing or believing something”, then only good argumentation would count as argumentation. In this paper, (...)
  23. Argumentation Theory and the Conception of Epistemic Justification.Lilian Bermejo-Luque - 2009 - In Marcin Koszowy (ed.), Informal Logic and Argumentation Theory. University of Białystok. pp. 285--303.
    I characterize the deductivist ideal of justification and, following to a great extent Toulmin’s work The Uses of Argument, I try to explain why this ideal is erroneous. Then I offer an alternative model of justification capable of making our claims to knowledge about substantial matters sound and reasonable. This model of justification will be based on a conception of justification as the result of good argumentation, and on a model of argumentation which is a pragmatic linguistic reconstruction of Toulmin’s (...)
  24. Truth in Evidence and Truth in Arguments Without Logical Omniscience.Gregor Betz - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1117-1137.
    Science advances by means of argument and debate. Based on a formal model of complex argumentation, this article assesses the interplay between evidential and inferential drivers in scientific controversy, and explains, in particular, why both evidence accumulation and argumentation are veritistically valuable. By improving the conditions for applying veritistic indicators , novel evidence and arguments allow us to distinguish true from false hypotheses more reliably. Because such veritistic indicators also underpin inductive reasoning, evidence accumulation and argumentation enhance the reliability of (...)
  25. Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation can be justified as a practical meta - argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in — and relative to — a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta - argument. (...)
  26. On Degrees of Justification.Gregor Betz - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (2):237-272.
    This paper gives an explication of our intuitive notion of strength of justification in a controversial debate. It defines a thesis' degree of justification within the bipolar argumentation framework of the theory of dialectical structures as the ratio of coherently adoptable positions according to which that thesis is true over all coherently adoptable positions. Broadening this definition, the notion of conditional degree of justification, i.e.\ degree of partial entailment, is introduced. Thus defined degrees of justification correspond to our pre-theoretic intuitions (...)
  27. Petitio Principii and Circular Argumentation as Seen From a Theory of Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):327-349.
    This paper investigates in how far a theory of dialectical structures sheds new light on the old problem of giving a satisfying account of the fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question. It defends that (i) circular argumentation on the one hand and petitio principii on the other hand are two distinct features of complex argumentation, and that (ii) it is impossible to make general statements about the defectiveness of an argumentation that exhibits these features. Such an argumentation, in (...)
  28. Evaluating Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (3):283-312.
    This paper develops concepts and procedures for the evaluation of complex debates. They provide means for answering such questions as whether a thesis has to be considered as proven or disproven in a debate or who carries a burden of proof. While being based on classical logic, this framework represents an (argument-based) approach to non-monotonic, or defeasible reasoning. Debates are analysed as dialectical structures, i.e. argumentation systems with an attack- as well as a support-relationship. The recursive status assignment over the (...)
  29. Evaluating Dialectical Structures with Bayesian Methods.Gregor Betz - 2008 - Synthese 163 (1):25-44.
    This paper shows how complex argumentation, analyzed as dialectical structures, can be evaluated within a Bayesian framework by interpreting them as coherence constraints on subjective degrees of belief. A dialectical structure is a set of arguments (premiss-conclusion structure) among which support- and attack-relations hold. This approach addresses the observation that some theses in a debate can be better justified than others and thus fixes a shortcoming of a theory of defeasible reasoning which applies the bivalence principle to argument evaluations by (...)
  30. In Defense of the Objective Epistemic Approach to Argumentation.John Biro & Harvey Siegel - 2006 - Informal Logic 26 (1):91-101.
    In this paper we defend a particular version of the epistemic approach to argumentation. We advance some general considerations in favor of the approach and then examine the ways in which different versions of it play out with respect to the theory of fallacies, which we see as central to an understanding of argumentation. Epistemic theories divide into objective and subjective versions. We argue in favor of the objective version, showing that it provides a better account than its subjectivist rival (...)
  31. A New Method of Presentation of the Theory of the Syllogism.Max Black - 1945 - Journal of Philosophy 42 (17):449-455.
