A Critical Discussion Game for Prohibiting Fallacies

Jacky Visser, Katarzyna Budzynska, Chris Reed

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LLP.2017.021


The study of fallacies is at the heart of argumentation studies. In response to Hamblin’s devastating critique of the state of the theory of fallacies in 1970, both formal dialectical and informal approaches to fallacies developed. In the current paper, we focus on an influential informal approach to fallacies, part of the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation. Central to the pragma-dialectical method for analysing and evaluating argumentative discourse is the ideal model of a critical discussion. In this discussion model, a dialectical perspective on argumentation is combined with a pragmatic take on communicative interaction. By formalising and computationally implementing the model of a critical discussion, we take a first step in the development of software to computationally model argumentative dialogue in which fallacies are prohibited along the pragmadialectical norms. We do this by defining the Critical Discussion Game, a formal dialogue game based on the pragma-dialectical discussion model, executable on an online user-interface which is part of a larger infrastructure of argumentation software.


Argument Web; argumentation; critical discussion; Dialogue Game Description Language; fallacies; formal dialectics; pragma-dialectics

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