Original Article


, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 353-377

First online:

Deliberative discourse and reasoning from generic argument structures

  • John L. YearwoodAffiliated withCentre for Informatics and Applied Optimization, University of BallaratSchool of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of Ballarat (CRICOS Provider Number 00103D) Email author 
  • , Andrew StranieriAffiliated withCentre for Informatics and Applied Optimization, University of Ballarat

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In this article a dialectical model for practical reasoning within a community, based on the Generic/Actual Argument Model (GAAM) is advanced and its application to deliberative dialogue discussed. The GAAM, offers a dynamic template for structuring knowledge within a domain of discourse that is connected to and regulated by a community. The paper demonstrates how the community accepted generic argument structure acts to normatively influence both admissible reasoning and the progression of dialectical reasoning between participants. It is further demonstrated that these types of deliberation dialogues supported by the GAAM comply with criteria for normative principles for deliberation, specifically, Alexy’s rules for discourse ethics and Hitchcock’s Principles of Rational Mutual Inquiry. The connection of reasoning to the community in a documented and transparent structure assists in providing best justified reasons, principles of deliberation and ethical discourse which are important advantages for reasoning communities.