Argumentation Schemes. History, Classifications, and Computational Applications

Fabrizio Macagno, Douglas Walton, Chris Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Argumentation schemes can be described as abstract structures representing the most generic types of argument, constituting the building blocks of the ones used in everyday reasoning. This paper investigates the structure, classification, and uses of such schemes. Three goals are pursued: 1) to describe the schemes, showing how they evolved and how they have been classified in the traditional and the modern theories; 2) to propose a method for classifying them based on ancient and modern developments; and 3) to outline and show how schemes can be used to describe and analyze or produce real arguments. To this purpose, we will build on the traditional distinctions for building a dichotomic classification of schemes, and we will advance a modular approach to argument analysis, in which different argumentation schemes are combined together in order to represent each step of reasoning on which a complex argument relies. Finally, we will show how schemes are applied to formal systems, focusing on their applications to Artificial Intelligence, AI & Law, argument mining, and formal ontologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2493-2556
Number of pages64
JournalIfCoLog Journal of Logics and their Applications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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