- A dialogue game for critical discussion: Groundwork in the formalisation and computerisation of the pragma-dialectical model of argumentation
- Award date
- 18 November 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Over the past twenty years, the use of computational methods in the study of argumentation has been steadily increasing. Although full automation is not yet possible, smaller software tools that support scholars in their argumentative tasks are becoming widely available. Software is employed, for example, to visualise diagrams of argumentation structures, or to mine argumentative content from large text corpora. Such software implements notions and models specific to an underlying theory. This generally limits the compatibility of the software to that specific theoretical approach.
While the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation is one of the leading approaches in argumentation studies, no software has yet been developed specifically catered to it. A reason for this may be found in the lack of a formalisation of (parts of) the theory. The current study serves as a foundation for the formalisation and subsequent computational development of pragma-dialectics.
A dialogue game is proposed as a formalisation of the ideal model of a critical discussion, which is at the core of the pragma-dialectical methods of analysing and evaluating argumentative discourse. The resulting dialogue game for critical discussion is an interpretation of the ideal model in terms of two interlocutors playing a game to reasonably resolve a difference of opinion. The dialogue game represents essential parts of the model, such as the distinction between different discussion stages, the role of speech acts, and the structure of argumentation. The formalisation as a dialogue game provides a starting point for the development of software based on the pragma-dialectical theory.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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