, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 111-142

First online:

Teleological Justification of Argumentation Schemes

  • Douglas WaltonAffiliated withCentre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR), University of Windsor Email author 
  • , Giovanni SartorAffiliated withLaw Department, European University InstituteFaculty of Law, CIRSFID-University of Bologna

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Argumentation schemes are forms of reasoning that are fallible but correctable within a self-correcting framework. Their use provides a basis for taking rational action or for reasonably accepting a conclusion as a tentative hypothesis, but they are not deductively valid. We argue that teleological reasoning can provide the basis for justifying the use of argument schemes both in monological and dialogical reasoning. We consider how such a teleological justification, besides being inspired by the aim of directing a bounded cognizer to true belief and correct choices, needs to take into account the attitudes of dialogue partners as well as normative models of dialogue and communicative activity types, in particular social and cultural settings.


Defeasible reasoning Artificial intelligence Forms of argument Practical reasoning Teleological reasoning Intelligent deliberation