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Correspondence between the pragma-dialectical discussion model and the argument interchange format

Correspondence between the pragma-dialectical discussion model and the argument interchange format

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-224
Number of pages36
JournalStudies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric
Issue number36
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


The pragma-dialectical ideal model of a critical discussion takes a normative approach to argumentative discourse. The model defines the four stages of a critical discussion, conditions on speech acts and their distribution over the stages, and a set of 15 procedural rules regimenting the moves discussants may make. These problem-valid rules are instrumental towards the reasonable resolution of the difference of opinion. We take the model of a critical discussion as constituting a basis for a dialogue protocol allowing agents to play out a dialectical game in order to test the tenability of one agent's standpoint. The Argument Interchange Format (AIF) allows such a dialogue protocol to be translated in terms of its core ontology. The core ontology provides a directed graph data structure in which descriptions of argumentative discourse and arguments can be represented. The AIF can function as interlingua allowing various frameworks and theories of argumentation to interact in theoretically unbiased terms. Establishing a correspondence between pragma-dialectical notions and the AIF would provide the latter with a normative natural language discussion model. Furthermore viewing the pragma-dialectical theory from a formalised perspective indicates possible areas of concern which need to be addressed before the theory could get involved further in the field emerging on the intersection between argumentation theory and artificial intelligence.


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