Argumentation structures that integrate dialectical and non-dialectical reasoning Academic Article uri icon


  • Argumentation concepts have been applied to numerous knowledge engineering endeavours in recent years. For example, a variety of logics have been developed to represent argumentation in the context of a dialectical situation such as a dialogue. In contrast to the dialectical approach, argumentation has also been used to structure knowledge. This can be seen as a non-dialectical approach. The Toulmin argument structure has often been used to structure knowledge non-dialectically yet most studies that apply the Toulmin structure do not use the original structure but vary one or more components. Variations to the Toulmin structure can be understood as different ways to integrate a dialectical perspective with a non-dialectical one. Drawing the dialectical/non-dialectical distinction enables the specification of a framework called the generic actual argument model that is expressly non-dialectical. The framework enables the development of knowledge-based systems that integrate a variety of inference procedures, combine information retrieval with reasoning and facilitate automated document drafting. Furthermore, the non-dialectical framework provides the foundation for simple dialectical models. Systems based on our approach have been developed in family law, refugee law, determining eligibility for government legal aid, copyright law and e-tourism.

publication date

  • December 2001