Introduction to structured argumentation

Argument and Computation 5 (1):1-4 (2014)
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In abstract argumentation, each argument is regarded as atomic. There is no internal structure to an argument. Also, there is no specification of what is an argument or an attack. They are assumed to be given. This abstract perspective provides many advantages for studying the nature of argumentation, but it does not cover all our needs for understanding argumentation or for building tools for supporting or undertaking argumentation. If we want a more detailed formalization of arguments than is available with abstract argumentation, we can turn to structured argumentation, which is the topic of this special issue of Argument and Computation. In structured argumentation, we assume a formal language for representing knowledge and specifying how arguments and counterarguments can be constructed from that knowledge. An argument is then said to be structured in the sense that normally, the premises and claim of the argument are made explicit, and the relationship between the premises and claim is formally defined (for instance, using logical entailment). In this introduction, we provide a brief overview of the approaches covered in this special issue on structured argumentation.

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