  32. Infinite Regress Arguments and Infinite Regresses.O. Black - 1996 - Acta Analytica 16:17.
    This paper explains what an infinite regress argument is. Part 1 contains some examples of infinite regress arguments. Part 2 presents a schema for all such arguments an defines an infinite regress argument as one that approximates to the schema. Part 3 tests the schema on the examples. Part 4 contrasts my account of infinite regress arguments with that given by Passmore and shows that Passmore's theory succumbs to objections. Part 5 distinguishes an infinite regress argument from an infinite regress (...)
  33. Argument as Combat.Jonny Blamey - manuscript
    Abstract Argument is seen as central to philosophy, especially epistemology. It is often said that philosophy teaches you to argue for any position. Arguments are used to justify beliefs and many people suppose that for a belief to be counted for knowledge it must be justified. In science, scientific theories must be backed by the evidence and it has been proposed that the relationship of evidence to theory is that of argument to conclusion. But is argument really so important? Arguments (...)
  34. On Philosophical Style.Brand Blanshard - 1954 - St. Augustine's Press.
  35. Culture, Judgment, Integration of Attention and Argumentation.Charles V. Blatz - unknown
    Some exchanges of reasons are agonistic. Others work mutually, as in planning and adjusting divergent understanding. Mutual argumentation subconsciously yields judgment that integrates and clarifies a common vision coordinating interrelated lives. It harmonizes agents sharing a space of action and understanding. Pierre Bourdieu held that such thought generates and expresses culture, patterning a logic that reflexively constrains itself. This discussion examines Bourdieu’s views as an analysis of mutual argumentation.
  36. Boolean Algebra and Syllogism.V. A. Bocharov - 1986 - Synthese 66 (1):35 - 54.
    This article contains the proof of equivalence boolean algebra and syllogistics arc2. The system arc2 is obtained as a superstructure above the propositional calculus. Subjects and predicates of syllogistic functors a, E, J, O may be complex terms, Which are formed using operations of intersection, Union and complement. In contrast to negative sentences the interpretation of affirmative sentences suggests non-Empty terms. To prove the corresponding theorem we demonstrate that boolean algebra is included into syllogistics arc2 and vice versa.
  37. Des Raisons d'Être d'Une Argumentation Rhétorique Selon Aristote.R. Bodéüs - 1992 - Argumentation 6 (3):297-305.
    The main purpose of this paper is to explore the reasons Aristotle gives for being able to use rhetorical argumentation, which is obviously not a scientific mode of expression. This faculty which was condemned by Plato as lacking morality, is paradoxically regarded by Aristotle as necessary on moral grounds. For, according to him, it would be blameworthy to keep silent when being verbally assailed. The necessity of rhetoric is, however, more deeply founded. First, because justice has to be saved from (...)
  38. EUGENE E. RYAN, "Aristotle's Theory of Rhetorical Argumentation". [REVIEW]Richard BodÉÜs - 1987 - Dialogue 26 (1):211.
  39. Mistakes in Reasoning About Argumentation.George Boger - 2005 - In John Woods, Kent A. Peacock & A. D. Irvine (eds.), Mistakes of Reason: Essays in Honour of John Woods. University of Toronto Press. pp. 702--742.
  40. Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca's "On Temporality as a Characteristic of Argumentation":On Temporality as a Characteristic of Argumentation Commentary and Translation.Michelle K. Bolduc & David A. Frank - 2010 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 43 (4):308-315.
    "The last third of the twentieth century," Gerard Hauser writes, was marked by "a flurry of intellectual work aimed at theorizing rhetoric in new terms" (2001, 1). The year 1958 was key in this flurry, with five major works appearing on a rhetorically inflected philosophy and theory of argumentation: Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition (on the relationship between the vita contemplativa and vita activa); Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge (on the role of tacit knowledge, emotion, and commitment in science); Stephen Toulmin's (...)
  41. Virtues, Evidence, and Ad Hominem Arguments.Patrick Bondy - 2015 - Informal Logic 35 (4):450-466.
    Argumentation theorists are beginning to think of ad hominem arguments as generally legitimate. Virtue argumentation theorists argue that a character trait approach to argument appraisal can explain why ad hominems would are legitimate, when they are legitimate. But I argue that we do not need to appeal to virtue argumentation theory to explain the legitimacy of ad hominem arguments; a more straightforward evidentialist approach to argument appraisal is also committed to their legitimacy. I also argue that virtue argumentation theory faces (...)
