Argument Mapping and
Teaching Critical Thinking
APA Chicago April 17/08
Douglas Walton CRRAR
Centre for Research in
Reasoning, Argumentation &
Rhetoric: U. of Windsor
Wikipedia: entry on Diagramming
Diagramming software consists of computer programs that are used to
produce graphical diagrams.
[edit] Types of diagramming software
User-generated diagrams. As computer users seek to represent visual
information, such as a flowchart, tools such as Schematic, SmartDraw, Dia,
OmniGraffle, Microsoft Visio, Inspiration, ConceptDraw 7, allow them to
express the information in the form of a diagram. Such programs are usually
GUI-based and feature WYSIWYG diagram editing. There are also several
diagramming tools available for developers, such as JGraph for the Java
platform. Some user-generated diagram software is UML compatible,
allowing model-driven translation between graphic representation and
functional programming languages.
Automatically generated diagrams. Programs are available as debugger
front-ends, computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools, or profilers.
Diagrams are usually automatically generated by the program.
The Discussion on Tipping
Bob and Helen are having a discussion on tipping.
Helen is against tipping. She says that tipping is a bad
practice because it lowers self-esteem, something she
considers very bad. She puts forward the following
argument.
Dr. Phil says that tipping lowers self-esteem, and he
is a psychologist.
Araucaria
Araucaria is a software tool for analyzing arguments. It
aids a user in reconstructing and diagramming an
argument using a simple point-and-click interface. The
software also supports argumentation schemes, and
provides a user-customizable set of schemes with which
to analyze arguments.
Once arguments have been analyzed they can be saved in
a portable format called "AML", the Argument Markup
Language, which is based on XML.
http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/staff/creed/araucaria/
Screen Shot of Araucaria Window
Argument from Expert Opinion
Key List for Dr. Phil Example
(A ) D r. P h il say s th at tip p in g lead s to lo w ered self esteem .
(B ) D r. P h il is an ex p ert in p sy ch o lo g y , a field th at h as
k n o w led g e ab o u t self-esteem .
(C ) T ip p in g lead s to lo w ered self -esteem .
(D ) L o w ered self- esteem is a n eg ativ e co n seq u en ce.
(E ) T ip p in g is a b ad p ractice.
Diagram of Dr. Phil Example
Carneades: A New Argumentation System
 The Carneades system for reasoning with argumentation
schemes is a computational model that builds on ontologies
from the semantic web to provide a platform for employing
argumentation schemes in legal reasoning. The model is an
abstract functional specification of a computer program that can
be implemented in any programming language. It defines
structures for representing various elements of argumentation,
and shows how they function together in arguments. Arguments
in the Carneades system can be visualized using an argument
diagram because the basic structure it uses, the model of the
semantic web, is that of the directed labeled graph.
 Thomas F. Gordon, Henry Prakken and Douglas Walton, ‘The
Carneades Model of Argument and Burden of Proof’, Artificial
Intelligence, 171, 2007, 875-896.
Argument from Expert Opinion in Carneades
Enthymemes
 Enthymemes are arguments with missing
premises.
 These are premises that were not explicitly
stated in the text, but are needed or used in
the argument.
 Sometimes the missing part can be the
conclusion.
 Sometimes an argumentation scheme can
help to identify a missing part.
Instrumental Scheme for Practical Reasoning
 I have a goal G.
 Bringing about A is necessary (or sufficient)
for me to bring about G.
 Therefore, I should (practically ought to) bring
about A.
Scheme for Value-based Practical Reasoning
 I have a goal G.
 G is supported by my set of values, V.
 Bringing about A is necessary (or sufficient)
for me to bring about G.
 Therefore, I should (practically ought to) bring
about A.
The Scalpicin Example
 Harry has an itchy scalp. He needs Scalpicin.




[Explicit argument in TV commercial]
Harry needs something that would make his scalp no
longer itchy [assumption].
Scalpicin would make his scalp no longer itchy
[assumption].
An itchy scalp is a bad condition or problem (negative
value) [assumption].
A bad condition is something that should be removed
if possible [assumption].
Diagram for the Scalpicin Example
Three Bases for the Enthymeme
 Argumentation Schemes
 Common Knowledge
 Commitment
 Using argument diagrams is a way to bring all
three bases together and find the missing
premises or conclusions in a given case.
 Douglas Walton, ‘The Three Bases for the
Enthymeme: A Dialogical Theory’, Journal of
AppliedLogic, www.uwinnipeg.ca/~walton
The Animal Freedom Example
 Animals in captivity are freer than in nature.
 [Claim made: conclusion of argument]
 There are no natural predators to kill animals
that are in captivity.
 [Reason given to support claim: premise]
 What are the missing premises?
Implicit Premises
 There are natural predators to kill animals that are in
nature.
 [Implicit assumption based on common knowledge]
 If animals are in a place where there are no natural
predators to kill them, they are freer than if they are in
a place where there are natural predators to kill them.
 [Arguer’s commitment]
The Animal Freedom Diagram
References
 Glenn Rowe, Fabrizio Macagno, Chris Reed and Doug Walton,




‘Araucaria as a Tool for Diagramming Arguments in Teaching
and Studying Philosophy’, Teaching Philosophy, 29, 2006, 111124.
Chris Reed, Douglas Walton and Fabrizio Macagno, ‘Argument
Diagramming in Logic, Law and Artificial Intelligence’,
Knowledge Engineering Review, 22, 2007, 87-109.
Thomas F. Gordon, Henry Prakken and Douglas Walton, ‘The
Carneades Model of Argument and Burden of Proof’, Artificial
Intelligence, 171, 2007, 875-896.
Douglas Walton, ‘The Three Bases for the Enthymeme: A
Dialogical Theory’, Journal of Applied Logic, to appear. 2008.
All these papers are available as pdf files on the website of
Douglas Walton: www.uwinnipeg.ca/~walton
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Argument Mapping and Teaching Critical Thinking