  42. The Epistemic Approach to Argument Evaluation: Virtues, Beliefs, Commitments.Patrick Bondy - manuscript
    This paper discusses virtue argumentation theory, as modeled on virtue epistemology. It argues that virtues of argumentation are interesting but parasitic on a more fundamental account of what makes arguments good. -/- *Note: this is an unpublished manuscript presented at the 2013 conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation. An electronic copy is available in the Conference Archive, linked above.
  43. Truth and Argument Evaluation.Patrick Bondy - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (2):142-158.
    The aim of this paper is to defend the claim that arguments are truth-directed, and to discuss the role that truth plays in the evaluation of arguments that are truth-directed. It concludes that the proper place of truth is in the metatheory in terms of which a theory of evaluation is to be worked out, rather than in the theory of evaluation itself as a constraint on premise adequacy.
  44. Argumentative Injustice.Patrick Bondy - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (3):263-278.
    The aim of this paper is to adapt Miranda Fricker’s concept of testimonial injustice to cases of what I call “argumentative injustice”: those cases where an arguer’s social identity brings listeners to place too much or little credibility in an argument. My recommendation is to adopt a stance of “metadistrust”—we ought to distrust our inclinations to trust or distrust members of stereotyped groups.
  45. Pragma-Dialectics and Beyond.Daniel Bonevac - 2003 - Argumentation 17 (4):451-459.
    Pragma-dialectics is dynamic, context-sensitive, and multi-agent; it promises theories of fallacy and argumentative structure. But pragma-dialectic theory and practice are not yet fully in harmony. Key definitions of the theory fall short of explicating the analyses that pragma-dialecticians actually do. Many discussions involve more than two participants with different and mutually incompatible standpoints. Success in such a discussion may be more than success against each opponent. Pragma-dialectics does well at analyzing arguments advanced by one party, directed at another party; it (...)
  46. The Virtuous Tortoise.David Botting - 2017 - Philosophical Investigations 40 (1):31-39.
    There is no philosophically interesting distinction to be made between inference-rules and premises. That there is such a distinction is often held to follow from the possibility of infinite regress illustrated by Carroll's story of Achilles and the tortoise. I will argue that this is wrong on three separate grounds. Consequently, Carroll's fable provides no motivation to abandon the traditional logical separation of arguments into their premises and conclusions. There is no proposition that must be taken to be a rule (...)
  47. Pragma-Dialetics Epistemologized: Reply to Lumer.David Botting - 2012 - Informal Logic 32 (2):269-285.
    I would like to thank Christoph Lumer for his illuminating comments on my paper “The question of truth” published in this journal (Botting 2010) and would like to exercise my right of reply on a few of the issues that he raises.
  48. The Question of Truth.David Botting - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (4):413-434.
    The problem with the pragma-dialectical view, it has been argued, is that it takes argumentation as aiming at consensus rather than truth or justified belief. The pragma-dialecticians often imply that an argumentative process aiming at consensus in a way constrained by the “Ten Commandments” will in the long run converge on epistemically favourable standpoints. I will argue that they are right provided (i) pragma-dialectics is construed, as they say, as a theory of criticism; (ii) pragma-dialectics and the other theories of (...)
  49. Implicitness Functions in Family Argumentation.Antonio Bova - 2011 - In Frans H. van Eemeren, Bart Garssen, David Godden & Gordon Mitchell (eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Rozenberg / Sic Sat.
  50. Virtue and Argument: Taking Character Into Account.Tracy Bowell & Justine Kingsbury - 2013 - Informal Logic 33 (1):22-32.
    In this paper we consider the prospects for an account of good argument that takes the character of the arguer into consideration. We conclude that although there is much to be gained by identifying the virtues of the good arguer and by considering the ways in which these virtues can be developed in ourselves and in others, virtue argumentation theory does not offer a plausible alternative definition of good argument.
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